New $100K fund for Indigenous and racialized YUFA members unevenly advertised; YUFA urges employer to initiate second call-out for applications

On March 18th, YUFA successfully negotiated a new fund of $100,000 for YUFA members who self-identify as Indigenous and/or racialized and who are engaged in various sorts of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) service work at the University. This fund is intended to provide eligible members with opportunities for course load reductions in order to recognise the historically disproportionate burden of EDI-related service work that these colleagues have been shouldering and continue to shoulder in the workplace.

As agreed in bargaining, this fund was to be made available to eligible YUFA members immediately for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The Employer has recently informed YUFA that the Dean's and Principal’s Offices were instructed to advertise a call for applications on or after May 26th, with a deadline of June 8th.

However, YUFA is aware that many eligible members did not receive any information about this new fund from their Dean’s or Principal’s Offices.

Therefore, the Association is pressing the Employer to provide an additional call-out to members for applications with a new deadline to ensure eligible members have a fair opportunity to apply for the substantial amount of funds for course release that remains.

The Association will update members on the Employer’s response to YUFA’s concerns and requests as soon as it is received.

YUFA is asking members who did receive the call from the Employer about this fund to please contact the Association at [email protected] with a copy of the correspondence you received.

YUFA also has concerns about how the Office of Equity, People, and Culture plans to implement the fund. Keep reading for more details.

Employer’s Proposed Fund Application Process Has Flaws

Since April, YUFA has been urging the Employer to share with the Association the Employer’s suggested application and implementation process for this new fund so that the parties could work out any issues in advance and ensure the most fair and equitable distribution of the funds.

On May 26th, Faculty Relations provided YUFA with a copy of the Employer’s proposed parameters for this new fund which had already been sent by the Office of the Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture (VP EPC) to the Deans and Principal for distribution to YUFA members, along with a deadline for applications of June 8th. Assuming the Deans and Principal sent this information promptly to members, this meant that colleagues had less than two weeks to submit their application.

Shortly after receiving this document, YUFA raised a number of concerns and objections to the Employer’s proposed parameters for the fund and the tight deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year. The most recent correspondence from the Association to the Employer about this issue can be found here.

Recently, YUFA sought additional clarity from the Employer about the distribution of fund information to members. The Employer re-affirmed that Dean’s Offices were instructed on May 26th to send the information about the application process to members, with the June 8th deadline attached.

Four Applications Granted with over $50,000 of Funds Remaining

YUFA was also informed that the Employer received only five applications by the deadline, with four applicants granted course release, and that those five members have been informed of the outcome.

In addition to urging the Employer to engage a second call for applications, the Association has also asked for a response to the concerns we have raised about the eligibility parameters that the Employer has proposed on the fund.

Members with questions or concerns about this new fund are encouraged to contact YUFA at [email protected].