Dear TUFA Colleagues,
In the following I have a few brief updates on bargaining, covid, and a save-the-date for our first event in the fall. But first, I extend a very big welcome to new members starting this summer. Our Executive Director, Marcus Harvey, and I are here to answer any questions you may have about TUFA, so please get in touch with us.
Bargaining: For those of you who missed the bargaining mandate meeting, we had a solid turnout and the mandate was approved. The bargaining team has been busy with preparations and this will continue into the fall. Our bargaining team consists of Susan Wurtele (Chief Negotiator), Michael Epp, Stephanie Rutherford, Byron Stoyles, and Maggie Xenopoulos. Thank you to the team for their hard work thus far, and we send our solid support for the work ahead!
Also, if you would like to get all data-y this summer, CAUT’s June 2022 Facts and Figures documents collective bargaining trends across Canada. The reported changes are relative to different collective agreements, and so this should be considered when determining whether changes made elsewhere might be advantageous for us to adopt here.
Save the Date: Monday, September 26, 11 am-12 pm. Peterborough’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Thomas Piggott, will visit TUFA for an informal talk and Q/A session. I have asked him to address local public health issues—the opioid crisis, the housing crisis, Covid-19, or any other choice infectious agents. Of interest to me is how TUFA may assist others at Trent as well as the communities of which we are part. Details about the format of the meeting (zoom, teams, or hybrid) will be circulated closer to the date.
Covid-19: As of June 29, the Peterborough Public Health risk index remains at Moderate. We are expecting it to move to High soon if trends elsewhere translate to this region. For Durham-based members, please refer to the Durham Public Health’s Novel Coronovirus page. TUFA continues to keep a close watch on covid health and safety for its members. Yesterday we met with our Joint Health and Safety Committee representatives to discuss summer and fall planning, and we pressed the employer about their planning structure and communications at our last joint committee meeting.
Many universities in Ontario have now dropped their mask mandates. In contrast, Seneca recently announced a modified mask and vaccination policy for this fall which you may wish to review for information. They are requiring masks in classrooms and advising that people wear N95s or KN95s. They are also making high quality masks available at entrances.
Something to consider is whether having a mask mandate this fall might help us avoid having to go remote at some point. Switching between delivery modes last term was awful for many of us (all of us?). May we never do that again.
Insofar as the UK is typically ahead of us in Covid-19 outbreak trajectories, I include a link to a video by epidemiologist Tim Spector regarding the latest UK surge. One of their concerns is rising hospitalizations and the pressure this will place on the NHS. Rising hospitalizations is a deep concern for us in Peterborough and Durham region as well.
We will have more updates for you in August. As in the case of previous waves, we will consult with the TUFA membership and act as needed.
Wishing you energized scholarship and genuinely restorative rest and relaxation this summer.