Negotiations update (March 2024)

Our last negotiations update was provided through a verbal report at the Fall General Meeting. Another verbal report will be provided at the upcoming Spring General Meetings on May 1st.

We have had 16 bargaining sessions with employer representatives, and we have seven more sessions scheduled before June. We are keen to conclude in this academic term, but we do not want to rush to a settlement that isn’t in the best interest of our members.

The tone at the table is congenial, and although we are far apart on several issues, we are making progress. We have not yet embarked on monetary matters.

Our priorities going in were focused on inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Two items under that umbrella were issues facing Indigenous members and working conditions for instructors and lecturers. We have made some satisfying progress on issues identified by indigenous members. Other issues prioritized based on feedback from members over the last 2 years, both from questionnaires and in member engagement meetings, include fairness of assignment of duties, cost of living salary increases, the salary review process and benefits such as sabbatical leave expenses.

We have had many discussions regarding without term instructors and lecturers, and we believe there is agreement from the Employer that the precarity and workload of these appointments, and the undervaluing of teaching needs to be addressed. The Employer has proposed a tenurable teaching stream, and we are hoping to find convergence of interests on improving working conditions of instructors and lecturers through this proposal. We have some way to go, but we are optimistic.

Based on feedback from members, our principles and needs around addressing working conditions for instructors and lecturers include:

  1. The workload and tasks associated with all aspects of teaching must be defined, acknowledged, and recognized
  2. The limit on the number of credit units Instructors and Lecturers can teach must be lower than it is
  3. The student-to-instructor ratio must be limited in a clinical setting
  4. Total hours per day in the hospital setting must be limited as well
  5. Those with teaching-specific appointments should be considered separately from teacher-scholars in the salary review process
  6. Instructors and Lecturers should be permitted to participate in collegial processes such as search committees for Department Heads, and salary review
  7. Instructors and Lecturers deserve job security, and better pay
  8. Instructors and Lecturers deserve time for sabbatical, or professional development leaves to update credentials, prepare for new program development, and so on
  9. Instructors and Lecturers deserve unbroken blocks of vacation
  10. Teacher scholar faculty must continue to be the primary appointment type for academic employees at U of S
  11. Overall, our Agreement must endorse value of and respect for teaching-focussed positions

How these interests will ultimately be reflected in language is still unknown. However, we, the Association and the Employer, agree in principle in establishing a teaching stream, with a salary grid that is better than what Instructors and Lecturers have now, and with a greater degree of job security.

We will provide a further update at the Spring General Meeting on May 1st. Please plan to attend.

Find out about recent collective agreement settlements from other academic workplaces.