Application for Certification of Stipendiary and Sessional Instructors

PDAD&C #57, 2002-2003


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources
Vivek Goel, Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost, Faculty
DATE:   April 17, 2003
RE:   Application for Certification of Stipendiary and Sessional Instructors

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3902 has applied to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for certification of stipendiary and sessional instructors, i.e. teaching staff who work on short-term contracts. In their application to have a certification vote, under the Labour Relations Act, the union must demonstrate that it has at least 40 per cent membership support in the proposed bargaining unit.

The University has until the end of today in which to submit its response to the application, describing its proposed bargaining unit and listing employees affected. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ultimately determines which description of the unit is appropriate for collective bargaining. If a vote is ordered, all employees on either the union's or the University's list will be able to cast ballots. The Ontario Labour Relations Board resolves any disputes about eligibility at a later date.

Given the holiday schedule this week and next, a vote is possible next Wednesday or Thursday. At that time a simple majority (50 per cent plus one) of those voting is required to certify the unit.

The certification drive is focused on teaching staff who are not represented by the University of Toronto Faculty Association. The certification application also specifically notes 11 exclusions:

  • teaching staff at the School of Continuing Education,
  • clinical lecturers in the faculties of Medicine and Nursing,
  • those on contracts of one or more years,
  • visiting academic appointments,
  • status-only appointments,
  • those holding continuing academic appointments at U of T who are teaching on overload,
  • retired faculty who, prior to their retirement, had an academic appointment at U of T,
  • athletic instructors or coaches,
  • those employed on contractually limited term appointments,
  • managers or those who are employed in a confidential capacity in matters related to labour relations and
  • those for whom any other trade union holds bargaining rights under the Labour Relations Act.

The University is considering whether this description of the unit is appropriate for collective bargaining or whether it should be narrower or broader. The matter will be considered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board once the formal response to the application is filed.

The University encourages all affected employees to exercise their right to vote. Managers who receive queries about the University position are asked to encourage individuals to exercise this right and not to make any other comments, particularly any that may be perceived as opposing or favouring the application.