Newsletter – June 2023


2023-2024 Number 3                                                                                  June  2023

Another eventful academic year is over: a hard-fought battle by some members to keep the downtown campus daycare facility open (a few details need ironing out, but we are hopeful to hear soon good news for the Concordia Community on this front), push back against expenses claim hassles and Unity (we keep on finding ways to mitigate the impact on our workloads), reviewing of the changes to Concordia’s Health Plan put on hold, the CUFA Collective Agreement still under negotiation past the expiration of the current CA (and this is when we need your support even more than before…)

CUFA wishes you a peaceful summer so that you can come back recharged and ready for what promises to be a busy 2023-2024 academic year.

Have a nice summer!

Negotiations Update

To read Linda Dyer’s, CUFA’s Chief negotiator, latest update on bargaining, click here.

Change in Salary Grid as of June 1st

June 1st marks the yearly adjustments to our salary. Refer to Article to 39 and 40 in the CUFA Collective Agreement and the Salary Grids to determine your place on the grid and on which step you now stand.
Note that the salary included in the June 15 paycheque accounts for only two days in June (i.e., the pay period of May 21 to June 3). Nevertheless, you should be able to check the correct placement on the grid by accessing
My CU Account->Personal->My HR on the Concordia Hub (

Also note that the 2018-2021 Collective Agreement (extended through 2022-2023 academic year) remains in force, as a new contract is still being negotiated. Consequently, the current salary increases are applied based on the 2022-2023 grids. As soon as the new 2023-2026 Collective Agreement comes into effect, a new set of grids will be used; CUFA members will then receive retroactive payment to 1 June 2023.

Moreover, in accordance with Article 40,04, the salary grids will be further increased effective May 31, 2023 by a percentage equal to the total amount spent on new individual supplements divided by the CUFA masse salariale for each year that the agreement was in effect. It is our understanding that the Employer is working on these calculations, and these percentage increases will be applied retroactively.


If you have expertise in patents and commercialisation, please reach out!
If you can help negotiate commercialisation of inventions at a side table with the Employer, contact us. The ideal member should have been involved in such a project in the past and should be able to draft Collective Agreement language on commercialization. If you have negotiated such a contract with the University or in industry in the past, we want to hear from you!

Contact us via email: subject line Commercialisation Side table.

A Member-at-Large Position on the Executive Committee: Call for Nominations is issued

On 1 June, a position on the CUFA Executive Committee became vacant after former member-at-large, Ciprian Alecsandru, took over as President.
You will have received the call for nominations issued by CUFA’s Committee Standing on Elections. The nomination and voting periods are longer in the summer months to allow members sufficient opportunity to respond to the call for nominations and to vote.

The nomination period will run until 4 p.m. on July 13. Electronic voting will take place over ten working days following the close of the nomination period and ending on July 28.


Elections on the Executive Committee

Last newsletter reported erroneously that Elisabeth Peltier (Accountancy) completed two terms as Treasurer on CUFA’s executive committee. Rather, she completed a five-month term as member-at-large and then a two-year term as Treasurer. We apologize to Elisabeth for the mistake.

Concordia Academic Freedom Policy

F Following provincial government requirements (Bill 31) Concordia’s Policy on Academic Freedom was adopted by a majority of Senators on Friday May 19, 2023. During the consultation period leading up to the vote, several issues targeting the improvement of the Policy were brought up by CUFA to the Employer. We are grateful to several members who provided significant feedback based on which we managed to improve some areas prior to the vote. However, other amendments proposed in the Senate did not get sufficient support. In particular, a very important issue is the representation of CUFA members on the Academic Freedom Committee. In preparation for the Senate meeting, we sent a memo to all CUFA senators asking them to support an amendment to increase CUFA’s representation from three to five members (i.e., one representative from each faculty plus one librarian).

Although we were not successful in obtaining a rightful representation, we did succeed in ensuring that the committee’s handling of a complaint was either treated and dealt with or terminated, but not suspended as originally planned. This means that members under investigation will not be left in limbo indefinitely.

It should be noted that we would have been better off without yet another University Policy, but unfortunately the adoption of an Academic Freedom Policy – that applies university wide – is a requirement of the Quebec government’s Bill 32, later voted into the Loi sur la liberté académique dans le milieu universitaire. We believe it is important to remind everybody that Article 6 (Academic Freedom) of CUFA’s Collective Agreement takes precedence over this new policy, in other words CUFA members’ academic freedom rights are governed by our CA.

CUFA Special General Meeting on Health Plan Proposed Changes

After the April 27 Special General Meeting (SGM), a petition signed by ninety-eight members, requested the CUFA Executive organize another Special General Meeting (SGM) to discuss the proposed changes to the Concordia Group Insurance Plan (more commonly known as the Health and Dental Plan). This SGM took place on June 7.

