2019 Updates

July 2, 2019

Highlights of the USFA Tentative Agreement 
July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022         
                                                                               

The collective agreement between the university and USFA was tentatively agreed on June 21, 2019. Highlights from the five-year agreement covering July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022 include:

Effective July 1, 2019:

  • 1.25% adjustment to salary scales; 1.25% adjustment to Career Development Increases (CDIs); 1.25% adjustment for all active employees
  • $3,000 add to base salary for all active employees (as of July 1, 2019)
  • Changes to the Merit System (Special Increases), effective July 1, 2019 (2018/2019 review year):
    • Reduction of Special Increases from 610 to 300 per year (equivalent to 300 CDIs)
    • Reduction of maximum value of Special Increases per employee (by itself or through any combination of awards) to 2 times the value of a CDI in each year
    • Departments may award ½ or 1 times the value of a CDI to employees through the salary review process
    • Colleges may award ½, 1, 1 ½, or 2 times the value of a CDI to any employee, up to the overall maximum of 2
    • President’s Review Committee may (with or without awards by the department or college) ½, 1, 1 ½, or 2 times the value of a CDI to any employee recommended by the College, up to the overall maximum of 2

Effective July 1, 2020:

  • 1.95% adjustment to salary scales; 1.95% adjustment to CDIs; 1.95% adjustment for all active employees

Effective July 1, 2021:

  • 1.95% adjustment to salary scales; 1.95% adjustment to CDIs; 1.95% adjustment for all active employees

Effective first day of the month following the date of ratification:

Benefit changes

  • Extension of Short Term Disability period (Salary Continuance Benefit/qualifying Long Term Disability period) from 90 calendar days to 112 calendar days
  • Extension of qualifying period for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits from 90 calendar days to 112 calendar days
  • Extension of LTD disability payments to the end of the month in which death occurs
  • Changes to Extended Health Care benefits:
    • Increase annual maximum coverage for Psychologists from $500 to $2,000
    • Increase eye exam coverage from $100 to $150 every two years
  • Increase covered moving expenses from $6,000 to $10,000 for any property or personal effects that are moved.

