Summary of YUFA May 11th Drop-In Session on 2021 Fall Planning

Dear YUFA Colleagues,

The YUFA Executive Committee thanks each of the colleagues who participated in YUFA’s Drop-In Session on May 11th to discuss senior administration’s directives in their May 6th message, “Principles to Guide 2021-2022 Course Planning.” 

The incredible turnout, especially by younger faculty, on very short notice, demonstrates the necessity for YUFA to strengthen its capacity for collective strategies and action. We were given less than a week to respond to instructions about planning teaching arrangements in Fall 2021 while still in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Our members are faced with intensified health and safety concerns, increased workload (this has not been recognized or credited since the beginning of the pandemic), and disproportionate burdens experienced by the most vulnerable members among us, including non-tenured faculty, equity-seeking colleagues, colleagues with caregiving responsibilities, Teaching Stream faculty and contractualized faculty such as CLAs and SRCs.

You can read a summary of member concerns raised at the May 11th Drop-In by clicking on the four headings listed below:

Health and Safety
Accommodations;
Workload and Pedagogy
Necessity of a Collective Response

Our intention is that this dialogue among members will help YUFA to develop and enact a strong collective response to these challenges, based on firm and clear definitions and understanding of the medical science, the Collective Agreement, and any special arrangements made necessary by the unique circumstances of this pandemic.

While the senior administration’s May 6th “Principles” document states that “this planning is being undertaken only to create flexibility for a more robust return to the campuses,” it appears that most Deans are directing units to achieve minimum levels (up to 50%) of in-person teaching. Rather than enhancing flexibility, this directive indicates that the administration has appropriated the right to determine mode of delivery in violation of our collective agreement. The senior administration has also imposed an unreasonable deadline of May 14th for units to make these determinations, which many members propose should be challenged.

YUFA representatives will be meeting with York’s senior administration to discuss these matters. We will insist that units need more than four business days for units to make determinations around modes of delivery for courses in the Fall.

In the meantime, YUFA’s Executive Committee and Staff have drawn up and distributed preliminary guidelines that members and units may use to assert their collective agreement rights, click here.

YUFA will be continuing our dialogue with members and will be issuing further statements on how members can get involved and participate.

We invite all colleagues who need immediate advice to contact us at [email protected]