‘I never really look at my SWF, I just sign it.’
‘I’ve never had a problem with my supervisor before!’
‘Why would my supervisor do this to me, I’ve always done everything they’ve asked!’
These are the most common things we hear when faculty come to the union office to discuss their Standard Workload Form, or, more commonly, SWF.
Many of the problems that end up at the Workload Monitoring Group (WMG) could be avoided by faculty looking out for their best interests from the beginning of the SWFing process. A full and open discussion with your supervisor about your workload will usually clear up many of these questions and problems. The SWF defines what we do as faculty, so it is especially important to get it right.
Our SWF is also the quickest and easiest way we have as faculty to protect and define our work and our curriculum, and help our students get the highest quality educational experience that can be delivered.
In the links below, we’ve highlighted some things that you can take note of when you are looking at or discussing your SWF with your supervisor. In many cases, the SWF document itself makes specific reference to the articles in the collective agreement that covers that particular section.
The first page largely deals with the workload calculations: the specific courses you are teaching, preparation factors, number of students, and types of evaluation. It can be daunting and a little bit boring, but once you understand how your workload is calculated, things will become clearer.
The second page lays out the Complementary Functions that you will be working on throughout the period covered by the SWF. It’s important that all of the work that you do is documented here so there is a clear understanding between you and your supervisor as to what you are expected to be doing during a given SWF period.
In the union office, we love looking at people’s SWFs and helping you understand what’s what—you might call us SWF nerds. If you have questions, we’re here to help.
For a pdf file that allows you to calculate your own SWF and a video tutorial that explains how your SWF is calculated, please see the SWF Calculator and Tutorials page.