Other changes

  • Changes to the disciplinary process:
    • Ability for Deans to issue disciplinary letters of instruction as an initial step in the disciplinary process.
    • Distinction between letters of expectation (non-disciplinary) and letters of instruction (disciplinary).
  • Clarification of authority and responsibility of the Dean (or delegate) with respect to actions in response of allegations of misconduct (Article 12.3)
    • Dean shall undertake an inquiry in response to allegations of misconduct and shall discuss relevant facts with employee.
    • Following the initial inquiry, the Dean shall determine appropriate steps to follow, which shall include:
      • Dismissal of allegation, or
      • Informal resolution, or
      • Formal investigation.
    • The Dean shall investigate or direct formal investigations in accordance with applicable policies and/or legislation (if applicable), disclose all documentation pertaining to the allegation(s) including the identity of the complainant and provide an opportunity for employees to respond to the allegations. In addition, employees shall be notified of the outcome of the investigation.  Investigative reports will be released to the Association upon request and subject to appropriate limitations.
  • Changes to placements to personal files and timelines with respect to the following documents:
    • Documents or letters containing substantiated allegations of misconduct, 5 years
    • Disciplinary letters of instruction issued by the Dean, 5 years
    • Letters of reprimand issued by the President, 5 years
    • Letters of instruction and reprimand shall be expunged from personal files after 5 years, providing no reprimand has been issued to the employee during the intervening period
    • Letters of expectation issued by the Dean are non-disciplinary and shall not be added to personal files
  • Changes to the Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan (RARP):
    • Elimination of years of service from eligibility criteria
    • Reduction of notice period from 6 months to 3 months and ability by mutual agreement between the Employer and the employee to agree to a different or shorter notice period
    • Entitlement to receive a portion of the reduction to salary in the form of a top-up to actual salary or as a payment to a research account:
      • 50% of the reduction to salary with a commitment to retire after one year
      • 20% of the reduction to salary for each of two years with a commitment to retire after two years 
  • Changes and clarification to the determination and interpretation of conflict of interest with respect to collegial committees and collegial processes:
    • To include real, potential, or perceived conflicts and the following interpretations:
      • The faculty member would receive professional or personal benefit resulting from a collegial process,
      • The faculty member would have a direct or indirect financial interest in the outcome of a collegial process,
      • The faculty member would benefit from a decision being made with respect to a person with whom the faculty member has a personal relationship.
    • Definition of personal relationship to mean any relationship to persons of a faculty member’s immediate family, and relationship of an intimate and/or financial and/or commercial nature either current or past, a student-supervisor relationship, or any other relationship that may give rise to a conflict of interest.
    • Definition of conflict of interest to mean a conflict between a faculty member’s duties and responsibilities with regard to collegial processes and the faculty member’s private, professional, business, or public interests.
    • Responsibility to identify conflict of interest expanding to the Employer, the committee, and individual faculty member.
    • Concerns to be raised prior to engaging in a collegial process and individuals shall withdraw from participating if a conflict is raised or identified:
      • Anyone on a collegial committee who identifies a real, potential, or perceived conflict shall raise the issue before the committee and declare the nature and extent of the conflict
      • The committee shall determine whether a conflict exist – sufficient to compromise the integrity of the process.
      • Any faculty member who disputes the determination (whether a declaration or non-declaration of a conflict) will have a week following the determination to submit a written appeal to the Provost or designate, who shall decide the matter.
      • A faculty member who has a conflict shall refrain from taking part in the process and refrain from voting on the matter.
    • Clarification to what constitutes unpublished work as grounds for recommending an employee for Special Increases:
      • Work that may not normally lead to peer-reviewed publication, to also include software design or certain types of impactful community engaged and culturally sensitive research and scholarly work.
    • Updates to Article 7 - Non-Discrimination:
      • Extend commitment to include diversity, equity and inclusion
      • Update references to full participation of employees through a more inclusive language: women, Indigenous or Aboriginal Peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), persons with disabilities, persons of a particular race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, persons of disadvantaged groups, or persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBT+).
  • Commitment to diversity in collegial committees, including appeal panel, renewals and tenure appeal committee, university review committee, and college review committee.
  • Changes to post-retirement benefits, maintaining the entitlement for a post-retirement spending account in the amount of $2,000 per year for a two-year period following retirement and elimination of ability to maintain or opt for post-retirement group life insurance coverage.
  • MOA No. 2 – Appointment and Reappointment of Senior Administrators:
    • Changing specific titles of senior administrator for generic titles, and removing Provincial Heads in the College of Medicine from the list of positions subject to the MOA.
    • Requirement to notify the Joint Committee for the Management of the Agreement (JCMA) when new senior administrator positions are created.
  • MOA No. 7 – Unified Heads and Provincial Heads in the College of Medicine:
    • Inclusion of one employee in search and review committees for appointment and reappointment of Heads of Clinical Departments, when one or more members of the faculty in the Department is an employee.
    • When employee representation exists in the department, and an employee from the department is not able to participate, the co-chairs shall appoint another employee of the College.
  • Clarification of composition of search committee for appointment of assistant deans in non-departmentalized colleges.
  • Definitions:
    • Adding a definition of Provincial Head
    • Update to definition of Sessional Lecturer

The Tentative Agreement also includes the formalization of changes related to lecturers and the reintroduction of the Instructor rank (as agreed by separate MOA and effective July 31, 2018):

  • Establish a career total of 12 CDI increases for Instructors and change CDI career total to Lecturers from 7 to 12 CDIs.
  • Entitlement to a six-week unbroken block of vacation in either spring or summer session, or to take all or part of the vacation entitlement at another time of the year subject to appropriate arrangements.
  • Yearly assigned teaching to be distributed as evenly as possible across the three terms, with teaching assignments to not exceed 30 credit units per academic year.
  • Instructors are intended for appointments where the instruction is associated with the practice of professional skills within a regulated profession, will normally hold registration within a professional regulatory body and will not normally hold advanced academic qualifications (masters, doctoral or equivalent post-graduate degrees).
  • Lectures are intended for appointments where the instruction requires advanced qualifications (masters, doctoral or equivalent post-graduate degrees).
  • Ability to appoint up to a max. of 30 without term instructors and lectures without the requirement of approval by JCMA. Appointments to without term instructors shall be made in accordance with the search and appointment procedures.
  • Full time service in a without term Lecturer appointment may be counted as qualifying service if the employee is subsequently appointed to a tenurable rank.

