The lastest issue of Local 242’s newsletter in/SOL should already have hit your inboxes—if not, you can read it here. In the meantime, WMG member Herb Hill has some sage advice to help guide you through the spring and fall SWFing process.
Understanding the SWFing Process
by Herb Hill, WMG member
Your associate dean (AD) should be having meetings with you to discuss your Spring/Summer Term SWF and, in a couple of months, your Fall Term SWF. The following are some tips on how you can protect your rights under Article 11
of the Collective Agreement (CA):
- Your AD should have a discussion with you about the proposed workload prior to providing you with a completed and signed (by her/him) SWF.
- Your SWF should cover all details of your entire workload for the period covered by the SWF. The only work you are required to do is that which is on your SWF. If your AD wants to assign work to you, they need to put it on the SWF, or you are not required to complete it.
- You have five (5) working days after you have physically received the SWF to either agree to, or refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group (WMG). If you do not return the SWF to your AD, it will be “deemed accepted”. A copy of the SWF must be provided to you at least six weeks before the period covered by the SWF begins. The College risks late penalties if this six-week threshold is not met. We have had members in the past receive substantial payouts (in the thousands of dollars) from the College for SWFing deadlines not being met.
- If you are not in agreement with your SWF, then sign it and check the bottom two boxes on the second page, “Proposed Workload referred to College Workload Monitoring Group” and “Proposed Workload referred to Workload Resolution Arbitrator”.
- The WMG is comprised of four faculty members and four College administrators. If you refer your SWF to this committee, you and your AD will appear to discuss your disagreement with the SWF; it is an informal process with each of you speaking and responding to questions from WMG members. For a faculty member, appearing before the WMG is very similar to teaching—be prepared to present your material and answer any questions, just as you would do with students.
- The five-day window from when you receive your SWF is not the only time that you can refer your workload to the WMG. Article 11.02 A 6 (a) clearly states that if circumstances arise during the term which gives rise to a complaint from the faculty member (e.g., you have far more students with accommodations than expected which results in a significantly increased workload than what is represented on your SWF), you must take that complaint to your AD within 14 days of those circumstances arising, and then your AD has seven days to respond. If you are not satisfied with your AD’s response, then you can refer your complaint to the WMG within seven days of your AD’s reply (or immediately, in the case of no reply from your AD).
- If you are concerned about your AD being upset with you about a SWF or complaint referral, make it very clear to them that this is not personal; you are simply exercising your rights under the CA to resolve this matter.
- If the wmg cannot come to a resolution over your referral, you can refer your SWF/complaint to an independent Workload Resolution Arbitrator (WRA) within one week of receipt of the WMG’s notification. At the WRA, the arbitrator will hear arguments from both you and the College before arriving at a decision. This decision is binding to your case solely for a period of one year. The Union and College share the costs of a WRA—the member is not responsible for bearing any of the costs.
- You have the right to withdraw your referral from either the WMG or WRA at any time without penalty.
If you have any questions about your SWF or the WMG/WRA process, please contact the Faculty Union office at ext. 7506 or email any of the faculty members of the WMG: Terry Poirier (co-chair), Herb Hill, Lois Johnson, or Ravi Ramkissoonsingh.