Officer Progress 2010-11

President – Arthur Hilliker

I achieved all of the goals of my 2010-2011 Workplan. I performed all of the duties of President and of chief Fiduciary Officer and represented YUFA on the York University Senate. I lead the review of the Collective Agreement by the Executive and have prepared an interim report on our deliberations in preparation for bargaining.

VP Internal – Mary Kandiuk

YUFA Executive and Stewards’ Council
Substituted for the President as Acting President as necessary.
Regularly attended Executive and Stewards’ Council meetings and participated in the work of these bodies.
Attended General and Special Membership meetings.

Constitution / By-Laws
Initiated a review of the YUFA Constitution and By-laws and served as Chair of the Constitution and By-laws Subcommittee whose mandate was to “review the current YUFA Constitution and By-laws and make recommendations to the Executive for changes.” As part of its mandate, the Subcommittee undertook consultations with current and past Officers of YUFA, and all relevant committees and subcommittees of YUFA, including past Chairs / Co-Chairs of these committees. It also invited submissions from the YUFA general membership. The Subcommittee met on a regular basis over the course of the year reviewing the Constitution and By-laws with a view to correcting language that is out of date, clarifying processes and clearing up ambiguity. The Subcommittee is preparing a final report and recommendations that will be brought forward to the YUFA Executive for consideration. The YUFA Executive will then bring forward recommendations to Stewards’ Council after which proposed amendments to the Constitution will go to the membership for approval.

Nominations / Outreach to Members
Worked with YUFA staff and other members of Executive to recruit members to fill vacancies on the committees and subcommittees of YUFA.

Served as a member of the Contract Review Committee which met on a bi-weekly basis to review the Collective Agreement, prepare the bargaining survey, and recommend proposed changes to the Collective Agreement in preparation for collective bargaining.

Personnel Committee
Handled Personnel issues as they arose and called meetings of the Staff Relations Committee as necessary.

Reported to the YUFA Executive Committee under the Personnel Committee Report as required.

Compensation Committee
Worked with other Executive members of the Compensation Committee to develop and recommend to the YUFA Executive Committee a policy relating to the banking of release time.

Task Force on Inclusivity & Diversity
As the YUFA Co-Chair of the Task Force on Inclusivity & Diversity, worked with Barry Miller, Executive Director, Employee Relations, and Rhonda Lenton, Associate Vice-President Academic, to prepare the analysis of results for the Survey on Inclusivity & Diversity.

VP External – Livy Visano

Performed the duties of VP External as outlined in the YUFA Constitution and By-laws, including:

As VP External, I continued to build on our past accomplishments and further strengthened proactive advocacy, coalition-building and ongoing consultation with our various constituencies on- and off-campus; enhanced YUFA’s external profile and presence; expanded YUFA’s engagements with community-based groups / organizations; promoted greater inclusivity with respect to Toronto & York Region Labour Council, CAUT and OCUFA; and, facilitated more strategic and operational partnerships among inter- and intra-University unions, i.e., nurtured and expanded the well-developed links with CUPE 3903, YUSA, Graduate Student Association (GSA) and York Federation of Students (YFS) to engage in more active, ongoing, mutual, and progressive consultative processes.

On Campus Activities:
Member of the following committees:
Stewards’ Council,
Executive Contract Review,
Campus All Union,
Community Projects, and
YUFA Staff Relations.

Held regular meetings with YFS President, Krisna Saravanamuttu re developing closer ties between YUFA and the YFS;

Brought to the Executive Committee support for existing community projects, conference / workshop participation, and facilitated the development of community-related initiatives and funding requests;

Followed through on correspondence as directed by the Executive;

YUFA representative on the Community Safety Council. Also, Co-Chair, Safety Management Committee (with VP Gary Brewer)

Co-Chair of the all Campus Unions Coalition (with Joanie Cameron Pritchett, YUSA).

Off-Campus Activities:
I liaised actively with appropriate provincial and national faculty associations as well as non-academic unions in terms of action and lobbying on such matters as labour relations, education, health & safety, retirement, transportation, and housing (e.g., OCUFA, CAUT, OFL, Toronto & York Region Labour Council). I brought various reports and press releases of CAUT, NUCAUT, OCUFA, CLC, OFL, etc. to the Executive’s attention.

all CAUT Council and NUCAUT Meetings in Ottawa,
all OCUFA meetings at CAUT,
all OCUFA Board of Directors meetings (and all respective lobbying initiatives and workshops),
OCUFA Staff Relations Committee;
OFL, Toronto & York Region Labour Council meetings and respective labour lobbying initiatives.

Met regularly with faculty association representatives from the Greater Toronto Area universities.

