An Associate Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS) is directing Course Directors to cap their Teaching Assistants’ remediation hours to 22 hours, regardless of how much work is outstanding to complete the term. This is a decision that is clearly punitive against Unit 1 members, while indirectly punishing students, who need help and feedback in order to finish their term following the strike. The union is planning to address this with as many grievances as necessary — please see below to report your individual situation.
The LAPS directive goes contrary to the workload forms signed by Course Directors, who are best equipped to judge how much remediation is necessary in their course. In many cases, the directive goes against the remediation plan submitted by the Course Director, which had already been approved. Course Directors are being encouraged to police and micro-manage their Teaching Assistants’ work, thus unfairly increasing their own workloads, all in the name of “reasonable” allocations. Yet, what is being claimed as reasonable is in fact an affront to academic freedom, academic integrity, and sound pedagogical methods, as well as the spirit of collegiality and reconciliation with which York University claimed our members would be welcomed back.
Our members are dedicated to providing our students with the best possible education, and ensuring that the integrity of painstakingly planned-out courses remain intact. This cannot happen when it is deemed “reasonable” that Teaching Assistants should have a mere 6 hours total preparation for radically revamped courses, or that they are expected to constructively grade sometimes an entire term’s worth of papers and tests in 8 hours, or that they only provide their students, who have remained dedicated to furthering their education after a lengthy strike, with only 8 hours of actual contact (including lecture time).
Our students deserve better than this. Our members deserve better than this. We will fight to ensure that our members receive remediation pay that mirrors their actual labour, and is in line with the existing contracts our members have signed. Thus, we are calling upon all members who are presented with unacceptably “capped” or otherwise unworkable remediation hours to fill out this form so that we may begin amassing suitable policy and individual grievances.
In the meantime, discuss your workload form with your Course Director to ensure that you can justify the hours required to complete the term. Keep detailed records of hours worked. Logging every hour will be necessary if a grievance is filed. Be sure to keep good records even if you do not teach in LAPS, as the problem might be more common than currently reported.
If you have any questions about remediation, get in touch with your Chief Steward: