LUFA Update: Workload Committee

(Sudbury – May 22, 2018)

As most of you may already know, an MOA was signed pursuant to negotiations to create a workload committee to explore the possibility of correcting inequities in workloads across the various faculties.

In the fall of 2017, Dean Dawes approached LUFA to indicate that she would like to begin exploring the shift from 15 to 12 credits in the Faculty of Arts. She expressed concerns that faculty members might misinterpret her actions and asked LUFA to assist her in conveying the message that the exercise was pursuant to the MOA and in preparation for the workload committee. LUFA fully supported this initiative. LUFA recognized that data needed to be collected in all faculties to develop a plan for the implementation of an equitable workload. We were appreciative that Dean Dawes had taken an important first step by collecting data and exploring options in order to work out a plan for members of the Faculty of Arts.

The workload committee met early March to discuss the implementation of 12 credits across the faculties. Dean Dawes indicated that it was feasible for her to implement a 12 credit maximum for the Faculty of Arts. During the meeting we were informed that other Deans were not able to make the reduction to 12 credits. In fact, we were told that a reduction for members of the Faculty of Health could not be implemented for at least five years. Although LUFA understood that the shift to 12 credits may not occur for everyone at once, we had expected a concrete plan to ensure that an equitable workload was in sight for all members. However, there was no willingness to commit to a reduction for any of the other faculties.

During the meeting and on one other occasion, LUFA was asked to provide the administration with a blanket assurance that we would not grieve the workloads in the Faculty of Arts. LUFA was clear that such assurances could not be provided in the absence of the complete details, especially in light of the fact that some departments might not be able to shift to 12, and that there had to be a plan for the other faculties.

LUFA indicated that the only way to avoid a grievance would be through an MOA that included the specific details on implementation. We also indicated that, given that the administration was not prepared to discuss reductions for the Faculty of Management, Faculty of Education or the Faculty of Health, the MOA would need Board approval.

LUFA received a copy of the draft MOA two weeks prior to the workload deadlines. The Executive was now placed in a difficult position with respect to advancing the rights of some of its members while knowing that the administration was not prepared to support the rights of others. The Executive decided that the best course of action would be to take the MOA to the Board with the recommendation that it be brought to the membership for a vote.

LUFA also indicated to the administration that it would extend timelines for the submission of workload letters in order to allow discussion of the MOA with the membership. However, even before we could bring the matter to the Board for its consideration, the Dean went ahead with implementing the 12 credit maximum for the Faculty of Arts.

In response LUFA has filed a grievance requesting that any member with 15 credit workload be paid a 3 credit overload. We also indicated to the administration that we would be filing an unfair labour practice given the repeat offenses regarding breaches of the CA.

We will keep you apprised of any new developments.