This is a busy time of year for many members of our academic community. I would like to take this opportunity to draw the attention of all AASUA members to a significant event in the life of our institution: the ratification vote underway for a new compensation agreement package.
Several weeks ago, representatives of AASUA and the university administration began exploring the possibility of a compensation agreement for 2013-15. There was a mutual recognition of the need to create a stable compensation framework to permit the exploration of other initiatives critical to the future of our institution. These discussions led to an agreement on the terms of a compensation agreement for 2013-15. At the same time, a second agreement was reached to establish the “Renaissance Committee.” This committee, comprising members jointly appointed by AASUA and the university, will undertake a comprehensive exploration of possibilities and opportunities for our institution. The two agreements and a video message from AASUA President Ian MacLaren can be found on AASUA’s website. The two agreements form a single package: one will not proceed without the other.
The two agreements have been endorsed by AASUA’s Executive Committee and Council, and by the Board of Governors’ Human Resources and Compensation Committee (BHRCC). The ratification vote is currently underway and closes at 4 p.m. Monday, June 4.
It is no secret that the University of Alberta is facing continuing pressures relating to funding and academic compensation. These pressures served as the catalyst for discussions between AASUA and administration representatives. However, the two agreements go beyond financial considerations–for example, the development of a permanent teaching-intensive stream. This is one of several initiatives of long-standing interest to academic staff members and university administration. The compensation agreement for 2013-15 will provide a stable framework for the Renaissance Committee to examine what is best for our community, and to bring forward constructive recommendations for consideration by AASUA, its members and administration.
A significant number of students and staff have participated in the work of the Umbrella Committee (TUC), offering suggestions to reduce costs and improve flexibility for our staff. The work of TUC and its subcommittees continues. The Renaissance Committee will build upon the important work of the Umbrella Committee, moving forward suggestions that fall under AASUA's purview to more detailed exploration and implementation.
I, as the institution’s chief academic officer, urge all academic staff members to read the two agreements carefully and to vote in favour of them.
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)