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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, April 9, 1999

  • Faculty reach salary settlement
  • More faculty association notes
  • Same-sex partners share benefits
  • Spring schedules in the mail
  • April chill ushers in exams
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Faculty reach salary settlement

With an arbitrator waiting in the wings to make a final offer selection, an eleventh hour salary settlement for 1999-2000 was reached this week after months of negotiations betweeen the university and the faculty association.

Under the agreement, some 700 faculty members will receive a scale increase of 1.5 per cent -- the same settlement reached by UW staff last month. As well, merit increases based on performances ratings will go up by an extra one-quarter this year.

The agreement, which runs from May 1, 1999, to April 30, 2000, also provides an increase in the maximum annual amount of the faculty professional expense reimbursement from $1,220 to $1,300. In the past, increases to this figure -- used to fund purchases to support teaching and research -- have been tied to the Canadian Consumer Price Index. While this agreement overrides that practice, it calls for subsequent increases to again be tied to the CPI.

As in the staff settlement, the option to exchange one week of vacation allowance for a two per cent increase in salary for a period of up to three years prior to retirement has been extended to April 30, 2005.

The accord was reached on Tuesday with the help of the arbitrator, Don Carter, a law professor from Queen's University. Meetings with a mediator last month had failed to achieve a resolution. "I'm very pleased we were able to reach a negotiated agreement with the association," said Jim Kalbfleisch, vice-president (academic) and provost. "I believe it's a reasonable and fair agreement, and I appreciate the care and hard work of all involved in negotiating it."

However, the result "is slightly more than I had allowed for" in planning the 1999-2000 budget, he added. Still outstanding are contracts with graduate student teaching assistants and some 270 employees who are members of CUPE Local 793. The current CUPE contract expires at the end of April, and dates have not yet been set for the start of negotiations.

More faculty association notes

Membership in the faculty association has gone up slightly since a new rule started requiring that all faculty members pay dues "or equivalent" whether they choose to be members or not.

As of March, the association had 459 members, up from 450 last November, 443 a year ago, and 427 in November 1997. The current figure represents 63 per cent of the 725 people who are eligible to be members, says a report presented to the association's annual meeting on Wednesday.

"It remains the case," says political science professor John Wilson, chair of the membership committee, "that membership in the Association is voluntary, and those who are contributing through the Rand Formula but have not formally joined the Association are not eligible to participate in the affairs of the Association.

"We recognize that a number of these people do not wish to have anything to do with the Association but it is our hope that at least some of them will decide to join."

Membership is strongest in the faculty of arts, where 72 per cent of professors belong to the association, and weakest in the faculty of mathematics at 55 per cent. In addition to 452 professors, the membership includes 7 professional librarians. The association has been negotiating to represent the 30 professional librarians at UW, so far without success.

Wednesday's annual meeting heard reports from various committees of the faculty association, including the academic freedom and tenure committee, which had an update on this previously reported case:

Professor W alleged that, by being induced to take early retirement during the SERP program, and through other actions, he was "constructively dismissed" by the University. He appealed to FAUW for assistance, and an adviser was assigned. Professor W appealed, under the terms of Policy 53, to an external adjudicator, Kenneth P. Swan. The University contested Swan's jurisdiction, but, in his "Preliminary Award" of September 19, 1997, he ruled that he did indeed have jurisdiction and would hear the case. After several days of hearings in February 1999, the adjudicator ruled in favour of the University.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, results of the annual FAUW elections were announced. There was little suspense this year, as Fred McCourt of chemistry was acclaimed to a third one-year term as president of the association, and five candidates took five vacant seats on the association board. Anne Fullerton of the library, Vera Golini of St. Jerome's University, Len Guelke of geography, and John Wilson of political science were elected to two-year terms. Alicja Muszynski of sociology will serve a one-year term.

Same-sex partners share benefits

A revised definition of "spouse" was approved this week by the UW board of governors, giving the same pension benefits to partners of the same and/or opposite sex. The move brings the pension plan in line with UW benefits, which already recognizes the expanded definition.

The change "will have no financial impact on the Pension Plan," said Jim Kalbfleisch, provost and chair of the pension and benefits committee.

A year ago, the board of governors approved a reduction of the cohabitation requirement for benefits from two years to one continuous year, and extended benefits to same-sex partners. At that time, the Income Tax Act still defined spouse, for purposes of pension benefits, as a person of the opposite sex.

Although the Income Tax Act has not been formally amended, Revenue Canada now allows registration of a pension plan that provides survivor benefits for same-sex spouses.

Spring schedules in the mail

Schedules and fee statements for undergraduate students who have pre-registered for Spring '99 are being mailed out to student's home addresses this week.

Fee payments must be received in the cashier's office by April 26. Cheque or money orders can be mailed or dropped in one of the express payment boxes located outside the cashier's office, registrar's office, and gradudate studies office. Late fees will be charged for payments received after April 26.

April chill ushers in exams

Winter term exams begin today and continue through April 23. For late-night crammers, Mudie's, the Village 1 cafeteria, will be open 24 hours a day from today through April 21. The round-the-clock hours are being offered as an experiment for the first time this term, said a food services spokesperson.

Wondering who took home the UW Shop's big chick for Easter? Jessica Hymmen, a fourth year honours psychology student won the draw for the bird, which, she reports, has "really raised my spirits during this crazy exam time!"

Today is Good Friday in the Greek Orthodox tradition, with Easter celebrated on Sunday.

Rhetorical Hermeneutics Through Thick and Through Thin is the subject of a philosophy colloquium conducted today by English professor Randy Harris, who notes, "If this topic looks hopelessly drab and parochial, blame David DeVidi, who assured me that any talk with a variant of the word 'rhetoric' in it would fill the room with philosophers." The colloquium takes place at 3:30 p.m. in Hagey Hall room 373.

Linda Beer from the University of Zimbabwe will speak on Black Afrikaans Writers tonight at 8 in Hagey Hall room 334. Everyone is welcome to the talk sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies and the UW department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures.

Tonight at the Grad House, the Pandemonium Blues Band takes the stage at 9:30.

Artworx in East Campus Hall is closing today for the summer. Art supplies will be available at Techworx in South Campus Hall.

The 35th annual used book sale sponsored by the Canadian Federation of University Women gets underway today from noon to 9 p.m., and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First United Church, King and William Streets in Waterloo.

A Variety of Talents Show is running this weekend at the Waterloo Community Arts Centre on Regina Street South as a fundraiser for the Royal Medieval Faire in September. Show times are 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, with tickets $8 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under.

On Sunday afternoon at 2:30, Conrad Grebel College will hold a baccalaureate service for its graduates in the Great Hall.

Volunteers can make a difference in a child's life, serve as heart and stroke goodwill ambassadors, or act as board members for Woolwich Community Services. To learn more about these opportunities and more, contact the Volunteer Action Centre at 742-8610.

Barbara Elve

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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