Officer Progress 2011-12

President – Arthur Hilliker

I achieved all of the goals of my 2011-2012 Workplan. I performed all of the duties of President and of Chief Fiduciary Officer of YUFA. I represented YUFA on the York University Senate. I lead the Executive Contract Review Committee and drafted the initial Primary Negotiating Positions for renewal of the Collective Agreement for approval by Executive and then by Stewards’ Council and finally ratification by the membership. I led the three-member YUFA team representing the Executive for discussion of pension issues with the Employer. I Chaired the York Union Pension Group, comprised of representatives from York University unions, which will negotiate as a group in the pension solvency relief exercise.

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
Oversaw and participated in a review of the YUFA Constitution and By-laws by serving 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.” 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basis over the course of the year reviewing the Constitution and By-laws with a view to correcting language that is out of date, clarifying processes and clearing up ambiguity.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 prepared a final report and recommendations that were brought forward to the YUFA Executive for approval. These were subsequently brought forward to Stewards’ Council. Proposed amendments to the Constitution will then 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. Organized a reception for new faculty and librarians that was held on 14 December to provide new members with an opportunity to meet members of the current YUFA Executive and staff, to ask questions relating to the Collective Agreement, and to socialize with other recently hired faculty and librarian colleagues.

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.

Task Force on Inclusivity & Diversity
As the YUFA Co-Chair of the Task Force on Inclusivity & Diversity worked with Rhonda Lenton, Associate Vice-President Academic & Vice-Provost, Barry Miller, Executive Director, Faculty Relations, Ida Ferrara, YUFA Equity Officer, and David Northrup, Associate Director, ISR, to prepare the Inclusivity & Diversity Survey Final Report.

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,
YUFA Staff Relations, and
Tri-Agency Framework Compliance group.

Held regular meetings with YFS Executive 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 – Sheila Embleton & Gerard Naddaf

In 2011-12, we have, between us:

Consulted with, assisted, and represented YUFA members in contract-related matters: consulted with a large number of members with a variety of concerns in areas such as tenure and promotion processes, workload, teaching assignments, graduate supervision credits (Appendix O), class size, sabbatical scheduling, requests for LOAWOP (leave of absence without pay), disciplinary matters, Appendix P stipend and release issues, problems with research accounting considered to be harassment, difficult / disruptive students, member-to-member disputes, faculty transfers, cross-appointments, chilly climate and harassment issues, various infrastructural support / working conditions issues, workplace accommodation, irrevocable reduced load, retirement benefits, merit procedures, decanal intervention in hiring processes and in particular in shortlisting, etc. Typically these are handled confidentially, without grievance (while protecting that option if needed); in many cases the advice provided has enabled the YUFA member to reach a satisfactory solution without further intervention from us. Sometimes the matter goes to grievance, but may be resolved (with minutes of settlement) without any need for arbitration. Sometimes the consultation has been around specific issues, such as CIGI, a decanal search being confidential rather than open, and the Glendon French Language Institute. In addition, we worked on a large number of policy grievances, bringing these to the attention of the YUFA Executive, who then voted to grieve on behalf of YUFA. These included: closure of CST, new cross-appointment policy in LA&PS, new teaching load assignment policy and procedure in LA&PS, new hiring policy and procedure in LA&PS, tenure and promotion issues in LA&PS, workload in alternate stream in Biology, a tenure-stream contract for a previous CLA at a lower salary than entitled, distribution of exam booklets, sheer volume of CLAs in LA&PS, workload for CLAs in LA&PS, etc.

Worked on several arbitrations of grievances:
Humanities hiring,
Social Work hiring,
Nursing class size.

In our work described in (1) and (2), we have worked closely with YUFA staff and lawyers, and truly appreciate their knowledge, wisdom, and support. In particular, we work most closely with Monica Mulvihill; we want to acknowledge her huge contribution to YUFA over the last many years and wish her well in her retirement

Chaired meetings and expedited the work of Stewards’ Council:
during discussions of Primary Negotiating Positions,
during discussions of Constitutional and By-law amendment,
during discussions of members’ concerns,
providing reports and updates on grievances and areas of concern, and
ratifying the election / appointments of members to various positions and subcommittees throughout YUFA.

Chaired meetings of YUFA’s Grievance Committee.

Participated actively in regular bi-weekly meetings and special meetings of the YUFA Executive.

Participated in meetings, caucuses and deliberations of the JCOAA, including its subcommittees, such as Long Range Planning.

Attended monthly meetings with YUFA staff (usually Monica) and Barry Miller, at which we review concerns and grievances in an attempt to find quicker and less formal resolutions than full grievances.

Attended bi-monthly meetings of OCUFA’s Grievance Committee; attended annual meeting of CAUT Grievance Officers.

Communications Officer – Jay Rahn

As YUFA’s Communications Officer, I worked principally with Jill Flohil 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 YUFA’s Annual General Meeting, General Membership Meeting, and Special Membership meetings.

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 President Shoukri and Vice-President Academic Monahan, including discussions of the Jim Balsillie CIGI proposal.

