Introducing the 2017-2018 Handbooks Committee

The 2017-2018 Handbooks Committee held its first meeting of the year on Sept. 8. The meeting was devoted to planning for the upcoming year (our first negotiating year under the provisions of the Labour Relations Code).

The Committee looked at the changes introduced into our negotiating process through the introduction of Bill 7 last year, reviewed outstanding issues, and discussed overall approach to preparation and negotiations. In the next few weeks, we will narrow down the list of topics we intend to propose to the Board for discussion and begin preparing initial positions.

About the Handbooks Committee

The Handbooks Committee is responsible for preparing and recommending bargaining positions on all aspects of our contract with the Board, except for Schedules A and B (i.e. everything except primarily economic matters of pay and other economic benefits). This involves a wide range of terms and conditions including things like the annual Professional Activities Report, processes for tenure and promotion, academic freedom and responsibility, and so on.

Because of its scope, this committee benefits especially from a wide range of viewpoints and life-experiences. The terms and conditions of our employment are where our position as employees intersects with our external responsibilities–as members of families, members of disciplinary communities, citizens of the broader community.

The members of this year’s committee are:

  • Dan O’Donnell (Chair), English (A&S)
  • Andrea Amelinckx (ex officio, ULFA President), (Management) 
  • Chris Burton, History (A&S)
  • Ian McAdam, English (A&S)
  • Patrick Wilson, Anthropology & First Nations Transition (A&S)
  • YJ Bao, Management
  • Lance Chong, New Media (Fine Arts)
  • John Usher, Management
  • David Scott, Library
  • Annabree Fairweather (Executive Director)

ULFA HB 2017 1ULFA HB 2017 2ULFA HB 2017 3
*Photo 1 (L-R): D. Scott, I. McAdam, A. Fairweather, D. O’Donnell, J. Usher
**Photo 2 (L-R): J. Usher, P. Wilson, C. Burton, A. Amelinckx
***Photo 3 (L-R): D. Scott, I. McAdam, A. Fairweather, D. O’Donnell, C. Burton

This year’s committee has a broad range of experience with the negotiating process. There are some members with considerable previous experience and some members who are working closely with the Handbook for the first time.

At the same time, this year’s committee is less diverse than normal in terms of gender and discipline: the majority of its members are male, and most have a background in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The committee devoted some time in its first meeting to this topic and will be actively soliciting additional participants, over the next few weeks, particularly from demographics that are less well represented on the committee.

How do you join the Handbooks Committee?

Voting membership on ULFA committees is assigned on a constituency basis, meaning that different seats are reserved for Members from different faculties, ranks, and positions. Membership is determined by election each Spring at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nominations are proposed by the Nominating Committee each Spring and accepted from the floor at the AGM.

If a position is left unfilled after the elections, or if a member resigns their seat, the vacancies can be filled by appointment with the approval of the ULFA executive.

Members can also often participate on ULFA committees as non-voting observers. The Handbooks Committee is a committee that can benefit greatly from such participation and considers volunteer observers gladly!

We have some vacancies!

Currently, the Handbooks Committee has a vacancy for a voting member who is an instructor (any faculty).

This is a voting position that can be filled by appointment by the ULFA executive. If you are an instructor and are interested in participating as a voting member of this committee, please contact the Chair, Daniel Paul O’Donnell (

In addition to this vacancy for a voting member, the Handbooks Committee is also actively seeking non-voting observers (any faculty/position). Given the current membership of the Committee we are particularly interested in volunteers from any of the following demographics:

  • Members from the Natural Sciences or Professional Faculties
  • Sessional Lecturers
  • Members who identify as female
  • Members who identify as non-cisgender
  • Members with experience in Aboriginal communities
  • Members with experience as Immigrants or People of Colour