Annual General Meeting November 1, 2019

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on November 1, 2019 in the Harry Crowe Room. The meeting will start with coffee at 10:30 and our business meeting at 11:00. Our Speaker will join us for lunch and then give his talk thereareter. See the details of our speaker:

10:30 Coffee

Meeting 11 am: 

2019, Agenda AGM 

2019, Minutes of the General Meeting

President’s Remarks (Fred Weizmann):

2019, AGM Presidential Comment 

Treasurer’s Reports:

YURFL Trust Statement for the year. (Ed Lee-Ruff)

YURFL Trust Report 2019

Lunch 12:00

Speaker: 1:00

Gordon Shepherd  who will speak on ” The Earth’s Aurora and Airglow as Seen from Below and Above” Gordon Shepherd’s topic summary

Gordon has a distinguished record to draw on for this topic: See links to his background and honours.

LINK 1

Link 2

Nominations:  We are also seeking nominations at our meeting or preferably before,  for yourself or those willing to serve for a number of Executive positions particularly Treasurer. Please consider putting yourself forward or recommending a colleague.

Important Information about New Provincial Pension Proposals Affecting Faculty Receiving Salary and Pension

YUFA has sent out to its members an update and some comments on the Provincial proposals regarding faculty who are teaching and are also receiving a pension. I thought it worth passing on to ARFL members as well. I should also add that I have been informed that this legislation only applies to faculty receiving pensions who are remaining in the full-time faculty stream. It does not apply to retirees who are teaching particular courses on a part-time basis. (Fred Weizmann, President ARFL)

Update on provincial government policy affecting faculty receiving salary and pension

The provincial government is in the process of implementing worrisome policy changes that are likely to impact faculty compensation for senior YUFA members receiving their pensions. Some changes are in legislative process (Bill 100, the 2019 budget implementation bill, is currently in third reading in the Ontario Legislature). Other changes, including new regulations arising from this legislation, are at various stages of discussion.

In this communication, we elaborate our understanding of the Ford government’s proposed legislative changes that concern faculty working past the age of 71 and discuss their implications. (We have discussed other aspects of the Ford government’s policy toward universities elsewhere: hereherehere and here).

Bill 100 (pages 113-17) contains the changes that are already in legislative process. The current draft of the bill states that “The Minister may make regulations governing the reduction, limitation and alteration of compensation due to an individual with respect to whom the following conditions are met: …The individual is employed or otherwise engaged by a post-secondary institution [and] …The individual has …started to receive a pension under a pension plan, or …exercised their entitlement to a transfer in accordance with section 42 of the Pension Benefits Act with respect to a pension or a deferred pension payable under a pension plan” (section 42 refers to transferring an amount equal to the commuted value of the former member’s deferred pension).

Although Bill 100 does not mention a particular age, it is relevant to any member who is planning to work after collecting their pension. For York faculty, this means someone who is 71 or older, or planning to work beyond that age. Federal legislation requires you to start collecting your pension in December of the year in which you turn age 71. Note that Bill 100 does not say that employees of a post-secondary institution will have their salary reduced to a certain level. It says that future government regulation may reduce such compensation. In other words, the legislation permits the government to make regulations governing these matters, but the legislation itself does not make those changes.

In more detail, Bill 100 states that regulations under this legislation may “…establish and govern procedures, rules and methods that a post-secondary institution shall use to reduce, including reducing to zero, limit or alter the amount, form or timing of compensation…; provide that the regulations prevail over any collective agreement, contract of employment or any other contract, including any collective agreement, contract of employment or other contract that existed before the regulation was made… [and] require a post-secondary institution to do or refrain from doing anything relating to or arising from the reduction, limitation or alteration of the compensation.”

In other words, the government plans to introduce future regulations that will specify how much compensation shall be reduced when a member starts to receive their pension, including, potentially, reducing salary to zero, in spite of minimum wage legislation. These regulations may override existing collective agreements and restrict new collective agreements, and prevent the University administration from taking any action that will annul the reduction in faculty compensation. Another clause stipulates the envisaged over-ride of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. Again, Bill 100 enables such regulation but does not yet establish it.

