Monday, June 16, 2014

Vote Results & Discussion: MoA Outstanding Performance Award (OPA) Changes

David Porreca, FAUW president

This week’s post features the results from the poll FAUW conducted at the beginning of the month to do with the proposed changes to the Memorandum of Agreement’s clauses relating to the OPAs.  Please see the previous post for more discussion.

The Results

The changes passed by an overwhelming majority:

Declined 4
No 47
Yes 283

Follow-up Issues

In the course of answering questions relating to the vote, a number of larger-scale issues and concerns have come up.

Firstly, the optics from the perspective of the average Ontario citizen of having professors who already receive merit pay increases award themselves yet further bonuses may not be the best thing for the university’s reputation in the current political climate.  That said, the results of the provincial election indicate that this fear may be overblown.  Moreover, since the OPAs are drawn from the merit pool itself, they do not represent extra bonuses, but rather an in-principle meritocratic redistribution of said increases.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly from a broader perspective, does the merit system of increases we have do the job it’s supposed to do?  Does the productivity that it’s supposed to encourage actually manifest?  Do the professional antagonisms, time consumed in the evaluation process itself, as well as in any appeals that result, represent a net positive for the university’s operations?

I would encourage each of you to think about these questions and contact FAUW with any thoughts or reactions.  We may even conduct a formal poll of our members to find out what they think about these questions.

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