As UTFA members know, the SJAC process is currently underway to negotiate and modernize our Memorandum of Agreement. The University of Toronto Faculty Association is not certified like most other Canadian Faculty Associations (more than 90% are certified, giving their faculty associations legal authority within provincial labour laws). UTFA is not certified. But, we do have a MoA (written in 1978) which addresses some of the usual collective agreement items. But, it needs to be updated.
For librarians, this is crucial. We need to have a process in the MoA by which we can negotiate updates to our appointments and promotion policies with Administration (but not spend years on it, so we need a process that facilitates reaching an agreement). We are currently discussing this in the SJAC process. Remember, UTFA was told by members in a past survey on the subject that retaining the ‘status quo’ was not acceptable. We have a clear mandate to modernize the MoA and obtain up-to-date policies.
On April 12, at our last scheduled date for meeting with Frank Iacobucci, QC, facilitator for both teams, it was suggested that it would be in our interest to give the talks a little more time. We had Iacobucci’s guidance for three days, in which more progress was made than meeting with representatives of Administration for two years. At our next UTFA Council meeting (Wed. April 23, just before the AGM), UTFA Council will be asked if they are in agreement to extend our talks with Administration. This topic will be discussed at the AGM. We (all librarians) need to attend and show strong support for change at the AGM. Remember we began to work on modernizing the Policy for Librarians in the mid-2000 when Rea Devakos, with others and CAUT, began the work. There has been progress and, most importantly, we have the full support of faculty and UTFA Council. Let’s show we care and turn up for the AGM! A reception follows at the faculty club.
As you know the following jointly approved news release was sent out to the community:
” April 15, 2014
On Saturday, April 12, representatives of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and the University administration met for the third of three scheduled days of facilitation in the Special Joint Advisory Committee process. The SJAC was created to address numerous issues, including (i) possible changes to appointments policies for both faculty streams; (ii) the role of faculty and librarians in academic planning; and (iii) review of the strengths, weaknesses and options for modernization of the Memorandum of Agreement prescribing UTFA’s role.
Based on the discussion on April 12, the facilitator, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, has recommended that the SJAC facilitation process should continue. This recommendation is based on his assessment that there is sufficient potential for UTFA and the University administration to reach agreement on SJAC issues. The parties will respond formally to the facilitator’s recommendation within two weeks.
The parties would like to thank Mr. Iacobucci for his assistance to date.”