by Jolene Perron
The Lance – Editor-in-Chief
The dark cloud looming over the university has dissipated after a ratification vote was finalized Oct. 21.
Faculty at the University of Windsor have finally settled on a three year contract after the Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) voted 65.8 per cent in favor of the collective agreement reached during the final session of mediation Oct. 3.
WUFA president Anne Forrest said while the agreement still falls short of the provincial benchmark, they are pleased to have come to an agreement.
“It certainly sends a message about how the faculty was feeling and I think the message it sends is one that we’ve been telling the administration for a number of months now,” said Forrest. “Our members were both expecting and hoping for a collective agreement settlement that is in line with those negotiated by other faculty associations in the province this year.”
Previously, issues with the administration’s last offer included a three per cent wage increase over three years, which is less than the provincial average that is in keeping with an annual 2 per cent inflation rate. In addition, the offer stated that members would cease to receive progress through the ranks increments after 30 years of employment.
A release sent out by the University of Windsor said the new agreement includes an average increase of 8.9 per cent over three years based on annual scale adjustments of zero per cent, zero per cent, three per cent and Progression Through the Ranks (PTR) payments of $2,550, $2,550, and $2,650. The release also states “under the new agreement, PTR for Associate and Full Professors will be reduced to 50 per cent of the normal rate when a member’s salary reaches 1.75 times the salary floor for their rank, and to zero per cent when their salary reaches two times the salary floor.”
WUFA members will also receive annual Windsor Salary Standard adjustments which will ensure the salaries within each rank stay within the median for the province. Members will receive a lump sum payment of $1,250 in the first two years, where sessional instructions will see their stipend per course increased to $8,000.
University of Windsor president, Alan Wildeman, said they have a lot of great people working across the university and he hopes to focus on the teaching and research that happens on a daily basis.
“I’m obviously very pleased that the agreement is ratified and we can move forward,” said Wildeman. “I think it’s a result of a lot of work that people did and I’m very excited about the future for the semester.”
WUFA had been without a contract since June. Forrest said she is pleased there is no further threat of class disruptions because they care deeply about the student’s education. She said this was an important step for WUFA and is looking forward to the next round of collective bargaining and hopes to improve on the process.
“We felt students were respectful and interested in hearing what we had to say for the most part,” said Forrest. “I think it was a good opportunity for us to connect with students on issues that were of meaning to students as well as the faculty.”