On behalf of TUFA’s Executive Committee and staff, we welcome you to Trent University and hope that your time here exceeds your expectations. TUFA is your union and advocate for all matters relating to member employment at Trent and we encourage you to visit our website when you have few moments. Certainly, it would be good to familiarize yourself with the collective agreement and recent memoranda of understanding that set out your rights and duties. Although you have only recently begun your appointment, you should have already received some email communications about TUFA’s ongoing advocacy relating to the pandemic and expected resumption of in-person teaching at Trent.
As a democratic organization, TUFA’s leadership takes seriously the views of all members: we do our best to reflect the will of the majority while remaining attentive to the voices of those in a minority on specific issues. We are actively engaged in pressing the University to ensure a more diverse and inclusive workplace and we take pride in our representation of members and their interests. Among other issues, for example, you will hear more from us in the coming months on changes to the retirement arrangement for TUFA members. You are joining the Union at the tail end of a long process to place our members’ economic security on more stable footing and this will result (effective this January 1st) in the migration of our current pension plan into a new sector-wide University Pension Plan (UPP). In addition to resolving the current plan’s solvency deficit, this shift will bolster the value of our supplemental retirement arrangement, and eliminate the waiting period for new LTA members to participate in the plan.
The current collective agreement is set to expire on 30 June 2022 and so we expect to begin consultation with the membership to develop our bargaining positions early in the winter semester. New members should not be shy in engaging in this process: it is a healthy component of union democracy and we try to make all members feel secure in raising goals and concerns within the Union. To that end, many of you may want to participate in meetings of our LTA Caucus which will resume its meeting this Fall. Questions about any aspect of your employment may be sent to the TUFA office at firstname.lastname@example.org. That is a confidential email address monitored only by TUFA’s Executive Director, Marcus Harvey, and Executive Assistant, Nancy Carter. You are, of course, also free to contact TUFA’s Chief Grievance Officer, David Newhouse, or President, Moira Howes, directly.
In prior years, it was TUFA’s practice to hold several social events through the year, but obviously such planning for the coming year has been placed on hold until we have a clearer sense of when it will be prudent and safe to host face-to-face events. That being said, we do look forward to meeting with all of our new members just as soon as circumstances allow.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the Union, the workplace, or your rights as an employee of Trent University.
Moira and Marcus