Employer delays prevent YUFA members from accessing research funds

On September 20th, 2021, YUFA won a landmark arbitration over the loss of Graduate Assistant (GA) support. Arbitrator Michelle Flaherty concluded that York University’s decision to unilaterally alter its approach to graduate student funding adversely impacted YUFA members and their ability to carry out their research and work. The arbitrator found that the employer breached the terms of the collective agreement. 

As a remedy, Arbitrator Flaherty requested both parties to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution to continue supporting faculty research. After months of Employer delay, YUFA was forced to re-engage Arbitrator Flaherty to assist the parties in reaching a fair remedy.  During bargaining, with the additional assistance of mediator Eli Gedalof both parties finally reached a Memorandum of Agreement to settle this 2017 grievance on March 18, 2022.

Effective May 1, 2022, the University agreed to invest $2,000,000 in new annual funding that will be used to support research intensification for YUFA members. More details of the monies available to YUFA members are below.

However, while YUFA is pleased that an agreement has finally been reached, YUFA has not received a response from Faculty Relations (FR) or the Office of Vice-President Research & Innovation on how and when faculty members can apply for and access these newly negotiated funds, despite multiple emails sent from YUFA to FR on this issue.

In order for these funds to be useful for YUFA members in the 2022-23 academic year, the application process needs to be initiated by the Employer as soon as possible. YUFA members have a collective agreement entitlement to these monies.

YUFA requested an update from the Employer on this issue again on July 6th.  We will continue to update YUFA members on the status of this fund in the coming days. 

Should you have any questions, please direct them to YUFA at [email protected] with the subject line Research Support Funding. 

You can read the Arbitrator’s full award here

Read more about the details of the funds for YUFA members below:

This funding is to be made available in two ways: 

  1.   An annual fund in the amount of $1,000,000 will be made available for Individual Research. This fund will be administered through the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation. Faculty members will be eligible to apply for and access up to $5000 per fiscal year to support faculty research, including: the preparation of grant applications and administration, organizing research and scholarly meetings and events; archival and library research; data collection analysis and support for transcription, manuscript preparation, and research dissemination, among other forms of support.
  2.   An annual fund in the amount of $1,000,000 will be made available for Research Staff and Infrastructure. This fund will also be administered through the Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation. Departments will be eligible to apply for and access the fund to support enhanced research and scholarly activity, including but not limited to: hiring administrative staff to support organized Research Units, hiring additional staff in Research Services and Research Accounting offices, enhancing Post-Doctoral Fellow programs to hire emerging scholars from equity seeking groups, and purchasing research equipment and supplies. 

 *It should be noted that when hiring graduate students for administrative, research or other work that is not predominantly related to the completion of their graduate degree requirement, Principal Investigators (PIs) must hire them as Graduate Assistants (GAs).