Met regularly with representatives of local community-based agencies / organizations.

Chief Steward – Bernie Lightman

As one of YUFA’s two Chief Stewards, I worked most often with Monica Mulvihill, whose assistance and advice was invaluable in the process of implementing my Workplan. My main activities were:

Chaired meetings of Stewards’ Council and recruited Stewards.

Participated in bi-weekly meetings and related activities of the YUFA Executive.

Participated in bi-weekly meetings of the Executive Contract Review Committee, which reviewed the YUFA Collective Agreement in preparation for the next round of collective bargaining.

Participated in meetings of the Constitution and By-Laws Review Subcommittee.

Participated in the monthly meetings of the Grievance Committee.

Provided informal and formal advice to YUFA members in all contractually-related matters, especially on Tenure and Promotion issues.

Represented members in meetings with the Employer.

Represented members in all stages of the grievance process.

Consulted with YUFA staff and lawyers regarding ongoing and potential grievances.

Brought potential policy grievances to the attention of the YUFA Executive and carried subsequent grievances forward.

Participated in monthly meeting with the other Chief Steward and Monica Mulvihill to review all cases.

Chief Steward – Gerard Naddaf

As one of YUFA’s two Chief Stewards, I worked mostly with Monica Mulvihill, whose assistance and advice were crucial to the implementation of my Workplan. My primary activities were:

Participated in bi-weekly meetings and related activities of the YUFA Executive, which included updates on my case load as Chief Steward.

Participated in bi-weekly meetings of the YUFA Executive to review the YUFA Collective Agreement for the forthcoming round of bargaining.

Participated in the monthly Stewards’ Council meetings and Chaired several sessions.

Participated in monthly meetings, caucuses and deliberations of the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA).

Chaired the YUFA Grievance Committee and worked with the Committee members who provided important information on issues that needed to be addressed and which I proceeded to attend to.

Provided informal and formal advice to thirty members whose cases I was required to deal with from 1 June 2010 to the present. These included medical accommodation, workload, discrimination, harassment, student complaints, student harassment, retirement benefits, tenure and promotion denials and delays, sabbatical credits, Specific Research Grant denials, unit standards, merit pay complaints, overtime, member-to-member disputes. Most of these were resolved at the Complaint Stage, but nine grievances were also filed, some have since been resolved, and two went to Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) with one success and one partial success. Several cases, due to their complexity, have been ongoing since the beginning of my tenure as Chief Steward and have thus required numerous meetings.

Represented members in meetings with the Employer.

Represented members in all stages of the grievance process, including DRCs.

Consulted with YUFA staff and legal counsel regarding ongoing and potential grievances.

Participated in bi-weekly meetings with the other Chief Steward and Monica Mulvihill, the staff member working on these cases with us, to prepare our meetings with the Employer.

Represented YUFA as the Grievance Officer at five all-day sessions of the OCUFA Grievance Committee where the primary grievances in each institution were highlighted by their respective grievance officer and workshops were provided during the afternoon session to address common concerns. These meetings have been an invaluable source of information to understand our strengths and weaknesses when approaching complaints, grievances and arbitrations.

Continued to work on my knowledge of the Collective Agreement and current legislation that directly affects YUFA members.

Received over 8000 YUFA-related emails most of which required replies and sometimes extensive replies.

Communications Officer – Jay Rahn

As YUFA’s Communications Officer, I worked principally with Jill Flohil, staff, and President Arthur Hilliker. My main activities were:

Participation in bi-weekly meetings and related activities of the YUFA Executive, including monthly reports on my work as Communications Officer.

Participation in special bi-weekly meetings of YUFA Executive to review the YUFA Collective Agreement for the forthcoming round of bargaining (2012).

Participation in YUFA’s Annual General Meeting, General Membership Meeting, and Special Membership meetings.

Re-formatting and debugging of Faculty and Librarians Collective Bargaining Surveys, with the cooperation of Richard Myles, Manager, Computer Survey Methods, York’s Institute for Social Research (ISR).

Drafting of monthly Executive Summaries:

In addition to these regular responsibilities of the Communications Officer, I undertook the following:

Participation in meetings of YUFA Executive with Gary Brewer, VP Administration and Finance, to discuss the York Pension Plan in the context of the University’s Budget as well as Article 14.01 (d) of the Collective Agreement.

Solicitation and posting at the YUFA Website of the Employer’s PowerPoint slides concerning York’s Budget and Pension Plan as well as the Better Workplace Initiative.

