The 2012–2013 year is already shaping up to be an interesting one…

The 2012–2013 year is already shaping up to be an interesting one. The recent special meeting of the General Academic Assembly was history-making and those of you who attended should give yourselves a pat on the back for being a part of it. Your participation in University governance is important to ensuring a vibrant institution.

There are also matters coming to the fore that will keep Association Grievance Committee members busy this fall. A primary responsibility of the USFA is administering the Collective Agreement and ensuring that rights afforded to USFA members are protected. Of course, details of these matters are confidential, but we will keep you apprised as much as possible.

The end of this academic year will mark the expiration of our current Collective Agreement and much of what we will be undertaking this year will centre on negotiations. At the forefront of our preparations for bargaining is seeking your input. We began last spring with Bargaining Updates about compensation and benefits and we are asking our Faculty Association Representatives (FARs) to gather feedback from you on these and other issues. Of course, feel free to provide your feedback directly to members of our Negotiating Committee. You can contact them through the USFA website (

While Negotiations will be a large part of our work over the coming months, there are other important initiatives underway. We continue to work on building the involvement of members in the union. We have had some success, but we know we have more work to do. Let us know how we can help you to get involved and watch for information about USFA meetings and events so you can attend. Getting involved is as simple as attending our two General Meetings each year.

We are also going to continue our efforts with regards to communications. Besides publications like this Newsletter, we are going to stick with quick snippets in our e-Letters, the occasional issue of Collectively Speaking and updates as negotiations progress. We also want to hear from you. Reply to e-Letters, call the USFA office or contact Executive Committee Members. Let us know, too, if there are matters you would like us to address in communications.

As we move through the rest of the forthcoming academic year, remember, the USFA is here to assist you. We are a resource during your career here. Please do contact the USFA Office, Executive Committee members or staff if you have any questions or concerns.