The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) has reached a mediated settlement with the university's governing council. The mediator was Martin Teplitsky.
The three-year agreement, ending June 30, 2002, calls for salary scale increases of 1.5%, 2.0%, and 1.5% respectively, plus normal PTR increases.
Major improvements to the salary scheme raise the salary breakpoint from the current $90,000 to $99,800 for professorial ranks; from $66,400 to $75,625 for librarians; and from $68,650 to $78,200 for lecturers, the university's teaching stream faculty. The result is that base salary will rise by 15% on average for faculty and librarians below the breakpoint, and by 9% on average for those above the breakpoint.
Full pension contribution holidays in the first two years, and a 50% holiday in the third year will add an additional $8,000 to $13,000 income to faculty and librarians over the course of the contract.
After many years of trying, UTFA finally achieved an expense reimbursement program worth $250 per year. "The amount of $250 is absurdly small," said chief negotiator Lloyd Gerson. "It's about one-third of the provincial average. Nevertheless, the administration, having at long last conceded in principle that reimbursement for legitimate expenses is their responsibility, will be hard pressed to deny a very substantial increase in the next round of bargaining."
Also on the pension front, $9 million will be spent to improve the pensions of existing retirees -- a 20% increase in the total amount of pension money paid to retired faculty and librarians.
In addition, the accrual rate on the portion of the member's highest average salary up to the average CPP maximum salary (currently $37,400) will be increased from 1.3% to 1.5% for all past and future pensionable service. A Supplementary Retirement Arrangement, negotiated in the last round of bargaining, ensures that every dollar earned above the CPP maximum salary will earn 2% in pension, times years of pensionable service, to a maximum salary of $150,000.
"The main negative fact," said Gerson, "is that we did not achieve a new defined contribution pension plan. That was not unexpected, but this is something we will continue to work for as vigorously as possible."
Gerson says faculty and librarians at the university are being denied the sort of pension that is available to about 95% of academics in North America. "Such a plan is vastly superior to our own. This can be easily and decisively demonstrated. And the only reason we are being denied it is to enable the administration to have available to itself a yearly discretionary fund in the neighborhood of between $25 and $30 million arising from their pension contribution holidays."