Revisions to Part-Time Policy

Last updated on April 6, 2021

Approval

We are very pleased to be able to announce that the Governing Council of the University of Toronto approved important policy changes relating to part-time faculty on October 29, 2020. These include:

  1. A change to the rank and titles of part-time teaching stream faculty members from the current titles of “Lecturer” and “Senior Lecturer” to “Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream” and “Associate Professor, Teaching Stream,” effective October 29, 2020.
  2. The revision of the Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Academic Faculty, 2021. The changes to the Policy modernize the terms and conditions of employment for part-time faculty members at the University of Toronto and reflect the important role they play at the University. The revised policy comes into effect January 1, 2021.
  3. Amendments to the Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions in the Teaching Stream that now include part-time faculty in the teaching stream. These changes will take effect January 1, 2021.
  4. Amendments to the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments (PPAA) that will affect faculty with tenure or continuing status who wish to reduce their percentage appointment. These changes will take effect January 1, 2021.

Please note that the terms of the revised Part-time Policy do not automatically apply to individual part-time faculty members on existing contracts. The agreement between the University and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) includes a detailed Transition Framework which governs transition into the new policy. Individual part-time faculty will be receiving further communication in the months to come about any specific impact on them.

See the Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs (PDAD&C) memorandum #79 for the formal announcement made on June 4, 2020 of the Agreement between the University of Toronto and UTFA.

The following are the revisions to the Part-time Policy. See Appendix A: Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Faculty in the Copy of the Agreement. Please see below for Approval and Implement details.

