By Hugh Grant, UWFA President
Welcome back to the new teaching term. I trust everyone has had a break from teaching and had the opportunity to push your research forward. Over the summer months, UWFA has been busy preparing for what promises to be an eventful year. So without further ado, I’d like to address the issues of immediate concern.
The new UWFA Council, which began its work in May 2013, found itself immediately engaged in collective bargaining matters for the Regular Academic Staff contract, which expired on 31 March 2013. Over the summer we were gratified to appoint a talented Negotiating Team (Chief Negotiator Ed Byard, Richard Jochelson, Manish Pandey and Lisa McGifford) and to strike three committees to advise Council on Salaries and Benefits, Workload and Governance.
By Lisa McGifford, UWFA Executive Director
Over the summer months most of our energy was directed toward assembling and convening the committees necessary for collective bargaining. Although bargaining preparations have been front and centre over the summer, at UWFA we still continue to engage in our usual activities.
One of those somewhat seasonal activities is meeting with candidates for positions in the RAS bargaining unit. These meetings benefit the UWFA by providing early contact with potential members and by providing applicants with an opportunity to ask question which DPC members may feel uncomfortable answering. For many of the people with whom I meet, it is the first time that anyone has explained to them the role of a collective agreement with respect to beginning a new position. Most of them do contact UWFA for more information in the event of receiving an offer. We have an opportunity to meet with them once again at the new faculty orientation that is held in late August.