QUFA is the exclusive bargaining agent for all faculty, librarians, and archivists at Queen’s University and Queen’s Theological College.
The Association’s aims are to promote the interests of academic staff, including faculty, librarians and archivists; to promote equity in recruitment and hiring of academic staff; to promote a positive working environment free of discrimination, interference, restriction, or coercion; to provide appropriate representation for all QUFA members; and to promote academic interests at Queen’s and in the broader community.
From its founding in 1951 until 1995 QUFA was a non-unionized Faculty Association organized by the professorate to protect collective and individual rights, with librarians and archivists joining in 1977. In November 1995, the majority of faculty as well as professional librarians and archivists at Queen’s were organized by QUFA into a collective bargaining unit under the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In May 2003 QUFA added a second bargaining unit, called Sessional Adjuncts, who teach either individually or jointly for pay. With only a very few exceptions, all Queen’s University faculty were automatically members of one of the two bargaining units. In July 2007, the two bargaining units amalgamated to form one bargaining unit. The definition of individuals who are included in the bargaining unit is available on QUFA’s website in Article 1 of the Collective Agreement 2008-2011. In April 2009 QUFA became a multi-employer union when it added a bargaining unit comprising academic staff at Queen’s School of Religion (QSR). In the spring of 2012, QSR became part of Queen’s University and those members joined the main unit to form a single bargaining unit of Faculty, Librarians and Archivists (FLA).
QUFA bargaining unit members (see above) are not automatically QUFA union members. Bargaining unit members are all subject to the provisions of the collective agreement, can attend General Meetings, and can participate in ratification and other major Association votes. QUFA union members, on the other hand, can also participate in all QUFA committees, meetings, votes, etc. QUFA union membership is voluntary, encouraged, and is open to all QUFA bargaining unit members by completing an application form available from the QUFA office. No additional payment of dues is required.
The Association is distinct from the University Club (formerly known as the Faculty Club), which is a social organization.
Two governing bodies, the Executive Committee and the Council of Representatives, are responsible for QUFA’s policy development and decision-making and meet monthly from September through June. Electoral units representing all Faculties and Schools at Queen’s appoint representatives of their constituency to the Council.
QUFA has four full-time staff: an Executive Director, an Administrative Assistant, a Labour Relations Officer and a Grievance Officer, who provide information and serve as resources to the Association’s officers, committees, and membership. Office hours are normally 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, except in July and August when the office closes on Fridays.
- To represent the interests of academic staff in discussions and interpretations of the Collective Agreements with Queen’s Administration, via the Joint Committee to Administer the Collective Agreements (JCAA).
- To review and participate in implementation and formation of University policy on issues directly affecting academic staff, including renegotiation of the Collective Agreement.
- To advise and assist members who require advice or believe that they have been treated unfairly with respect to their employment, via QUFA’s Grievance Committee (a confidential committee of Association members).
- To represent the collective view of faculty, librarians, and archivists to the University administration, the Board of Trustees, the Senate and its committees, and other groups who may affect our members’ interests.
- To transmit the collective view of our Association to parliamentarians and to appointed bodies concerned with the development of policy on university education.
- To participate in the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Canadian Association of University Teachers. (See below.)
- To hold at least two general meetings annually to exchange information and views on any of the above activities.
- To sponsor an annual speaker on topics related to academic freedom.
- QUFA works to improve salaries, benefits, and conditions on behalf of all members.
- QUFA provides information, advice, and support to members who have questions or problems concerning their employment with the University. This includes counseling and assistance in the initiation and pursuit of grievances.
- QUFA sponsors an annual workshop for members who are applying for renewal, tenure & promotion. Information about these services are available at the QUFA office.
- QUFA produces the QUFA Voices newsletter and other electronic bulletins to keep members up to date on issues in the academic community.
- QUFA members are automatically members of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). Both organizations have regular publications that cover national and provincial developments affecting higher education. The CAUT Bulletin provides the only country-wide listing of positions available for all disciplines. CAUT’s Defence Fund provides strike benefits to associations engaged in a strike or lock-out and financial assistance to member associations which incur costs of mediation and/or interest arbitration in settlement of contract negotiations. Through OCUFA, all QUFA members are eligible for annual corporate membership in the Edvantage Goodlife Fitness program (please contact Edvantage @ 1-800-267-6847).
Union dues are automatically deducted from monthly salary by Queen’s Financial Services for members of the bargaining unit. Dues are a percentage of members’ salaries. The current rate is 1.0%, which includes membership in CAUT and OCUFA. There is a minimum yearly fee of $50.00. For example, a member with a gross annual salary of $50,000 would pay $50,000 X .010 = $500.00, or $41.66 per month. QUFA Members, with the exception of Term Adjuncts, pay a $5 a month Levy to the CAUT Defence Fund. Once a Term Adjunct becomes a Continuing Adjunct, the Levy will be applied. For Income Tax purposes dues are reported on the T4 form you receive from the University and are deductible from Total Income on your Income Tax return (“Annual union, professional or like dues”).
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.