Stewards Report to TRUFA 2017 AGM
Submitted by: Michael Looney and Krista Lussier, Co-Chief Stewards, TRUFA
TRUFA’s Stewards Committee is comprised of 11 members elected at large at our annual AGM. We have 9 Stewards from the Kamloops campus and 2 Stewards from Williams Lake. Each Steward is elected for a two-year term and roughly, half of the positions are up for election every year. Since May 2016, our committee was functioning with a Chief Steward with 100% release plus the two Deputy Stewards one with 50% release and the other with 37.5 % release as there was a backlog of grievances and investigations to wade through. The Stewards group has been a very active hardworking group of individuals and we want to thank all of them for their service!
The last three to four years have been very challenging with strained relations with conflict-laden relationship with TRU’s senior administration. In December 2016, we had 15 active grievances and 27 issues either under investigation or in discussion with management. Since early January, Krista Lussier and Mike Looney have been co-chairing the committee within their current release time, and with the committee’s support, significant progress was made in resolving all of our outstanding grievances and issues. Since the beginning of January both parties have a renewed commitment to resolve all of our outstanding grievances and issues, and going forward we want to focus on some of the broader issues which have been problematic over the last few years. Today we have 1 active grievance and 11 issues under investigation.
We are currently working with the employer to address the following:
- Faculty Complement. The University is committed to maintaining an overall complement of tenured and tenure-track faculty to non-regular in a ratio of 70/30 with individual faculties and schools within a 60/40 ratio. We have new language in Article 5.4.1 which provides step by step procedures for addressing faculty complement.
- Article 10.3.2.4 Changes to workload. We will be working to define what constitutes “significant change” for the purpose of adjusting individual faculty members workload within the year it is assigned.
- Off-cycle hires. We have had a number of issues which arose as a result of off-cycle hires i.e.: not hired on July 1. (performance reviews, annual increments, etc.).
- Active Grievance: Working to develop a process to ensure benefit coverage for continuing sessional members reflects actual workload. This is expected to be in place before the start of the next academic year.
In summary, it’s evident that both sides are taking a more collegial approach and it appears to be paying off for our membership as a whole.