Responding to queries in the Political Science Department about the UTFA election…

Last week an email circulated in the Political Science Department, by Prof. Nelson Wiseman, a member of the department, which many believe contained inaccurate information. Two members of UTFA have written a response. Requests to post the two emails were sent to the senders. Prof. Judith Teichman and Prof. Michael Donnelly have agreed to share their explanations with the community. Here is their response to the points in the first email distributed:

Dear colleagues,

We are writing to offer a somewhat different view than that provided by Nelson in his recent email to political science faculty.  We have been closely involved in UTFA matters; currently both of us are members of the bargaining team and Judith has served on the UTFA Executive since 2009.   We draw your attention to the attached letter from Scott Prudham, which will be distributed to faculty mailboxes this week.

We are voting for Prudham because he has consistently worked to transform both the Faculty Association itself, by making it more consultative, responsive and open to member engagement, as well as the Association’s relationship with the University Administration, by seeking to institutionalize the principles of collegiality and shared governance. These are features that should be the hallmarks of one of the most widely admired institutions of higher education in Canada. His exemplary record speaks for itself:

It is clear that Prudham’s is not a pro-certification platform. He is leading a negotiation process that is based on reform of our current framework via expansion of the existing bargaining process prescribed in the Memorandum of Agreement. This is a path that he and the bargaining team developed in broad consultation with membership through surveys and focus groups over the past two years. It has been endorsed by UTFA Council. It is a middle path between those who are firmly convinced that certification is necessary in order to achieve goals of shared governance and those who reject certification for various understandable reasons. And Scott is the lead negotiator seeking to enact this middle path. His demonstrated record is as someone who listens and acts based on what is in the best interests of the Association.

Should the views of Council shift through the process of seeking reform, certification is not something Council, or the UTFA President, can start or stop on their own. There is a legally prescribed procedure that involves the full membership.

On the matter of exorbitant costs,  we have inquired and have seen the invoice  showing that the combined cost of the bargaining survey and the administration of the presidential vote is $1,390, not  $6000. UTFA contracted Big Pulse for these tasks in response to concerns of members that Survey Monkey is not secure in terms of protecting confidentiality.

Please read the statements of both candidates, communicate with them if you can (,, and, most importantly, do vote.

All best,   Michael Donnelly, Judith Teichman

This entry was posted in Academic freedom, Academic governance, University of Toronto, UTFA, UTFA Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

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