The UWSA Operations Team has issued a call for members for a Contract Staff Working Group.

1. Purpose

Staff with temporary appointments (“contract staff”) now make up 1/5 of the University of Waterloo Staff Association (“UWSA”) membership and the UWSA needs to become more familiar with their unique needs. The purpose of the Contract Staff Working Group is to identify ways in which the UWSA can improve opportunities and services for contract staff within the UWSA, and help staff in temporary appointments feel safe, empowered to grow, and able to thrive.

2. Mandate

The Contract Staff Working Group will produce a report or otherwise present an overview of:

  • the nature and key concerns of contract USG staff at the University of Waterloo,
  • an environmental scan of how contract staff are incorporated and served within other university staff associations, and
  • any recommendations for how the UWSA can better serve the needs of contract staff.

Recommendations might cover UWSA services, programming, communications, structure, and other relevant aspects of the Association. Recommendations could also address changes in university policies or procedures for which the Association could advocate, but these should not be the sole focus.

The UWSA Operations Team will help facilitate activities involved in researching and generating the report, which may include, for example, consultation with contract staff, analysis of aggregated UWSA membership data, an environmental scan of other universities, and conversations with the UWSA Operations Team, directors, and the Area Representatives Committee.

3. Timeline

The working group will meet at least monthly for six months, with a report expected by the end of November 2024. The Operations Team will respond to the report by the end of January 2025.

The working group may be extended or renewed depending on implementation plans or other needs arising from the report.

The working group will meet with the full Operations Team between the research and writing stages of its work.

4. Reporting relationships

The sponsor of this working group is Laura McDonald, UWSA communications officer.

The working group will report to the Operations Team monthly, through the chair and sponsor.

The Operations Team will report to the UWSA Board of Directors on developments as appropriate and will relay the final report to the board and to the UWSA membership.

5. Membership

The Working Group will have at least six members, including the chair, and at least five staff with temporary appointments from different University areas. The chair and other members will be selected by the UWSA Appointments Committee.

The Sponsor is available to attend meetings as a resource at the committee’s request.

6. Meetings and quorum

The working group will meet at least monthly at the discretion of the chair, with additional work between meetings. Quorum will be 50% of the working group.

7. Documentation

Formal minutes are not required, but the working group should keep a record of items discussed, tasks assigned, and decisions made at each meeting. Meeting notes, research, drafts, and other documentation are to be stored in a Teams channel within the UWSA Committees team, which will be owned and managed by the Operations Team.

8. Participation rights and recognition

Members have a right to participate in UWSA business under the Memorandum of Agreement between the UWSA and the University:

The University shall not interfere with the participation of Members in Association meetings or other Association business, provided that such participation does not unreasonably interfere with the performance of a Member's duties and other responsibilities to the University. (MoA section 2.6.3)

Upon request, members will receive a letter from the UWSA president and working group chair detailing their contributions to the working group and its value to the Association, for use in their performance appraisal.

Working group members will have access to general training provided to UWSA volunteers, support from the Operations Team, and a community of UWSA volunteers.

Approved May 8, 2024