International Women’s Day

The fight for women’s rights and women’s freedom, is an ongoing battle, never won, requiring constant vigilance to secure hard-fought gains.

During the last round of bargaining, the CUFA’s executive and negotiating team worked hard to improve the Collective Agreement and include significant progress for our female colleagues. Two significant improvements come to mind on this international Women’s Day:

In addition to the 18-week maternity leave, a new mom (or a new dad, because, as we know, better conditions for women are good for men too…) can now benefit from a reduced teaching load upon returning from maternity leave until the child reaches two-years old. This was a demand expressed during CUFA’s pre-negotiation townhall meetings and we’re happy to report that we made this gain. The Employer also agreed to enshrine in the Collective Agreement that efforts shall be put into place ensuring more sensitive and inclusive scheduling of service duties and events in departments, to be mindful of new parents’ family obligations.

Another improvement for women is the new course evaluation questionnaire. Now shorter, with items all based on best practices. Questions leading to biased responses, particularly detrimental to women faculty, have been removed.

Equity isn’t yet achieved, but every step forward deserves to be celebrated as a victory, to keep us on course.