URFA membership has voted in favour of the four-year agreement, which was reached on March 26, the final day of mediation. Job action would have been a possibility starting on March 28 had the an agreement not been reached, and URFA had a strike mandate.
In an Apr. 3 news release, URFA praised the new deal for creating a new rank for sessional lecturers that teach equivalent to full time. A sticking point for URFA during the bargaining process was low wages for sessionals, compared to full time instructors.
Sessional lecturers are hired per class, but some carry the course load of a full time faculty member.
Other highlights for URFA include changes to the instructor/faculty ratio that will create a path for instructors to become assistant professors and increased contributions for members on a defined contribution pension plan.
URFA also noted that the bargaining team was able to push administration away from concessions they characterized as a “concerning shift away from research in the university’s mission statement”.
The U of R’s negotiating team said they are pleased to hear URFA voted in favour of the new contract in a statement.
The agreement will go to the U of R board of governors on April 9 for final approval.
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