Issues on the Table: Career Progress for Instructors

Salary Increment Models

Under our current Collective Agreement, regular salary increments for Instructors are entirely based on evaluation of their “merit”. For each Instructor who is not at  the salary cap for their rank, $2800 is put into a “merit fund” that is then divided among Instructors, proportionate to the performance scores they receive in their annual assessments. The merit fund contribution amount for each Instructor who is close to their salary cap is reduced so as not to exceed the cap. This is in contrast to the way that salaries of faculty members and librarians progress. If the work of a faculty member or librarian is deemed satisfactory, they receive an automatic fixed-value “career progress increment” in recognition of their increased experience, skills, and understanding. This is in addition to receiving a merit increment if their performance score is at or above the average performance score.

The Proposal

The Board Team’s opening proposal package of January 18, 2021 included a proposal to reduce the per-member merit fund contribution for Instructors to $1400 and to provide a new Career Progress Increment for Instructors having a value of $1400. This change would make the salary increment model for Instructors more consistent with the model used for professors and librarians. After consultation with Instructors revealed that they are generally in favour of this change, the ULFA team incorporated Career Progress increments for Instructors in subsequent proposals. Some modifications were required, as the Board proposal had included significant revisions to evaluation procedures.

Current Status of this Proposal

To our dismay, the Board team walked back on their proposal. While both teams had provisionally agreed to negotiate a narrowed range of items during mediation that did not include Article 15 (Instructors/Academic Assistants), after mediation came to a close on January 17, 2022, the ULFA team has retabled proposals that include Career Progress increments for Instructors. The Board team, however, has indicated that it is no longer interested in this idea in this round of negotiation but is willing to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding committing to study this possibility jointly with ULFA, and to consider implementing it in future negotiations. It has been disheartening to see an administration that rejects their own proposal, as has been observed several times in this round of negotiations.

More details on proposals regarding Increments and Evaluation are available in a post discussing the June 3rd 2021 ULFA town hall.