New research grant for YUFA members and Graduate Assistant Training Fund

As part of the current collective agreement, YUFA obtained a new annual research grant to support research intensification and the administrative functions of members. After much urging from YUFA representatives through the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCoAA) over the last several months, the Employer has finally released the application and made these monies accessible to YUFA members. YUFA members will have received a communication on October 12, 2022, from Vice-President Research & Innovation, Amir Asif.

The new research funding comes out of a major policy grievance settlement that was negotiated between YUFA and the Employer during the most recent bargaining round. YUFA had filed a policy grievance against the Employer’s decreased funding for Graduate Assistants and the adverse impacts on faculty members on March 2, 2017. More information about the landmark arbitration decision in favour of YUFA can be found here.

Each eligible YUFA member can receive up to $5,000 annually in research funding. The application form for the research funding can be accessed here.

The deadline for the first application window is November 15, 2022, with results announced starting December 15, 2022.

Please also be advised that the second call for the Graduate Assistant Training Fund for 2022-2023 is now open and members can access more information, eligibility requirements and the application form here.

The arbitration award references a key distinction between Faculties/Schools at York University that employed CUPE 3903 Graduate Assistants (GAs) from those that did not, i.e. the “Lab-based Faculties” that relied on non-GA labour. This distinction guided the mediator in crafting the grievance settlement so that specific Faculties/Schools most heavily impacted by the Employer’s decision to cut funding of CUPE 3903 Graduate Assistants are allocated a greater proportion of the Graduate Assistant Training Fund.

Following this first year of fund distribution, YUFA was only recently informed that beginning in 2023-24 and moving forward, the Employer intends for the first application window to typically run from August 1 to August 15 and the second application window, from January 15 to February 1. The Employer has argued that by providing the first round of funds in August, new hires can be included. YUFA has responded to urge the Employer to move the application date to July rather than August. This would still allow new faculty members to apply for funds and it would also provide YUFA members with more opportunity to use these funds to hire a York University graduate student prior to September.

Members are encouraged to contact YUFA if they have any questions regarding these funds.