  • Defines part-time as a full-time equivalent (FTE) appointment of 20–75%: A part-time appointment is defined as “one that does not exceed 75 per cent of full-time employment and is not less than 20 per cent of full-time employment.” (Preamble; see transitional provisions for faculty currently appointed at less than 20%.)
  • Clarifies that part-time appointments may be made to any academic rank and on what basis: “Appointments may be made to any academic rank on a part-time basis.” (section 2a); “Appointment to the ranks of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream; Associate Professor, Teaching Stream; Professor, Teaching Stream; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor or Professor should be reserved for those individuals who bear a similar responsibility in terms of teaching, research/scholarship and service, to full-time appointments.” (section 2b)
  • Allows for part-time adjunct or visiting faculty appointments: “Divisions wishing to describe part-time professorial appointments as adjunct or visiting may retain the title but the rank shall also be specified, e.g., Adjunct Assistant Professor.” (section 2c)
  • Establishes professorial rank and title for part-time faculty in the teaching stream (bringing them in line with other appointed faculty). “Appointment to the ranks of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream; Associate Professor, Teaching Stream; Professor, Teaching Stream; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor or Professor should be reserved for those individuals who bear a similar responsibility in terms of teaching, research/scholarship and service, to full-time appointments.” (section 2b)
  • Establishes term of initial appointment as 1 year or up to 2 years: “Appointments at all part-time ranks shall normally be one year’s length in duration but may also be up to two year’s length in duration.”(section 1)
  • Establishes renewal terms of appointment as 1–2 years for no more than a total of 6 years and establishes set notification period for renewal: “An appointment may be renewed for one or two years at the option of the department and the part-time faculty member should not expect continuation of the appointment.” “In the event an appointment is to be renewed, the department will endeavor to provide written notice of the renewal at least two (2) months in advance of the end date of the appointment” (section 4)
  • Clarifies that term limited appointments will terminate automatically in accordance with their terms unless previously renewed in writing: “Term limited appointments will terminate automatically in accordance with their terms unless previously renewed in writing. Acceptance of a term limited appointment constitutes written receipt of notice that the employment will terminate on the end date as set out in the appointment, except as otherwise provided above.”(section 13a) “An appointment may be renewed for one or two years at the option of the department and the part-time faculty member should not expect continuation of the appointment. In the event an appointment is to be renewed, the department will endeavor to provide written notice of the renewal at least two (2) months in advance of the end date of the appointment, failing which the appointment will end in accordance with its terms.” (section 4)
  • Establishes, if renewed for a sixth year, that the faculty member must be considered for a continuing appointment: “During the sixth (6th) year of a period of successive one year and/or two year appointments, a part-time faculty member will be considered for continuing appointment as a part-time faculty member in accordance with (b) below on the terms set out in this policy.” (section 7a) “The review shall be the same as that of interim review for Assistant Professor and probationary review for Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, pursuant to the relevant provisions of the PPAA, it being understood that the part-time faculty member is expected to have made achievements in teaching and research/scholarship during the course of their employment. Significant service contributions may also be considered.” (section 7b) “There shall be no more than six (6) successive annual appointments or successive appointments totaling six years before the part-time faculty member will be considered for continuing appointment in accordance with 7(a) below.” (Section 4)
    • Timing: “The review to be conducted before December 31” (section 7b)
    • Criteria: “The review committee should consider two questions:
      • (i) Has the part-time faculty member’s performance been sufficiently satisfactory for a continuing appointment to be recommended?
      • (ii) If a continuing appointment is recommended, what counselling should be given to the part-time faculty member to assist them to improve areas of weakness and maintain areas of strength?” (section 7b)
    • Successful review: “If the review is successful the part-time faculty member will be provided continuing appointment as a part-time faculty member at the same percentage appointment as the part-time member’s contract at the time the review was conducted unless the part-time faculty member and the unit head (with the approval of the division head and the Vice-President & Provost) agree to a different percentage.” (section 7b)
    • Unsuccessful review: “If the review is not successful, the part-time faculty member’s contract will end in accordance with its terms and this Policy and will not be renewed.”(section 7b)
    • Right of appeal: “Where there is a review for a continuing appointment and the review is not successful and the part-time faculty member will not be offered a continuing appointment, the non-continuation or non-renewal of the part-time appointment cannot be the subject of a grievance under the Grievance Procedure set out in Article 7 of the Memorandum of Agreement. A claim that the non-renewal of a part-time appointment breached Article 9: No Discrimination of the Memorandum of Agreement or was made in bad faith or as a reprisal for the exercise of academic freedom may be appealed.” (See section 7d for further details.)
    • Appeal process: “In the multi-departmental divisions, the appeal will be considered by the Principal or Dean. In other divisions, the appeal will be considered by a Principal or Dean designated for this purpose by the Vice-President & Provost. Where the appellant is cross-appointed, the person to hear the appeal will be determined according to the division in which the appellant holds their primary appointment. Appeals must be made in writing within fifteen (15) working days of the non-renewal of the part-time appointment and the appellant informed of the decision within twenty (20) working days of the appeal. The decision of the Principal or Dean may be appealed to the Vice-President & Provost within ten (10) days. The Vice-President & Provost’s decision will be final and cannot be grieved under the Grievance Procedure set out in Article 7 of the Memorandum of Agreement.”
    • Part-time faculty may request a delay to review for continuing appointment: “Part-time faculty members who are scheduled to be considered for continuing appointments pursuant to 7(a) above may make a written request for delay in their review for continuing appointment due to pregnancy and/or parental or adoption leave or serious circumstances beyond their control such as illness or injury. The leave or serious circumstances must have occurred during their appointment as a part-time faculty member.”(section 12) “Delays may be granted for one year, but not more than two years, with the written approval of the Vice-President & Provost. Written requests by a part-time faculty member for further delays based on the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code as amended from time to time will be considered by the Vice-President & Provost on a case-by-case basis, it being understood and agreed that such requests must be made by the member in writing at the earliest opportunity (i.e. as soon as a part-time member knows or reasonably ought to know that their review for continuing appointment may warrant a delay based on the provisions of the Code.)” (section 12)
  • Clarifies that timelines for part-time faculty with previous CLTA appointments normally include time as a CLTA: “Where a part-time faculty member appointed under this policy was previously employed at the University in a Contractually Limited Term Appointment (CLTA) position in the same academic unit as their part-time faculty appointment, years of CLTA appointment shall normally be included when determining the application of this policy to that part-time faculty member. For example: a faculty member who had served five successive years in a CLTA position in the same academic unit could be appointed to a one year contract and considered for continuing employment in accordance with (b) above during what would be for the purposes of this policy their sixth successive year.”(section 7c)
  • Provides for exception to the requirement that employment be successive years: “Exceptions to the requirement that employment be successive can be made by the Vice-President & Provost” (section 7, e)
  • Provides that part-time faculty may be promoted: “The criteria and procedures for promotion through the ranks shall be the same as for full-time faculty members with an appropriately reduced expectation as to the quantity of work.” (section 11)
  • Establishes clearly articulated notice and severance provisions for part-time faculty with continuing appointments who are terminated without cause: “The continuing appointment of a faculty member appointed under this policy may be terminated by the University for reasons that do not amount to cause for termination.” “When the University decides to terminate a continuing appointment without cause, the part-time faculty member will be provided with two (2) months’ working notice of termination plus, at the end of the period of working notice, severance pay on the basis of one (1) month’s pay per completed year of continuous service* with the University, to a maximum of twenty-two (22) months** (i.e., a combined maximum of working notice and severance pay of twenty-four (24) months).” “*Continuous service is defined as years of service that are counted under this Policy for which the faculty member has not previously received any severance pay under this Policy; or, solely for the purposes of calculating severance pay under the Employment Standards Act, as defined by the Employment Standards Act.” “** If two (2) months’ working notice of termination is not provided, then severance pay would be up to a maximum of twenty-four (24) months.” (section 13b)
  • Includes provision for termination for cause: “At any time, the appointment of a part-time faculty member may be terminated for cause, including incompetence, persistent neglect of duty, willful or gross misconduct, without notice or pay in lieu of notice or severance.” (section 13,2)
  • The revised policy also clarifies the following:
    • Workload expectations and FTE calculation
      • “When an appointment is considered to be part-time, the fraction of the time for which the individual is to be appointed shall be computed on the basis of the expected workload of the individual divided by the workload of a comparable full-time faculty member over the period of employment.” (preamble)
    • Eligibility for pension and benefits
      • “All part-time faculty members shall be eligible for participation in the pension plan according to present policy. In addition, part-time faculty members holding appointments of 25 per cent or more shall be eligible for other benefits on a pro-rated basis.”(section 5)
    • Eligibility for PTR
      • “All part-time faculty members are eligible for consideration for PTR awards in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures on a pro-rated basis.” (section 6)
    • Service Expectations
      • “Part-time faculty members appointed under this policy shall normally be expected to participate in departmental administrative activities as appropriate unless otherwise agreed to in writing with the unit head. The contribution will be proportionately reduced in accordance with their full-time equivalency. Such service will be assessed as part of the annual merit process.”(section 8)
    • Eligibility for RSL
      • “A faculty member on 50 percent or greater appointment shall be entitled to apply for research and study leave in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement.”(section 9)
    • Graduate Faculty Membership
      • “Part-time faculty members appointed under this policy shall be eligible for appointment to the graduate faculty upon recommendation of the unit head to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies under the same terms as full-time faculty in their division.”(section 10)
    • PI Eligibility
      • “Whether a faculty member is full or part time does not affect eligibility to act as a Principal Investigator or their eligibility to apply for grants or awards provided they are otherwise eligible.”(section 10)