Revision of the Retirement Webpage at YUFA’s Website, in consultation with Al Stauffer, Association of Retired Faculty and Librarians (ARFL) Representative to YUFA’s Executive:

Preparation and distribution via YUFA-M of YUFA Digest issue no. 1, summarizing developments at YUFA and affiliated organizations (e.g., OCUFA, CAUT, NUCAUT) during June-September 2010, and with the cooperation of Vice President External, Livy Visano, information on YUFA’s outreach to community organizations.

Equity Officers – Didi Khayatt & Rose Steele

In our ongoing work as Equity Officers, we regularly attended the Executive Committee and Stewards’ Council meetings where we maintained a watching brief on equity issues of the current Collective Agreement and equity issues which arose out of YUFA business. Equity Officers also liaised with equity-seeking constituencies, particularly via membership in the Equity Subcommittee (ESC). In addition, Neita Israelite (delegate, Disability Caucus) volunteered to be the ACCESS York liaison on the ESC.

We are working with the ESC members to promote an active, engaged Subcommittee, though we have faced some challenges in meeting. We did meet once in the Fall term, but a planned further meeting in December to review the Collective Agreement and Constitution and By-Laws had to be rescheduled until the Winter term due to the unexpected closure of the University that day. The first Winter term meeting was not as well-attended as it could have been, but the next meeting early in March provided an opportunity for fruitful and engaged discussion about equity issues, particularly with respect to potential changes to the Collective Agreement. Interactions with Recognized Caucuses have been through the ESC; the Equity Officers were not invited to any meetings of Recognized Caucuses, though both expressed their willingness to go.

At our March ESC meeting, we began discussion about equity issues in relation to student accommodation and faculty rights and obligations. Neita Israelite (delegate, Disability Caucus) agreed to facilitate a conversation between York University Counselling and Disabilities Services and available ESC members on the trade-off between accommodation and academic integrity. The meeting took place late in March and was very informative.

The YUFA Executive took a leadership role in reviewing the current CA and obtaining input from YUFA members. The Equity Officers participated fully in the resulting CA review meetings by YUFA Executive and brought forward equity issues, including those discussed in meetings of the ESC. In addition, based on input and suggestions from the ESC and/or caucuses a few changes were recommended to the membership survey around equity-related questions. Language in regards to disability that had been previously proposed for inclusion in the 2009-2012 CA was shared with the YUFA Executive for discussion and possible inclusion in the next bargaining proposals. The Equity Officers continued to investigate the relevant equity clauses from other Canadian universities and CAUT that YUFA may wish to consider for future Collective Agreements.

Brief discussion has once again taken place about the possibility of establishing another YUFA recognized equity caucus in regards to ageism. However, no proposal has yet been brought forward. The possibility of such a caucus, and the subsequent changes required for the YUFA Constitution / By-Laws, was brought to the attention of the ongoing Constitution and By-Laws Subcommittee. Information was also shared with this Subcommittee about the changes proposed by caucuses in 2010 based on their belief that the autonomy and self-determination of all Recognized Caucuses within YUFA should be acknowledged; this proposal would require changes within the Constitution / By-Laws. As an Equity Officer, Rose Steele is a member of that Subcommittee.

Ida Ferrara participated in a YUFA Executive subgroup to explore the possibility of a new Teaching Stream when the Employer brought forward a proposal; discussions ended after the April AGM. Rose Steele became a member of the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA) and regularly attended those meetings.

We would like to thank the current members of the Equity Subcommittee for their involvement: Wilburn Hayden (delegate, Race Equity Caucus), Neita Israelite (delegate, Disability Caucus), Daniel Perlin (Member-at-Large), Miriam Smith (delegate, Queer Caucus), and Tom Wilson (Member-at-Large). Please note that the Aboriginal Caucus was unable to provide a delegate who could commit to consistently attending meetings and being involved with the work of the Equity Subcommittee.

We also would like to thank Brenda Hart, YUFA Executive Associate, for her support to the equity portfolio.

Treasurer – Richard Wellen

As Treasurer of the Association, my work involved working with the President to ensure the responsible fiscal management of YUFA and the preparation of the proposed YUFA budget for 2011-12. In responding to the Auditor’s report, we took steps to invest the union’s available funds more wisely. In addition, as a member of the Compensation Committee, I responded to the call by the YUFA Trustees to be more transparent about release time awards for YUFA service, and recommended to Executive a new and more transparent policy ensuring that release time is, as far as possible, taken only in the year in which it is awarded and not taken as a stipend.

I have also served as one of the Executive representatives to two other committees. The first was the ongoing Constitutional and By-Laws Subcommittee, which is expected to recommend possible changes and amendments by Fall of 2011. The second committee was the ad hoc group to discuss the Employer’s proposal on a new Teaching Stream subsequent to the negotiations on Appendix R.