The Minister for Training, Colleges and Universities has said that the intent of the legislation is to end “double-dipping,” suggesting that working faculty should not be permitted to collect their pensions and full salary at the same time. One interpretation might be that an individual’s total income from pension and salary could only equal the amount of salary earned before they began to receive their pension. York faculty who reach 71 while working would have to relinquish the amount of their salary equalling the amount of their pension.

OCUFA Executive Director Michael Conlon provides an example: assume your salary at age 70 is $150K and your pension after age 71 is $75 K. If you do not retire and want to keep working full time, your total salary would be reduced from $150K to $75K. Other media interpretations have gone much further, speculating about the reduction of salary to zero when pension payments commence. Again, these are speculations about the possible form of future regulation, and they are not yet established in the current legislative process.

The rhetorical and political context for these policy changes is particularly disquieting. The framing by the government of faculty working full-time past 71 (the age when one is required by federal law to collect pension) as “double dipping” portrays aging faculty as selfishly bilking the public purse instead of receiving compensation that is appropriate to their expertise, skills, experience, and profession.

Crucially, it is also a misrepresentation to suggest that Ontario taxpayers pay for our faculty pensions when we retire. Pensions are monetary contributions set aside monthly as part of our collectively bargained compensation package, as you know from viewing your pay slip. Those accumulated contributions and plan earnings provide the basis for our pensions, whether we take them before or after the age of 71. The deferred earnings that accumulate have a specific “commuted value” to which one is entitled to receive in many circumstances. For example, if an employee left their job and took another position, their pension account and the moneys it has accumulated would go with them. Furthermore, the University actually saves money with respect to an employee who reaches the age of 71 because it no longer makes pension contributions as part of that faculty member’s compensation.

OCUFA reports (page 3) on a consultation held by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on February 12 on “employee renewal”, in which YUFA officers participated. The consultation narrowed its focus onto faculty members who continue to work full-time and simultaneously collect a pension. OCUFA’s summary reports the following:

Under the guise of faculty renewal, the budget includes legislation that targets the rights of senior faculty and interferes with university collective agreements. The budget makes a preposterous claim, without any supporting data, that the higher average retirement age is the reason the hiring of junior faculty members is limited…

[The focus on faculty working full-time and collecting a pension] …is an alarming development, as it infringes on collective agreement and bargaining rights and could result in discrimination based on an individual’s age. Further, this ignores and distracts from the real challenges facing the postsecondary sector, including systemic underfunding, an alarming shift towards precarious academic positions, and the absence of an effective faculty renewal strategy.

Mandatory retirement was eliminated in Ontario in 2006 as a step towards ending age discrimination in employment, and senior faculty are invaluable to the strength of collegial governance at their institutions. We believe that a real faculty renewal strategy must ensure that retiring faculty members are replaced with full-time, tenure-stream faculty.

OCUFA is seeking a legal opinion on the proposed policy changes, which are fraught with potential rights infringement such as equal pay for equal work, protection against age discrimination, and the right to collective bargaining. It is safe to assume that the government expects one or more court challenges to the legislation. Apart from the obvious legal questions, it is important that faculty associations and universities address the problematic framing of “double dipping”, the misleading arguments about “faculty renewal”—since there is no assurance that a retired faculty will be replaced by a new tenure track appointment—and public misperceptions about the real challenges universities face together with the rights of university employees.

YUFA has discussed the proposed new pension-related salary restrictions for active members aged 71 and over with the Employer through the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA). The Employer expects that there will be a transition period for the new regulations. YUFA has asked the Employer to communicate proactively with members and, in particular, with the 81 YUFA members who would be immediately affected by the new limitation on faculty compensation. YUFA will continue to follow these issues closely and keep members informed of developments.

