On January 25, the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and university administrators reached an agreement on salary and benefits for employees represented by the union for a three-year period, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. As of February 2, 2022, the agreement has been ratified by the UTFA Council and U of T administration.
The UTFA, according to its website, is “the official representation of faculty and librarians on employment matters.” Its last agreement with the university expired on June 30, 2020.
In an email to The Varsity, UTFA President Terezia Zorić described the process of obtaining the agreement as “long and tough,” and wrote that it “required an enormous expenditure of time and energy.” Zorić noted that the challenges were in no small part created by Bill 124, a controversial provincial bill passed in 2019 that restricts public sector wage increases to one per cent per year.
According to Zorić, Bill 124 limited the association’s ability to obtain salary and benefits improvements for employees. Nevertheless, highlights of the agreement include a one per cent across-the-board salary increase retroactive to both 2020 and 2021; a mandate for fair and equitable workloads, including increased support for online academic work; health care and mental health benefits improvements; and fair compensation and benefits for active and retired employees.
While Zorić wrote that the association was “very pleased to have settled the first two years with meaningful benefits improvements,” she noted that there are still many pressing issues that the UTFA will need to address with the university. The majority of these issues are related to workload and policy improvements.
In a statement from the university, a spokesperson confirmed that U of T had reached an agreement with the association, and added that the university “[appreciates] the collegial working relationship that facilitated this agreement.”