Contract Academic Staff Course Allocations

Concerns about not getting a grid step or receiving accumulated experience for teaching high school equivalency courses were addressed. As they are not credit courses, they are not covered by the grid for credit faculty.  Departments can stipulate in their hiring criteria, to be approved by the Dean, these courses do count toward accumulated experience; moreover, accumulated experience can be counted in any reasonable way (e.g. SICH, courses, semesters, years etc.).

 

The 18 month period during with contract academic staff and apply for re-appointment was clarified: essentially, a member can go three full semesters without teaching and apply to be reappointed in the fourth.

 

In the current fiscal environment members inquired about how we can support faculty not receiving contracts. All we can do is hire them back when positions become available. Departments can give preference to former employees who had performed satisfactorily in their hiring criteria.

 

Fixed Term Part-time appointments will be continued. Members with satisfactory performance in departments that have sufficient workload to support the contracts will be re-appointed to their Fixed-term Part-time positions. The required peer evaluations assist in determining performance levels.

 


 

Notes from Meetings

 

Q: Teaching the high school equivalency courses offered by Continuing Education and Extension is work that is not covered by our CA. This means that a semester teaching only high school equivalency courses does not count for moving to the next step on the PT grid and these courses do not count towards the normal cap of 192 SICH per semester, just as courses taught at another university do not.

A: The process for developing PT reappointment criteria is that they are recommended by the department and approved by the Dean. But the principle is that the academic unit should be able to make a decision such as this and the Dean seldom interferes. The definition of accumulated experience says “at Mount Royal” (whereas the grid step language is “a part-time employee with Mount Royal University”). So, if you think the high school equivalency teaching should count, you should revise the reappointment criteria and see if the Dean will approve them. [The high school equivalency courses are different than the other non-credit courses offered by Mount Royal in that this work was covered by our CA at one time.]

Q: Can semesters be used instead of years?

A: Yes, or you can count courses or use SICH. There is nothing in the CA which restricts your definition of accumulated experience in this way.

Q: Article 4.8.1 states that PT employees who have held contracts with MRU within the past 18 months are eligible to apply for available courses under the reappointment article. When does this period end?

A: The period goes from the end of the last previous contract to the date when the available courses are posted for eligible PT employees. By Article 4.8.5, this is no later than 15 May for the fall and the tenth week of the fall semester for the winter. We interpret that to mean one can go 3 full semesters without teaching and apply to be reappointed in the fourth. Beyond that, one would have to apply under initial appointment.

Q: How can we support PT faculty who now have no work because of budget cuts?

A: There is nothing you can do except hire them back should the available work increase in the future. Article 4.8.1 of the CA gives them a right to be reappointed up to 18 months after their last contract. If it is longer than that, they would have to come back under the initial appointment criteria of Article 4.7.2. But you could include giving preference to former employees who had performed satisfactorily in your criteria and I’m sure the Dean would approve.

Q: The fixed-term part-time appointments are in their third year. Will they be continued?

David answered that a reappointment procedure was required in the CA and there is a green sheet on that. The MRFA position was that these members had pension for three years and it should not be removed now. Therefore, the current people will be renewed provided that performance has been satisfactory. There probably won’t be any new appointments.

There was a general discussion of these appointments because the department has three in one discipline and this has left very little work for the other part-time members. The appointments were intended to reward long serving full-time part-time employees and they were allocated based on length of service. All 25 appointments went to employees on the newly created Step 5 of the part-time grid, and three of them were in this particular discipline.

A part-time task force had been created to study the terms and conditions of part-time employment and, as a result, both parties brought similar proposals to the table. The appointments were an improvement for those who got them because they provided job security and the option of pension, but the pay is at part-time rates and so they are much cheaper for the university than tenurable positions. The MRFA resisted the idea of a full-time part-time employee for a long time, arguing that tenurable positions should be created instead.

Q: The Chair said that the department has six fixed-term part appointments and there are no renewal procedures in the CA. He asked whether there had been any conversation in negotiations about reallocation of some of these positions.

A: David replied that there had been discussions about reallocation, but nothing had been agreed to. The incumbents will be renewed if performance was adequate and the workload is projected to continue. A member suggested that the requirement for peer evaluations [Chair/peer in the first year of the appointment and peer in each subsequent year] be removed from the CA if they are not used. David replied that the peer evaluations would be part of what was considered in determining whether performance had been adequate,

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