Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Friday: Solidarity Rally with CUPE 926 at Laurier

From the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA):

There will be a solidarity rally for Wilfrid Laurier University workers in CUPE 926 who are currently on strike this Friday, July 15, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The location of the rally is 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo.

CUPE 926 represents custodians, groundskeepers and tradespeople at the university. The dispute is centred on the employer’s attempts to remove contracting-out language from their agreement, and contract out custodial work, creating lower-paid, less-secure positions. The other key issue has been the claw back of post-retirement benefits. The administration’s very aggressive approach to bargaining has implications not only for CUPE 926 but for all faculty and staff at Wilfrid Laurier and across the province.

Read the letter from OCUFA president Judy Bates to Laurier president Max Blouw.

For more information about the rally from CUPE, you can phone 905.739.9739 or email: info@cupe.on.ca.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quia nunc vale


Sally Gunz, FAUW President
 
On behalf of all board members of FAUW past, present and future, I would like to offer my most sincere thanks to David Porreca for his amazing service to FAUW.
 
David was a board member from July 2009 to June 2016, he was president from July 2013 to June 2015, and for the past year he has been an invaluable past president. I can safely say I would not have survived this last year without David's wise counsel and always gracious assistance. David has continued to serve in some of the most time consuming and valuable roles for FAUW and is one of those quiet and one hundred percent dependable/reliable colleagues who is always ready to step up and do one more task. His work is always of the highest quality; thoughtful, careful, and wise.
 
David, we will miss you as you head off to your well-earned and much deserved sabbatical. Thank you for everything.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

An Update on Compassionate and Bereavement Leaves

Sally Gunz, FAUW President

A few weeks ago you received a statement on leave entitlements from the provost and myself. No sooner than it had gone out than I received an email reminding me we had forgotten to discuss compassionate and bereavement leaves. This is entirely correct.

FYI, bereavement leaves are short and are covered by university guidelines.

Compassionate leave is trickier. Ontario's Employment Standards Act ensures job protection for up to eight weeks of Family Caregiver Leave, eight weeks of Family Medical Leave (in circumstances of imminent death of a family member), and up to 37 weeks of Critically Ill Child Care Leave. As of now they are unpaid, although there may be eligibility for employment insurance benefits. Information is available on the Human Resources Website (see the section on Employment Standards Act (ESA) Leaves).

FAUW raised the issue of lack of a clear policy or guideline for compassionate leaves, and the terms of reference for the new committee reviewing Policy 14, Pregnancy and Parental Leave (Including Adoption) have been extended to allow for the consideration of inclusion of this (and possibly other) leaves. While these may seem unrelated life events, in fact the principles behind the leaves are very similar. Certainly the entitlements should be clarified by policy.

I thank those who brought these issues to my attention.

Note: Additional updates on ongoing issues are provided in today's President's Newsletter, available on the FAUW website.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How You Can Support Faculty in Fort McMurray

Without question, everyone has been saddened and shocked by the stories and images of the wildfires in Fort McMurray. As widely communicated through the media, the best way each and every one of us can currently help is by donating to the Canadian Red Cross online or by texting REDCROSS to 30333.

Anyone interested in supporting this important cause can also offer help to the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association (ACIFA) as ACIFA will be coordinating communication and relief offers from colleagues across the country. It is expected that ACIFA will provide some direct support to faculty members through the Keyano College Faculty Association.

Your generous help to support colleagues in Alberta going through this hardship will be very much appreciated. To inquire, please contact Doug Short, President of ACIFA at dougs@nait.ca, or the ACIFA office:

ACIFA
Suite 412, 10357 109 Street
Edmonton, AB
T5J 1N3
Tel: (780) 423-4440
Fax: (780) 423-4515
pam.anderson@acifa.ca
ben.turner@acifa.ca



Yes, You Are Entitled and Expected to Take Your Leaves

Sally Gunz, FAUW President

Early this month, a joint statement on leaves was sent out from the Provost and myself. This was a long time in the writing and even still we have omitted reference to compassionate leaves which we will correct in due course. Nonetheless, it is important that everyone understand why we prepared this statement.

