Who Ya Gonna Call?

The job of QUFA member services staff is never dull. We are used to helping with the meat of the CA, but sometimes we must deal with issues that are on the fringes. Here are two examples.

Students have various avenues for complaint that involve their professors. The most common and best known is grade appeals, which I’ve already written about. Examples of others that we have helped with are complaints about how a disability accommodation was handled, harassment, and IP ownership. We were surprised by a (to us) new avenue for complaint: the AMS Grievance Officer. Recently the AMS has developed a process to look into complaints by students. Because of the broad range of complaints that can be made, some may overlap with subject matter that is properly dealt with through Collective Agreement provisions. If you are ever in any doubt about jurisdiction or process, please do not hesitate to call QUFA for help or clarification.

Heads of academic units who are not in decanal positions are QUFA Members. Their administrative responsibilities and decisions are connected to the smooth functioning of their academic units, and their role is to represent the interests and concerns of their department in the University. We get calls from Heads for guidance on RTP processes, leaves, and Adjunct issues all the time. It is not an easy role as directives and guidance come from both union and management, and the “right” position or decision can be elusive. Because they are in the bargaining unit, Heads have the support of the union should they face situations where they feel overwhelmed or in difficulty vis-à-vis their role in a process or implementing management instructions. They can call on us for advice or assistance.

The message is that if you are unsure about something or need help, by all means contact QUFA. If we can help, we will.

Ramneek Pooni can be reached at poonir@queensu.ca.

This Grievance Corner was taken from the January, 2015 edition of QUFA Voices.