Call for Moratorium on Workload Revisions

Workplace Desk Computer Indoor Office Work

Over the course of the last few weeks, many faculty across campus are being informed of potential revisions to their unit’s Professional Responsibilities/Workload policies. In some cases, work that had previously earned a course release will no longer do so. In other cases, workloads may be “rebalanced” in order to increase course load at the expense of scholarship or service responsibilities.

Our collective bargaining agreement has two mechanisms for revising workloads policies after they have been approved by the Provost. Faculty can suggest changes to the workload through their internal governance committees and/or faculty meetings. These changes would need to be approved by the deans and Provost. Or, alternatively, the deans and Provosts can “suggest” change to the faculty and implement the changes after the faculty vote, even if faculty vote to oppose. Ultimately, the Provost has final authority on faculty workloads.

Our collective bargaining agreement does prevent the Provost from significantly increasing Career and Pro Tem faculty workloads without a proportional increase in FTE or salary, but the Provost can implement an “adjustment” in the balance between teaching, research, and service.

In response to the reports from faculty of potentially disrupting and negative changes to faculty workloads from proposed by administration, United Academics proposed a moratorium on changes to the workload policies, initiated by either faculty or administration, for the remaining terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The terms of the bargaining agreement are set to expire on June 15, 2018. We believe this pause in changes to the workloads is necessary to give the just-developed policies a chance to be fully implemented and tested before they are revised. Many units put diligent and conscientious effort into crafting these policies and they should be given time to mature.

We only sent this proposal to the Provost’s Office today, so we have received no feedback as of yet. We will keep you informed about the progress. We hope you will keep us informed about anything you are hearing in your unit regarding potential workload revisions.