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Top photo: RRUFA president Prof. Richard Kool

Reflection on 2019 collective bargaining

The collective agreement was ratified by the RRU Board of Directors and the RRUFA.

Results of the RRUFA ratification vote, as provided by the RRUFA Bargaining Committee, are as follows:

Total Members:  71
Members Voting:  59 (83%)
Vote Agree:  58 (98%)
Vote Disagree: 1 (2%)

Summary of monetary terms

  • Term: three years, expiring March 31, 2022
  • General wage increases of 2.0% on April 1 of each year of the agreement, plus corresponding increases to all salary floors by 2%
  • Market adjustment increase to the salary floors in Year 1 for the ranks of professor and assistant professor in the amounts of 3.8% (approximately $4000) and 22% (approximately $13,000) respectively
  • An increase to members’ annual personal professional development fund from $1,200 to $1,550, plus a corresponding increase to the amount of permitted carryover
  • A new fund in the amount of $23,500, replenished each year, dedicated to addressing salary anomalies and initiatives that will enhance equity, diversity and inclusion at the university
  • Agreed members are now eligible for tuition assistance in accordance with the RRU Tuition Assistance Policy, thereby increasing tuition waiver for members from 50% to 75% and allowing for 50% waiver for immediate family members.
  • Increased workload unit (WLU) value of 3-credit course from 3.375 to 4.0
  • Increased eligibility for participation in phased retirement leave; plus, (effective Year 3) 100% employer-paid benefits for the duration of leave irrespective of the percentage of workload
  • Increased notice/severance for those with a continuing appointment subject to layoff from maximum 12 months to maximum 18 months; reduction of maximum entitlement for those in their probationary appointment (now “continuing track”) or on a limited term appointment; plus, for the first six months of notice or pay in lieu, now the employer’s choice instead of the member’s
  • An entrenched right to 12 WLU’s employer-paid release time for officers of RRUFA (service or research), plus 16 WLU’s to support bargaining (teaching or service) plus an entrenched ability to purchase additional release (service or research). All release time is as negotiated with the dean during annual workload planning.
  • This represents a government funded increase of approximately $652K in cumulative labour and benefits costs over the three-year term.

Summary of non-monetary terms

  • Agreement to rename "probationary" to "continuing track" appointment.
  • Neutral language regarding gender throughout the collective agreement.
  • A new process to identify individuals subject to dismissal without cause (now “layoff”) based on length of service plus the right of first refusal should their position become vacant.
  • Agreement on new process for the assignment of workload distributions, ultimately giving the deans more control; in conjunction with the increase to the workload unit value of a 3-credit course, separating service from administrative WLUs, and increasing minimum teaching WLUs in each of the teaching, research and scholarship and academic/administration workload distributions. These changes, in conjunction with the new process for assignment, will facilitate increased teaching overall.
  • Agreement to new article to share member data with RRUFA.
  • Elimination of vacation carryover from one fiscal year to the next (automatic forfeiture of unused portion) except on exceptional basis where permitted by the Dean.
  • Agreement to mutual selection of investigator in cases of discipline; elimination of RRUFA’s right to challenge the investigator’s findings/conclusion via grievance or arbitration.