We hear from time to time that members are not taking various leaves in part or in full because of concerns about the cost to their departments or individuals within them. We want to stress that the university expects you to take these leaves and that cost should not be your concern.

If a department does indeed experience an undue burden, we have been told over and over again, this should be passed on to senior levels. The key is to understand that the leaves are there to ensure you have a successful and healthy career. You are expected to take them. You enhance your department, your faculty and the university when your career is successful. If you are encountering obstacles, please contact FAUW for advice and assistance.

Monday, April 18, 2016

FAUW Highlights: Visiting the School of Pharmacy

The FAUW Board recognizes that the University of Waterloo includes satellite campuses as well as the main campus. In mid-April, the FAUW Board took a field trip to the School of Pharmacy, located at the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus. This experience was the perfect opportunity for the FAUW Board to learn more about the perspectives, ideas, and innovations of a key University group.

On April 14, several Pharmacy faculty members participated in an informal discussion, which was strengthened by the various career stages represented at the table. The FAUW Board gained insight into a distinctive feature of the School of Pharmacy which is the amazing number of team-taught courses. Team-teaching ensures that each expert can connect with students at the appropriate place in the curriculum by sharing their knowledge on a specific topic. It is clear that Pharmacy faculty members function as a team in the classroom. Needless to say, the Board greatly appreciates the time Pharmacy faculty members took out of their busy schedules to meet with us!

As the official representative of all regular faculty members at the University of Waterloo, FAUW is continuously interested in the thoughts, questions & concerns of all University faculty. The FAUW Board strongly encourages any faculty member to contact FAUW at fauw@uwaterloo.ca anytime a question or issue comes up which is relevant to FAUW. We want to hear from you!

FAUW Highlights is a series of regular updates from the FAUW Board, written by Elise Lepage and Shannon Gordon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

FAUW Highlights: Meet SWEC, the Status of Women & Equity Committee

Greetings FAUWers,

Earlier this month, this blog explored the value of balanced and inclusive representation on the FAUW Board. With that theme in mind, we would now like to introduce you to the University’s Status of Women & Equity Committee, known across campus as ‘SWEC.’ The mandate of SWEC is to educate, advise, and advocate on matters related to the status of women, and broader equity issues such as those arising from gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, or gender identity.

SWEC is one of three major equity-promoting initiatives on campus, including the Office of Equity as an administrative body, and the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign (which many of you are likely aware of!). Each one plays a distinct role in improving the equity climate at Waterloo.

SWEC, a standing committee of FAUW, is composed of a diverse group of individuals with strong interests and experience in equity issues. With members from each of the six faculties, as well as one librarian, SWEC follows a community-based approach. In addition to liaising with related University committees, SWEC has a working relationship with the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). SWEC Chair, Dr. Kathleen Rybczynski, also sits on FAUW Board of Directors as an Ex-officio/non-voting member of the Board.

To better serve as a proponent of equity, SWEC is in the process of broadening their community outreach. With the aim to create a locus of communication for equity initiatives, SWEC is currently redesigning their website content and would love your feedback (email Laura McDonald or Kathleen Rybczynski). If you are looking to connect on equity across campus, please contact us.

Each year, SWEC recognizes exceptional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity at UW with the annual Equity and Inclusivity Award. This month, SWEC is celebrating the achievements of FemPhys and its co-founders Sarah Kaiser, Emma McKay, and Jennifer Reid. Their leadership, and their organization of public lectures, mentoring nights, and community-building social gatherings, have improved the equity environment at UW, particularly for women in Physics and Astronomy as well as within the broader STEM community.

FAUW Highlights is a series of regular updates from the FAUW Board, written by Elise Lepage and Shannon Gordon.