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Modified Workload Arrangement

What is a Modified Workload?

Modified Workloads are agreements that are designed to help the managers of full-time profs schedule classes for which the workload might vary significantly from week to week over the course of a semester, and for which a SWF that required consistent weekly workload might therefore present an obstacle to effective scheduling. The wording of Article 11.09 it implies that a standard SWF (article 11.01) will consistently estimate the total amount of workload (no more, no less) for each teaching week. Faculty know this to be untrue if one takes into account the workload involved with orientation weeks, versus examination weeks, versus teaching weeks versus teaching/marking weeks. The standard SWF is an estimated average of total workload spread over one semester of teaching.

What Did the Workload Task Force recommend for Modified Workloads?

The Workload Task Force’s report recommended implementing Modified Workload Agreements on the following conditions:

1. Any faculty member may choose not to be a part of the modified workload arrangement.

2. A course’s workload must still be carefully measured, analyzing factors like class size, methods of evaluation, and preparation time

3. The total number of hours worked by a professor—which would be measured according to the SWF—could not exceed the number worked in the previous year

4. The union gives its consent (which may not be unreasonably withheld) to the modified arrangement.

Does the Colleges' contract meet the recommendations of the Workload Taskforce?

No. The Task Force’s very specific recommendations (above) were largely ignored by college management in their offer. MWAs that would measure only hours spent in-class, and teaching contact days over the length of the agreement, which can be from one semester to three years in duration, for the purpose of averaging over the length of the MWA. See the next question in the MWA FAQs for what is NOT included when calculating Total Workload for MWAs.

What is NOT included in the Colleges' MWA calculation of total workload are:

· preparation factors

· evaluation factors

· complementary hours, etc.

· student numbers


The college management proposes MWAs that would measure only hours spent in-class and teaching contact days over the course of one year (or, even worse, averaged over up to three years).

What should I look for to be comfortable with an MWA assignment?

If you have any doubts about Modified Workload Agreements, drop in to the Faculty Union Office for a chat, or make an appointment if no-one is available at the time.


Please inform your Union Local. The Local Faculty Union needs to be aware of all Modified Workload Agreements, so it can keep track of the number of Faculty involved (maximum 20% of total Faculty).


Much debate surrounds the specific purpose for the Modified Workload Agreement (MWA) as laid out in Article 11.09.


The College’s stated purpose for an MWA is to more easily “average out” teaching workloads within a program that may incorporate unusual “non-teaching?” assignments as work placement in a specific program. The question you need to ask both yourself and your supervisor is what does the College believe is a “non-teaching” activity?


A standard semester long SWF approaches have been successfully implemented and agreed among the union local, the faculty, and the College in many programs that incorporate work placement, project-based, and independent study components.


It may be wise to sit down with your supervisor and see if you can agree that your perceived workload could better be documented with a standard SWF.


SWFS have historically been adapted to accommodate AVERAGE weekly workload averages that include examination weeks,study weeks, orientation weeks, and midterm & final marking weeks, as well as the more specific features above.


Ask yourself (and your program colleagues) the question why your program is so specifically different than the ones described above.


It is important to discuss the proposed MWA arrangements with your Program colleagues. Some newer programs could contain a significant number of probationary faculty, who may not be specifically aware of the workloads they could be unwittingly accepting.


If you continue to be comfortable with the MWA concept, remember that your decision is a personal choice. You can choose to insist on a SWF regardless of your supervisor’s wishes.


Get the agreement in writing. Read Article 11.09 in the Collective Agreement (CA) to get a feel for what is involved with the terms and conditions of an MWA. There are very few workload safeguards compared to a SWF.


If your supervisor is hesitant to document the terms, conditions, and payment for an MWA, be hesitant to participate in an MWA. You have the personal right to ask for a SWF instead of an MWA.

If your supervisor agrees to document the MWA, compare the agreement to the terms and conditions of the SWF (Article 11.02), and to the terms & conditions of an MWA as laid out in Article 11.09.


In previous experiences with “Pilot Projects”, the precursors to “Modified Workload Agreements” the Union Local has observed that the most successful Pilot Projects satisfaction-wise for both Faculty and Management, closely resembled the terms and conditions of a SWF.


If both you and your supervisor are comfortable with a Modified Workload Agreement, you should collectively have no difficulty having the MWA closely resemble the SWF.


The Union believes that the following should be documented and understood before entering into a Modified Workload Agreement:

· The length of the agreement in semesters, or academic years.

· Maximum teaching weeks per academic year.

· Maximum teaching hours/week

· Maximum workload hours/week including complementary hours,

· Maximum number of course preparations, sections, number of students taught per semester


We hope this helps!



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