TUFA Research

The Association undertakes or sponsors research initiatives and projects with the potential to improve the terms and conditions under which our members work. The most recent of these are presented below.

Merit – May 2016

Two briefs were distributed to the TUFA membership in advance of the May 25th General Membership meeting. The first of these came as a report from the TUFA members appointed to a joint sub-committee struck to review the Merit pay provisions in the TUFA collective agreement. The mechanism for awarding merit increases had been suspended in the previous round of negotiations (the last merit awards dated from July 2013) and the Executive Committee asked our members on the Committee to prepare a briefing note to inform the setting of the union’s bargaining mandate. The Bargaining Team was charged to restore an improved version of the previous merit system. Ultimately, the team negotiated a restoration of the merit pay system that redresses several problems with the previous that were specifically identified in the report. These include loss of confidence in the fairness of the system and reluctance of some members to apply for merit on principle, over-representation of research in distributed awards, and imbalances between and within departments and decanal divisions.

LTA Employment – May 2016

The second briefing note distributed to members in May 2016 provided data on LTA employment at Trent over the last 15 years. This report was authored by James Cook, Member at Large (LTAs), with assistance from TUFA staff. This report informed member discussion of LTA appointment issues and job security at the General Membership meeting which ultimately translated into a robust directive to the bargaining team to make LTA issues a top priority at the table. Subsequently, the union negotiated a direct conversion to probationary appointments for the most senior members of TUFA’s LTA complement and more than 25% of TUFA’s 2016/17 LTA complement ultimately received probationary appointments in 2017/18 as a result of new provisions in the collective agreement. In addition, the standard duration of LTA appointments was boosted from nine months to a full year and other steps were taken to mitigate the impact of employment contingency for TUFA’s LTA members.

Equity – March 2015

In November 2014, the Association amended its Constitution to place issues of equity and non-discrimination at the fore of the Association’s agenda. Consistent with this direction, TUFA co-sponsored an internal research project by Professor Momin Rahman on issues of diversity at Trent. Prof. Rahman and co-author, Cole Murdoch, released their study in March, 2015. Following the release of the report, TUFA’s new Equity and Diversity subcommittee made a number of recommendations that were implemented by TUFA’s Executive. Among these was a recommendation to conduct an Equity census of TUFA’s own membership and to investigate the extent to which pay [in]equity may be a problem at Trent. Armed with preliminary results from the census, TUFA’s bargaining team negotiated for a formal equity review of members’ pay to be jointly undertaken in 2017/18.