June 21, 2019

The University of Saskatchewan and the Univesity of Saskatchewan Faculty Association (USFA) have reached a tentative agreement as of June 21, 2019. Further details of the tentative agreement will soon follow.

2018 Updates

December 3, 2018 

Bargaining continues and discussions remain focused on non-monetary items. A number of dates have been scheduled throughout December to continue negotiations. The university is eager to initiate discussions on monetary items, and is hopeful that these will commence shortly.


June 25, 2018

Bargaining is ongoing, and we continue to seek an interest-based approach to our negotiations. 

2017 Updates

December 14, 2017

Grievences

We currently have 15 active grievances/arbitrations. The number of active grievances and arbitrations at our Joint Grievance Committee has decreased fairly significantly over the past year. Most grievances fall into two primary areas.

  1. Scope and jurisdiction: what constitutes a full-time academic, and therefore should be in-scope of the USFA.
  2. Accountability of faculty: in many forms, whether it is discipline, research misconduct investigations, or other conduct investigations.

Recent communication from the USFA suggests that grievances are at unprecedented levels. Statistics indicate otherwise. Over the past 10 years we have averaged 15.5 grievances and issues brought forward by the USFA annually.


November 16, 2017

Bargaining

The collective agreement expired June 30, 2017.

Negotiations are underway for a new collective agreement. While the reality for this round of collective bargaining is one of difficult issues and decisions, we continue to strive for open, frank and productive discussions. 


University Interest: Support the mission, vision and values of the University, as well as the directions and goals set by our strategic planning

Our president and senior leaders have said that budgets do not define us. We are focused around a re-imagined Mission, Vision and Values, and the development of a University Plan that will take us to 2025. Whatever our funding situation, our money must line up behind these things that we have agreed are our principles and priorities. The U of S has been fortunate in past years with increases in government funding, while others across the country were dealing with cuts. Now we are faced with similar challenges.


University Interest: Respect and define the appropriate boundaries and authority with respect to collegial decision-making and the tri-cameral governance structure of the University

Our interest is in ensuring that we are negotiating terms and conditions of employment and to clearly distinguish these from responsibilities and prerogatives that fall under the jurisdiction of the Board, Council and Senate as conferred by The University of Saskatchewan Act. The authority and responsibility for the academic affairs of the university falls to the collegium through University Council. Further, the collegium is made up of both in-scope and out-of-scope faculty – the USFA represents in-scope members only. The University of Saskatchewan Act guarantees a role for both in-scope faculty and out-of-scope faculty in collegial decision-making under the authority of University Council and therefore it is our position that this authority and responsibility cannot and should not be negotiated as a term and condition of employment


University Interest: Support the university’s commitment to institutional and individual excellence and accountability

We are responsible stewards for the funds entrusted to us. The University of Saskatchewan Act guarantees the university’s autonomy from government. We bargain independently from government and all funders, but there is a balance between our autonomy and governing responsibly and with accountability to our funding partners.


University Interest: Enable flexible and effective management of University resources (financial, human and capital resources)

Deans and all academic leaders require the right level of authority and accountability for managing their respective colleges and schools. Our interest is in ensuring that the terms of the collective agreement do not obstruct the authority of academic leaders.

In previous negotiations, the USFA and the university agreed to provide voluntary severance options for physicians employed in the College of Medicine to voluntarily exit their in-scope faculty positions and to re-engage with the College as independent contractors. These changes are having the desired effect as increased number of physicians across the province are engaging with the College to support its academic mission and helping to train medical students. Through this agreement, the great majority of the physicians have now transitioned to this new model of engagement, with a small number who have opted to remain engaged as full-time employees and will continue to be members of the USFA – as our certification order requires. The USFA has expressed interest in opening again for discussion the scope of independent contractor physicians who deliver academic work for the College. The university believes these discussions concluded with the agreement reached and that our time now should be spent and focused on negotiating the terms and conditions of employment for all the USFA’s current members.


University Interest: Support financial sustainability that allows responsiveness in the current financial environment

During this round of negotiations, the university has an interest in reviewing all financial reward systems, with a particular emphasis on merit. We believe that merit systems should reward excellence in all areas of academic work—research, teaching and service. And we must ensure we have a merit system that rewards excellence in a sustainable fashion.

