YUFA response to Provost's message

Dear colleagues,

Most YUFA faculty members have received a message from the Provost, encouraging them to adopt Moodle to record course grades prior to a possible CUPE 3903 strike. Some of our members have asked that YUFA issue a response to this message.

The Provost's letter requests that YUFA faculty members adopt the following measures:

  • ensure they have recorded all grades, including tutorial grades, in their courses for work completed to date by Friday, March 2. The Moodle sites provide a convenient means to record grades on tests and assignments.

YUFA has serious concerns that this message may be an attempt to direct or encourage our members to alter their own course management practices and take on additional or new types of work for the purpose of weakening the bargaining leverage of another campus union. By asking YUFA members to record "tutorial grades," the Provost's message appears to urge at least some of our members to do the work of another union. It also appears to urge YUFA members to obtain the grade records of tutorial leaders earlier than usual because those tutorial leaders may soon be on strike. Based on our information, this request has been sent selectively only to YUFA course directors, not CUPE 3903 course directors.

In short, it appears that the Provost's message may have the effect of turning the members of one group of teaching employees against another. The Provost's letter therefore could be perceived by CUPE 3903 members as an attempt to weaken their union as a strike deadline approaches.

Whether or not this is the case, it is YUFA's view that our members are not obligated to make changes to the management of their courses, or to take on extra teaching-related responsibilities, based on the possibility that there may be a strike.