Preparation and analysis of member surveys re: the Employer’s implementation of new copyright practices as a basis for a policy grievance and re: workload changes as a basis for JCOAA response.

Preparation and distribution of advisory re: online teaching and preparation of submission to Employer re: student Google g-mail accounts and U.S. Patriot Act.

Preparation and distribution of information re: YUFA Community Projects and membership in Association of Retired Faculty and Librarians (ARFL) for Senior faculty and librarians.

Preparation and distribution via YUFA-M of YUFA Digest issue no. 2, summarizing developments during June 2011-September 2012 re: student enrolments, student-faculty ratios, provincial policies, government funding, faculty salaries, administrative spending, and recent and ongoing negotiations at Ontario universities as well as information on YUFA’s outreach to community organizations.

Equity Officers – Ida Ferrara & 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) was the ACCESS York liaison on the ESC.

We have had some interesting and engaged discussions within the ESC and have held a meeting in both the Fall and the Winter terms, plus we are in the process of scheduling another meeting for May 2012. 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.

Though the possibility of introducing a new Teaching Stream or expanding upon the existing Alternate Stream may be viewed as being rendered moot after a vote by YUFA members, the Equity Officers continued to be proactive in case the issue was raised again by the Employer. Therefore, we initiated an assessment of the equity implications of a Teaching Stream based on experiences at universities in Ontario that have had a Teaching Stream in place for some time, including York. We sent out an online survey to Ontario faculty in Teaching Stream or equivalent positions in Winter 2012 and are in the process of receiving the final responses. We will then analyze the data and prepare a report for Executive.

A number of equity-related issues that had been proposed for inclusion in the new Collective Agreement were approved for inclusion in YUFA’s Primary Negotiating Proposals. Negotiations are at the beginning stages at present. 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.

A proposal for the establishment of two new YUFA recognized equity caucuses, one in regards to ageism and the other for junior faculty and librarians, has been included in the proposed changes to the YUFA Constitution / By-Laws. The changes to the Constitution / By-Laws are currently being discussed by Stewards’ Council and will be brought to the YUFA membership as appropriate. As an Equity Officer, Rose Steele is a member of the Constitution and By-Laws Subcommittee.

Ida Ferrara was the Equity Officer member of the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement and regularly attended those meetings. She was instrumental in analyzing and writing the report from the 2009 Inclusivity and Diversity Survey, which is currently being finalized.

Discussion took place at the ESC around timing, content, and focus for an equity-related forum in the 2011-12 year. However, ESC members recommended that such a forum not be held until the Fall of 2012. Possible dates are being discussed, e.g., early November, but a final date still needs to be determined. The Caucuses were asked to provide suggestions and ideas around format and content.

A draft grievance database was developed by Ida Ferrara. It received enthusiastic support from ESC members who noted that it contained all of the important items that are needed in such a database. The draft database was then presented to the YUFA Personnel Committee, because there are implications for staff workload that need to be considered. A few modifications may be required as we move forward.

Discussion took place within the ESC about the possibility of having a blog or YUFA (non-moderated) listserv for all YUFA members who wished to have discussion on equity issues. It was noted that the new YUFA Website that is currently being constructed will have blog capabilities and should be ready in the near future; therefore, we may be able to use that function. There may also be the possibility of having a RSS feed, as well as an opt-in radio button so YUFA members can choose to participate or not on the Website in discussions about equity. A general equity listserv (non-moderated) may be set up in the interim and/or in addition to the blog, but this issue needs further discussion at the ESC.

The Equity Officers and Brenda Hart (YUFA Executive Associate) met with Barry Miller on 22 February 2012 to discuss equity at York. Specific questions addressed included: 1) Is the Joint Subcommittee on Employment Equity functioning in any way?; 2) How is the Employer working with unions to develop and implement the University Equity Plan?; 3) What is the Employer’s obligation regarding sharing compliance review information?; and 4) How can we work together to encourage open sharing of information about equity, from pre-hiring through hiring, T&P, retention? Discussion was structured around: (i) historical background; (ii) employment equity function; (iii) equity surveys; (iv) the Federal Contractors Program; and (v) the Affirmative Action Program; and covered the following items: (i) University-wide Employment Equity Plan; (ii) Employment Equity as more than just recruitment; (iii) Mentoring Program; (iv) JCOAA subcommittee on Employment Equity; and (v) compliance review.

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). Daniel and Tom have been reappointed by Executive to a second term for the 2012-2014 period. 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 2012-13. We continued to encourage Executive members to abide by the policy of taking release time in the year in which it was awarded rather than banking it. We have been successful in considerably reducing the total amount of outstanding banked release time. Also, I encouraged YUFA to join most other faculty associations in becoming a contributor to the CAUT Academic Freedom Fund to which an allocation was made in the proposed budget presented at the April AGM.

I have also served as one of the Executive representatives to the ongoing Constitutional and By-Laws Subcommittee, which is currently discussing its proposals with Stewards’ Council. I am also one of two Executive members who have been appointed to the bargaining team.

Recording Secretary – Heather Campbell & Danielle Beausoleil

In keeping with By-law 14 h, the minutes for the Executive Committee, General Meetings, and those of the Stewards’ Council were taken.