A recent communiqué from the YUFA Union representing tenured and special contract faculty has shown support for the Union’s demands for the SRC programme. SRC stands for ‘Special Renewable Contract’ and is designed as a programme to give contract faculty (without tenure) more job security and increased compensation. Currently the Union is demanding,
Re-establish program that guarantees movement of a certain number of members (67) who have been teaching intensively for 10 years or more to YUFA teaching pool. We are asking for a course load defined by YUFA (between 3 and 3.5), for annual salary of $75,000, for an initial term of five years that is easily renewable and eligible for sabbatical. (source)
and the University has offered,
Long Service Teaching Contracts, course load of 4 at $60,000 (which is approx. 3000 more than the current Unit 2 wage rate for four CDs) with an evergreen pool, initial term of five years subject to academic need and availability, rejection of sabbatical. The employer has added a service component but they have not reduced workload.
Additionally the Union has been demanding conversion of 10 Unit 2 (contract faculty) CUPE members to tenured positions for every year of the contract length and is demanding that the volume of work (that is, courses to be taught) will not go below the 2007-2008 levels. The University has not moved on either of the latter demands and there is currently a freeze on tenure appointments until further notice (source).
The SRC programme has been in service previous to this strike and the Union is demanding a renewal of the agreement and improved conversions.
Here is the communiqué:
YUFA communiqué: YUFA says YES to SRCs
A fair and equitable resolution to this dispute will only be achieved by addressing promptly the precarious work situation of York University‘s many long serving, high intensity contract faculty.
YUFA supports the resumption of a program similar to the SRC program that is in the YUFA Collective Agreement (Article 12.32). This program was negotiated by CUPE 3903 and the Employer, along with YUFA, in 1999. The program applied to a fixed pool of 42 people with 15+ years of high intensity work as contract faculty. Over a five year period, all the people in the pool (under age 65), received a five year YUFA contract, with a provision for a further five year contract (and recently a further three year contract).
1. Contract faculty members teach over 50% of undergraduate classes at York.
2. Contract faculty members, with years of higher education, are only hired sessionally. They must reapply every year, with no guarantee on how many courses, or which courses they will be assigned. On the other hand, units depend on them for essential contributions to undergraduate teaching.
3. Contract faculty members are used by the Employer for inexpensive teaching, under difficult conditions. They are hired with a salary and provision of benefits which are a fraction of the cost for full-time faculty teaching the same number of courses. When this condition becomes long-term, it is very difficult for contract teachers to achieve a decent pension or to make plans for their futures.
4. There are 20 CUPE Unit II faculty with 20+ years, 18 more with 15-19 years of service, and 30 more with 10-14 years of service.
5. These people will continue to teach – the question is under what conditions, and with what other contributions to York University and our students? The current SRC program worked for most individuals and many units. We can work together to make a new program also contribute to York University.
YUFA condemns the casualization of labour at York University, with its reliance on increasing contingent labour and precarious employment. This casualization also increases the service load of YUFA members as retirements are not replaced, and CUPE people are hired to teach but not to do the companion work connected to academic planning and administration and graduate supervision.
Any SRC type program negotiated this year will be paid from the CUPE bargaining envelope, not the YUFA negotiations next spring. Any changes needed to our Collective Agreement will be brought to a ratification vote by YUFA members.
YUFA will continue to work with CUPE 3903 on this issue and calls on the Employer to seriously address this major concern in order to reach a speedy resolution. YUFA has offered to join in tripartite discussions of such a program, which will begin once there is a basic agreement between the Employer and CUPE that some program for these faculty members should be part of the CUPE contract.
YUFA Ad Hoc CUPE Support & Communications Committee