YUFA members have alerted YUFA to a new LA&PS Workload 'Framework' document that was released by the Dean’s Office to LA&PS Chairs and Directors on April 20th.
YUFA has identified several potential violations of the collective agreement in this document which the Association communicated to the Employer through the most recent JCOAA meeting on April 25th and also through written correspondence following this meeting.
YUFA advises LA&PS units to hold off on using this document as a basis from which to alter or revise existing unit workload documents until YUFA and the Employer address these issues. Units in LA&PS should also not feel compelled to revise or update teaching load documents for submission to the Dean’s Office, unless units have already decided to do so as part of normal collegial processes.
Past practice has been that units do not submit teaching workload documents following the ratification of the collective agreement. While this language does exist in the YUFA collective agreement (Article 18.08.1), as negotiated into the 2006-2009 collective agreement, the Employer has not relied on this language in any subsequent bargaining rounds since 2006. In response to this reference in the LA&PS Workload 'Framework,' YUFA has given notice of estoppel to the Employer that they cannot enforce this language when this has not been the practice between the parties. (Estoppel is a legal mechanism by which one party is prevented – or “estopped” – from departing from a longstanding past practice, or suddenly deciding to enforce language in a collective agreement clause that has gone unchallenged, without providing notice to the party being disadvantaged by the change and the opportunity to bargain better terms. To learn more about the legal doctrine of estoppel as applied in labour law, click on this link to UBCFA’s article.)
While this ‘Framework’ document is specific to one faculty, YUFA is concerned that Deans in other Faculties may decide to release similar sorts of ‘guides’. The Association advises units that they should not feel compelled to revise or alter existing workload documents unless colleagues themselves have determined there is a need to do so. If similar documents are released in other Faculties, members are encouraged to inform YUFA immediately.
Finally, YUFA was surprised and disappointed not to have received a draft of this document prior to its dissemination to units, especially given how this document interacts directly with the collective agreement. In fact, the LA&PS Dean’s issuance of a pending workload framework document has been a standing item on the agenda of monthly Joint Committee of the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA) meetings since the fall of 2021. In these regular meetings between YUFA and the Employer, Dean McMurtry sits as an Employer representative. The JCOAA is the proper place for such a document to be discussed between the parties prior to its dissemination. YUFA had requested advance notice of a draft document to provide feedback so as to proactively problem solve possible issues with the Employer. Instead, YUFA was notified of this document’s dissemination from members.
Included below is a summary of several key YUFA objections to the ‘LA&PS Workload Framework’ document.
In the coming days, YUFA will update members on the Employer’s response to YUFA’s concerns and further actions that the Association may take on this issue.
YUFA’s Objections to the LA&PS Workload Framework document include:
• The LA&PS Dean’s Office’s use of collective agreement language (a section of Article 18.08.1) that has never been relied upon before but which the Employer is now using to require units to submit workload documents upon renewal of the collective agreement; this is a change in practice between the parties and YUFA has provided notice that the Employer is estopped from enforcing the actual language of the collective agreement.
• The Employer’s assumption that faculty with Special Renewable Contract (SRC) positions are always teaching stream appointments. The parties have previously agreed that in certain circumstances, a unit can propose a professorial SRC position. This needs to be reflected in the document.
• The Dean’s assertion of minimum teaching loads for Teaching stream (tenurable), CLA Professorial, CLA Teaching Stream, and SRC positions. YUFA objects to the unilateral assertion of such minimum teaching loads.
• At the end of the document, it is implied that professorial faculty must be granted the 18.15 research release to be granted sabbatical. YUFA’s position is that such an implication violates the collective agreement.
YUFA guidance to all members and units regarding unit workload documents:
1. Hold off on using this “Framework” (and any similar) document as a basis to revise or alter unit workload documents until further notice.
2. Refer to the collective agreement on all matters related to workload.
3. Contact YUFA for further support.