Alberta University of the Arts Faculty Association
President's Report | June 2021
My Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I want to first wish you a healthy and restful vacation. I know how hard you have all worked over the last eighteen continuous months.
There has been much change over the course of the pandemic, and not just learning how to teach our course online. I suspect the Fall semester will bring new challenges and a return to some old ones.
I would like to share some questions and ideas for you to think about the summer. The first thing is this: if you are on vacation as a permanent faculty member or a sessional member who is on or off contract, you are owed renumeration should the university asks you to do work over this vacation period. You will find information about this in the Collective Agreement (articles 12.02 and 10.09). I would encourage you to seek renumeration for any such work you do for the University during this time.
The University has decided to close the facility over the summer to faculty. This is a change in access, and not due to the pandemic. This issue is separate from the institution assigning us work over the summer. I cannot think of a single other university in Canada that has taken this stance. It is very unusual to halt research activities, in this manner. If you have been affected by this choice, please do let me know. This decision will potentially impact those of you who have grants (and other funding) and those of you who are doing those primary activities that lead to a body of work or writing.
The dissemination of what we create and make in all of its forms is what creates an opportunity for recruitment and retention of faculty and students. By being active in our making and thinking practices, we remain at the bleeding edge of our respective disciplines. We add to the academic record, and to the discourse and context of contemporary practice. When we show or present our work, there are potential students who see and hear what we do. As a group, our work is seen and read all over the world. We have a global reach.
Just a reminder: anyone entering the university building is covered under the Workmen’s Compensation Board, whether you are a student, staff or the general public.
We are still in negotiations. The Negotiations Advisory Committee (Chair: Marty Kaufman; Members: Laurel Johannesson, Chris Willard; Alternate: Colin Martin; Labour Relations Officer: Brian McCulloch) will be sitting at the table starting early September 2021. I thank them one and all for the extraordinary attention and thought they are bringing to negotiations.
We find ourselves in a very different climate when it comes to bargaining. As you all know there were several changes to legislation over the last few years. This will impact how we bargain. If you are curious about some of these changes, I have added some hyperlinks to this letter.
BILL 7: AN ACT TO ENHANCE POST-SECONDARY ACADEMIC BARGAINING (google this)
Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs
I would also like to thank Tanya Rusnak for all the work and effort she put in as AUAFA Grievance Councillor. She has been extraordinary in that role. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. That means there will be a position open on the AUAFA Executive. Think about joining us in the good fight.
Please if you have any questions over the summer please don’t hesitate to reach out. I will be occasionally checking my work email, and I am always available on my mobile (unless I am birdwatching): 403-471-0813.
There will be more to discuss in the Fall, as we return to work.
In Solidarity and friendship,
Vacant positions 21/22
AUAFA Grievance Officer
AUArts Health & Safety Committee Rep