contract faculty campaign

Notification of Workload by Email

| October 21, 2015

It has come to our attention that Mona Nouroozifar is planning to implement a new system of informing Full-Time faculty of their Winter Semester workloads. This letter is designed to inform you of your rights under the Collective Agreement concerning workload assignment.

We have been told that Mona proposes to inform faculty of tentative course assignments by e-mail, soliciting feedback from faculty during Study Week meetings. Other managers might do this as well. Article 11 of the Collective Agreement reads, in part:

Prior to the establishment of a total workload for any teacher the supervisor shall discuss the proposed workload with the teacher and complete the SWF, attached as Appendix I, to be provided by . . . the supervisor to the teacher not later than six weeks prior to the beginning of the period covered by the timetable excluding holidays and vacations.

In short, you are welcome to treat any e-mails from your manager about upcoming course assignments as a “heads-up” about some details of your next semester’s workload assignment, and an opportunity for you to discuss which courses you wish to teach. You have the right to such a discussion, and if Study Week is not a convenient time for you to meet because of the work associated with your semester’s teaching and professional development, you have the right to request a SWF meeting at a different time, provided that it does not impede your receiving a SWF six weeks prior to the beginning of the next semester, excluding holidays and vacations.

However, you should understand that your SWF—not an e-mail from your manager—represents your actual workload assignment. Even if you consent to the proposed course allocation sent to you by e-mail, you are perfectly within your rights to object to the workload when you receive your SWF for the next semester, even if it contains the courses you previously approved.

This is because the SWF includes many workload factors beyond the simple allocation of courses: Factors including class sizes, preparation time, modes of evaluation for each course, and the time provided to evaluate each student in each course. Only when you see the SWF can you understand the true scope of workload expected of you.

For example, you may agree by e-mail to teach four sections of course XYZ123, only to realize when getting your SWF that the proposed sections actually have an unexpectedly high number of students assigned, and/or would require new modes of course delivery. You would have the right to refer your SWF to the Workload Monitoring Group for either or both of those reasons, or completely different ones.

You can refer your SWF for review by the Workload Monitoring Group by checking the box marked “Refer Proposed Workload to Workload Monitoring Group”, writing down your concerns about the SWF in the space provided, signing, and returning the SWF to your manager. You have five days to refer your SWF, after receiving it. We encourage you to e-mail us if you refer your SWF.

You may contact us at any time if you would like to go over your SWF, to see if it accurately reflects your true workload, and whether it requires revision.

The Local 560 Members of the Workload Monitoring Group

Daria Magas-Zamaria (dariazamaria@gmail.com)
Paul Matson (paulmatson@sympatico.ca)
Larry Olivo (lolivo@opseu560.org)
Jonathan Singer (jsinger@opseu560.org)

Category: Workload

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