The bargaining team:
  • Mary Buhr
  • Martin Phillipson
  • Ana Crespo-Martin
  • Kirk Veltikold
  • Michelle Prytula
  • Jim Germida
  • Cheryl Carver

September 19, 2017

Modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan (MRARP)

  • The deadline for faculty to submit notice to participate in the Modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan (MRARP) was Sept. 1, 2017. 26 faculty members submitted their notice.

Bargaining

The collective agreement expired June 30, 2017 and the parties continue the negotiations for a new collective agreement. The parties have met on five different occasions during this round of bargaining. Additional dates are being scheduled throughout Sept., Oct., Nov.

The University’s interests through this round of bargaining include:

  • Support the mission, vision and values of the University, as well as the directions and goals set by our strategic planning
  • Enable flexible and effective management of University resources (financial, human and capital resources)
  • Respect and define the appropriate boundaries and authority with respect to collegial decision-making and the tri-cameral governance structure of the University
  • Support the university’s commitment to institutional and individual excellence and accountability
  • Support financial sustainability that allows responsiveness in the current financial environment.

July 25, 2017

Bargaining

  • The parties opened bargaining last week and talks are scheduled to continue in late August.
  • The university's bargaining team will be meeting with Deans, monthly, to engage in ongoing consultation regarding bargaining proposals.

June 27, 2017

Modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan (MRARP)

The University and USFA reached an agreement on the terms of a modified Reduced Appointment Retirement Plan.

Bargaining

Bargaining is scheduled to begin in July, 2017. The University is in consultation with college leaders to review our bargaining mandate and progress.


May 30, 2017

Bargaining

  • Planning continues for the next round of collective bargaining with USFA. The university is in consultation with Deans to review its bargaining mandate and seek input on specific bargaining proposals.
  • On April 19, 2017, USFA served notice of intent to commence collective bargaining and the parties will begin the process of scheduling dates.

March 21, 2017

Bargaining

We continue to do consultations and gather information in preparation for bargaining discussions. At present, no dates have been set.


February 21, 2017

Bargaining

  • The current collective agreement expires June 30.
  • In anticipation of the commencement of bargaining, the university is currently collecting data and engaging in consultations with individual colleges and units.

2016 Updates

November 29, 2016

Bargaining

The current collective agreement with USFA expires June 30, 2017. The university has begun planning for negotiations.


August 23, 2016

Bargaining

Planning for the next round of collective bargaining will begin in the fall.

June 28, 2016

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

  • The College of Medicine transition team is working directly with all clinical faculty transitioning into alternative forms of academic engagement with the college, as part of the Voluntary Severance Package (ACFPs or contracts of service).
  • 24 new ACFPs have been signed with MDs who were not previously engaged with the university.
  • Further discussions with USFA to define terms and conditions for in-scope membership will resume in July.

May 17, 2016

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

  • The deadline for MD faculty to rescind their expressions of interest in the voluntary exit package is May 31, 2016.
  • New Academic Clinical Funding Plans (ACFP) continue to be signed by MD's who want to engage with the college and the health region.

April 19, 2016

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

  • 20 new Academic Clincial Funding Plans (ACFPs) have been signed by MDs who were not eligible for the exit package, were community faculty, new to the province or new graduates.
  • 117/130 MDs signed letters of interest in the exit package. 

March 22, 2016

Academic Clinical Funding Plan transition

  • Progress continues to be realized in transitioning MD faculty to new Academic Clinical Funding Plans (ACFP) and contract arrangements.
  • The university, USFA and the College of Medicine are working together to address individuals' concerns arising from this transition. 

February 23, 2016

Bargaining

  • Negotiations between the university and USFA resumed in February.
  • An agreement was reached, extending the timeline from Mar. 31 to May 31 for individual MD faculty to revoke their expression of interest for the voluntary exit package. The university hopes that this extension will provide the necessary time for individuals to make informed decisions.

January 26, 2016

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

  • The college of Medicine has established an implementation team who is working with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition issues related to the negotiated voluntary exit package. 
  • Progress is being made in helping MD faculty transition to new Academic Clinical Funding plans or contract arrangements. The next phase of negotiations is expected to begin in February.