If you have any questions about these matters or your own retirement, please email yufa@yorku.ca.

Read this post online.

May 17, Spring Meeting and Presentation

Harry Crowe Room  Atkinson College 109

Coffee & Conversation: 10:30 am

General Membership Meeting: 11:00 am to Noon

Lunch: Noon to 1 pm (catered)

Presentation: 1 to 3 pm (open to all)

The Biodiversity of Bees with Laurence Packer

Professor of Biology, York University

Packer

Laurence Packer is a Professor of Biology at York University where he has worked since 1988.  He teaches Entomology and Biodiversity courses.  His research is on bees.  He and his students have published over 200 research papers on various topics including sociobiology, conservation, genetics, phylogenetics, biogeography and taxonomy, mostly of bees.  His book “Keeping the bees” was published by HarperCollins and “Bees: a close-up look at pollinators around the world” with Sam Droege was published by Voyageur Press. He and his team have described over 100 new species of bees.  The collection that he has started at York University now includes several hundred thousand specimens with examples from well over 100 countries and hundreds of new species awaiting description.  He has been a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Evaluation Group for Ecology and Evolution (twice).  His research has been funded by the latter organization as well as National Geographic, Genome Canada, the Weston Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and by private donations

Annual General Meeting November 2, 2018

The venue for the AGM is the Renaissance Room (001) in Vanier: See map on Sidebar

The date is November 2, at 11:00, lunch at 12:00, speaker at 1:00

Agenda ARFL AGM November 2 2018

Report of President Fall 2018

Our Speaker:

Bhatia

The Lecture: “Migration in an Age of Reconciliation”

Amar Bhatia joined Osgoode’s full-time faculty on July 1, 2014 after serving as a Catalyst Fellow and Visiting Professor at Osgoode for the 2013-14 academic year. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English and postcolonial literature (Queen’s; Sussex) and received an LLB from Osgoode in 2005.

He articled and worked in union-side labour and employment law in Toronto before returning to graduate school. He subsequently obtained an LLM from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he received the Howland Prize for most outstanding performance in the program. He was awarded a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship to pursue his SJD at U of T, and is currently in the final stage of his candidacy. His dissertation looks at issues of status and authority of migrant workers and Indigenous peoples under Canadian immigration law, Aboriginal law, treaty relations, and Indigenous legal traditions.

 

ARFL AGM

e Annual General Meeting of ARFL will be held Friday, November 10, 2017 in the Harry Crowe Room at Atkinson.  The meeting will commence at 11:00 am, with coffee and tea being served beginning at 10:30.  In addition to reports from Executive officers, members will be asked to elect members of the Executive for 2017-18.  As has been customary, the meeting will be followed by lunch and a guest speaker. We hope to see you all there!!!


Our Speaker this year is Keren Rice, University of Toronto speaking on:

Rice

The Importance of Indigenous Languages   ARFL Speaker Information for November 10, 2017 Also reproduced below in part from our Newsletter.

Gots’udi ní̜dé Dene xedə́ t’áodéʔa: Indigenous Language Resilience in Canada

 

Presentation

In December 2015, the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released, containing 94 Calls to Action, some of which involve language. In this talk, I start with the Calls for Action, and then review what happened in the decades leading to these calls, focusing on government, Indigenous institutions, and local community initiatives.  I discuss what it takes to effect change, and speculate on what the future might look like.

Speaker

Keren Rice is a University Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. She is currently Chair of the Department of Linguistics and served the past two years as Interim Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies, and she was founding director of the latter.

Keren Rice’s theoretical work is in the areas of phonology and morphology. She is concerned with variation in phonology, asking questions about markedness, contrast, and the role of universal substantive features in phonology. She has long been involved in research with speakers of Dene languages in the Sahtú region of the Northwest Territories of Canada, and she has contributed to the understanding of these languages. She has been involved in work on language revitalization, and has written on fieldwork and the ethics of fieldwork.