Board approaches ULFA to discuss hiring Instructors for ULethbridge International College Calgary (UICC) under Collective Agreement

The administration approached ULFA late last month to discuss hiring faculty for the ULethbridge International College Calgary (UICC) under the Academic Staff Collective Agreement (ASCA). The first meetings to hear about the proposal will be held this week.

The UICC is the name that has been given to the collaboration between the Board and Navitas to create a so-called Pathways college to bring international students to the U of L. 

The UICC was approved by GFC and the Board last year. The college, which will be housed on the Calgary Campus, has been recruiting an incoming class of students for the 2024-2025 year. As far as we are aware there are, as of this moment, no instructional staff in place.

When the proposal was approved by GFC and the Board last year, the Board indicated that its preference would be to hire instructors for the college as Members of ULFA under the ASCA and that it would approach ULFA to discuss this as part of collective bargaining once the final commitment to start the college was made. The meetings planned for the next two weeks will provide an opportunity for the Board to explain its intentions in this area and to discover whether and how such hires might take place under the existing agreement.

Whether or not instructional staff at the UICC are hired under the ASCA has important implications both for the faculty involved and for the ULFA membership and its rights under the PSLA. The ASCA guarantees important workplace rights, including salary scales, working conditions, promotion practices, and academic freedom, that are essential to viable post-secondary education. The PSLA legislates that ULFA is the exclusive representative of the Academic Staff at the U of L. 

The ULFA executive has appointed a team to investigate the Board’s proposal and report back with recommendations to the Executive and ULFA Members. The team consists of experienced members of the current and previous executives including several former chief negotiators, grievance chairs, and presidents. The members are Sauya Das (Physics), Mary Runte (Dhillon), Rob Sutherland (Neuroscience), and Dan O’Donnell (English). The committee is supported by Aaron Chubb. We hope to be able to provide an initial report on the Board’s proposals after our initial meeting.