2015 Updates

November 3, 2015

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

  • October 31 was the deadline for MD faculty to express interest in the transition offer, based on the Letter of Understanding signed by the university and USFA in July.
  • 108 MD faculty have signed expressions of interest. Those who have expressed interest may withdraw up to 90 days prior to their stated date of resignation (April 2016 in most cases).
  • It is essential in the process of transforming the College of Medicine (CoM) that we re-engage with MD faculty in new, contractual agreements to continue their individual teaching and/or research with the CoM.
  • A Transition Team in the College of Medicine is tasked with ensuring the ongoing work of implementation occurs as smoothly as possible--ensuring MD faculty are supported in whatever path they choose, facilitating contract and other financial discussions, and handling any ongoing concerns and questions.

August 13, 2015

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

The negotiations regarding MD faculty in the College of Medicine have resulted in a Letter of Understanding (LOU) that has been signed by the university and the faculty association. The LOU offers a voluntary exit package to approximately 125 MD faculty members (physicians) in the college, to incentivize a transition from full-time academic positions to other options to continue their academic work. The offer has been designed to honour the contributions of our MD faculty, respect their current membership in the USFA and offer incentives for the changes we are asking them to consider.

The changes will occur over time to ensure no disruption to medical education and patient care.

MD faculty are encouraged to continue their academic work with the college through the Provincial Academic Clinical Funding Plan (P-ACFP) or on a contract basis. These options for MDs who choose the voluntary exit package are more flexible than our current system and provide the necessary accountability structures that accrediting bodies have said they need to see at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine.


June 16, 2015

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

Negotiations with USFA have been ongoing for 14 months. We have had a series of good discussions that have built common understandings. While this has been constructive, we will need to intensify our efforts in order to reach outcomes.

The importance of these negotiations must not be underestimated. The future of the College of Medicine is still at stake. Much progress has been made in other areas of the College's operations; a failure to make progress in these discussions will devalue many of these gains. As stressed in The Way Forward, a fundamental transformation of the MD Faculty complement is a pre-requisite to the success of the College.

To this end, we will sharpen the focus of discussions in June and July to address transitional issues related to current MD faculty. This is a significant component of the larger goal of fundamentally restructuring the clinical faculty complement within the college. We have tabled a formal proposal for consideration by USFA. Time is a significant factor as we are potentially only 18 months away from the next accreditation visit and we must achieve an agreement that aligns us with our peer institutions, ensures a significant increase in the number of FTEs devoted to teaching in the college, and therefore satisfies our own aspirations and the demands of accrediting bodies at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. All efforts will now be focused on a speedy conclusion to these negotiations.

Pay Inequity Balancing Fund Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

Last week, the university and USFA reached an agreement on this MOA. Funds set aside will be distributed amongst probationary, tenured, and continuing status female employees in recognition for past and present pay inequities. The Joint Committee charged with distributing the funds has determined that all eligible female members will receive $1,500.00 plus $12.38 per month of service. These adjustments will be effective July 1, 2015. Questions should be directed to steve.laycock@usask.ca.

May 15, 2015

College of Medicine Voluntary Severance Package

Side table negotiations are continuing in support of the transformation in the College of Medicine. Specifically, to ensure that the terms and conditions of employment affecting Clinical Faculty in the College of Medicine are supportive of the teaching and research commitments necessary to provide a successful medical school and meet accreditation requirements. The university and USFA are negotiating to develop options that will facilitate the transition of current MD faculty to a system that will allow the college to move beyond accreditation issues and increase teaching and research success. The negotations began early 2014 and are expected to extend through 2015.

Pay Inequity Balancing Fund Memorandum of Agreement

To address pay inequities for female faculty (during the last round of collective bargaining - July 2014) the university and the USFA signed a MOA to:  

  • establish a Pay Inequity Balancing Fund (400 CDIs set aside to address issues of pay inequity);
  • to form a joint committee to analyze the inequities and determine the most equitable and strategic distribution;
  • make decisions and distribute salary adjustments by July 1, 2015.

Approximately 400 female faculty members are eligible at Usask. Watch for details in the coming weeks. The university is committed to regular evaluation to ensure unintended factors that contribute to pay inequity do not occur in the future.