Based on the following rationale put forward by our petitioning colleagues:

Whereas at the April 27, 2023 General Assembly, members vehemently opposed the new health plan proposal based on how little was changed since the last version, which was rejected by well over 100 members (in May, 2022) three motions were presented, discussed and carried at this most recent meeting that had a very good attendance of 150+ members:

First Motion: Upon motion duly moved and seconded it was resolved that, CUFA unequivocally rejects the Employer’s proposed new Health Plan, which diminishes the members benefits and undermines the principle of collective insurance and instructs our representatives on the Benefits Committee accordingly. 

Second Motion: Upon motion duly moved and seconded it was resolved that, if the Employer persists in wanting to reconfigure the Health Plan, each CUFA member be provided with individualized, detailed cost-benefit data to allow the membership to arrive at a reasoned decision on acceptance thereof and instructs our representatives on the Benefits Committee to demand this information before the benefits committee votes. 

Third Motion: Upon motion duly moved and seconded it was resolved that, the CUFA executive be instructed to make representations to the other Concordia unions which have a stake in the Health Plan with a view to organising a collective resistance to any watering down of our coverage.

Unity and Expense Claims:
PCard vs Credit Card

As far as expense claim processing requirements are concerned, although the use of a P-Card is still recommended, the employer has recently reconfirmed that expense reports which include legitimate expenses made on personal credit cards will also be accepted.

The obvious advantage of using a P-Card is that you do not need to block funds on your personal credit cards when making purchases for which you submit expense claims, and the submission of expense claims is a bit more streamlined. The disadvantage though is the deadline by which you have to submit the expense report – usually by the 15th of each month following the month in which the PCard statement was issued. 

Update on IT User Group:
More Computer Choices

CUFA IT Users Group met recently and agreed on the need to provide our faculty and librarian members with a more diverse set of standard computer choices (i.e., laptops, workstations and desktops).  To achieve this, we are working on finding the best way to assess the needs of our members. The aim is to present the Employer with concrete data to establish a correct assessment of the type of equipment we need to better carry out our teaching and research. A possible solution is to send out a brief survey either to our members, or only to IT staff in the departments. We will stay in touch.

Tough Times in Academia…

Below are examples of how things can go terribly wrong when an administration makes poor choices with long-term impact, leaving colleagues to carry the brunt of the consequences.

– Support Laurentian Fired Faculty

In February 2021, the Laurentian University Administration filed for insolvency with dire consequences: sixty-nine programs were eliminated, and two hundred faculty and staff lost their jobs. CUFA supported Laurentian University Faculty Association’s (LUFA) actions to denounce this decision and is answering a new call for solidarity now.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), the Laurentian University Faculty Association and a local committee of terminated faculty created a fund to concretely support those who lost their job. As CAUT’s communiqué describes it, “The April 12 Laurentian Fired Faculty Distress Fund will provide one-time donations to eligible individuals experiencing financial hardship. Donations will be used to meet childcare, health care, housing, transportation, and other urgent needs.”

CUFA donated $2000 to the April 12 Laurentian Fired Faculty Distress Fund and invites its members to contribute what they can to help Laurentian University colleagues who lost their job.

Contributions can be made online by credit card through this link.

Cheques can be made out to CAUT and mailed to:
Canadian Association of University Teachers
2705 Queensview Drive
Ottawa ON
K2B 8K2

Please ensure to note “April 12 Distress Fund” in the memo line on your cheque.

– St-Boniface Colleagues Need Solidarity

We have received an alarming call from our colleagues at the Association of Professors and Professionals of the University of Saint-Boniface (APPUSB) in Winnipeg. They have been at the bargaining table for three years now. Three years!!! 

They are fighting to bring the Employer back to the table and secure fair working conditions for their members. They have launched a social media campaign to “raise awareness of the urgent need to protect high quality education at USB and across Canada”. We are encouraging our members to show their support by leaving comments on this campaign page and also by participating in this letter-writing campaign spearheaded by CAUT.  

CUFA Hosted the Canadian Organization of Faculty Association Staff in Montreal

On the last weekend of May, CUFA staff hosted the 2023 edition of the Canadian Organization of Faculty Association Staff (COFAS) which took place in Montreal. CUFA welcomGroup photo COFAS Montreal 2023ed over a hundred participants and their guests to a three-day annual conference bringing together all staff from Faculty Associations across Canada. During three days of intensive workshops professionals including Executive Directors, Lawyers, Labour Relations Officers, Communications and Faculty Relations Officers shared their experiences and best practices on subjects such as “Intersection of Accommodation and EDI”, “Hybrid learning/teaching, how to protect and support your members”, “Strategies for effective member engagement”, or “Academic Freedom in the context of increasing corporate cultures at universities.”

It was a valuable opportunity for networking and professional development, from which participants emerged enriched, motivated and energised by a valuable sense of community.

CUFA Report is published by the Concordia University Faculty Association
Editorial Board: Léa Roboam, Ciprian Alecsandru, Ted Stathopoulos,
Geneviève Robichaud, and Aaron Brauer.