a) Approval in Governance: Changes to Part-Time Policy (Appendix B: Transition Framework Proposal)

The revised Part-time Policy was approved by Governing Council on October 29, 2020:

  • The new ranks and title for teaching stream faculty will take effect immediately: the change will occur “on the date the new Policy is approved by Governing Council.” (Appendix B: Transition Framework Proposal, section 6)
  • The revised Part-Time Policy will become effective January 1, 2021. (Agreement paragraph 2.) The Transitional provisions apply on January 1, 2021. (Appendix B: Transition Framework Proposal, section 1)

b) Implementation: Faculty Appointed Under the Part-Time Policy (Appendix B: Transition Framework Proposal)

The agreement negotiated provides for a transition plan for all part-time faculty as follows below. Part-time faculty members will receive a personalized letter about any specific impact on them.

It is important to emphasize that entitlements under the Transitional Framework depend on the history and length of previous appointments and whether or not the contract existing as of January 1, 2021 is subsequently renewed.

  1. Part-time faculty members appointed in the same unit for 8 or more years, normally without a break in employment of more than 1 year as of January 1, 2021:
    1. “Any part-time faculty member who meets these criteria on January 1, 2021 and whose contract in effect on that date is renewed will be deemed to have a continuing appointment under the new Policy without a review. The part-time faculty member’s continuing appointment will be at the same percentage appointment as the part-time faculty member’s current contract unless the part-time faculty member and the Unit Head (with the approval of the Division Head and the Vice-President and Provost) agree to a different percentage.” (Appendix B, section 3)
    2. “Any part-time faculty member who meets these criteria on January 1, 2021 and whose contract in effect on that date is not renewed will, at the end of that contract, be entitled to working notice and severance pay under clause (13)1(b) of the new Policy as if they had been terminated from a continuing appointment without cause under that clause of the new Policy.“ (Appendix B, section 3 – see further for provision for appeal)
  2. Part-time faculty members appointed in the same unit for 5 or more years and less than 8 years, normally without a break in employment of more than 1 year:
    1. “Any part-time faculty member who meets these criteria on January 1, 2021 and whose contract in effect on that date is renewed will be considered for a continuing appointment under the new Policy on the same basis as if they were in the sixth year of an appointment under the new Policy (i.e., a review for a continuing appointment). If the review is successful the part-time faculty member will have a continuing appointment. The part-time faculty member’s continuing appointment will be at the same percentage appointment as the faculty member’s current contract unless the part-time faculty member and the Unit Head (with the approval of the Division Head and the Vice-President & Provost) agree to a different percentage.” “If the review is not successful the part-time faculty member will not be offered a continuing appointment and will at the end of their contract be entitled to working notice and severance pay under clause (13)1(b) of the new Policy as if they had been terminated from a continuing appointment without cause under that clause of the new Policy.” (Appendix B, section 4)
    2. “Any part-time faculty member who meets these criteria on January 1, 2021 and whose contract in effect on that date is not renewed will at the end of their current contract be entitled to working notice and severance pay under clause (13)1(b) of the new Policy as if they had been terminated from a continuing appointment without cause under that clause of the new Policy.” (Appendix B, section 4 – see further for provision for appeal)
  3. “For part-time faculty who on January 1, 2021 have been appointed for less than 5 years, the new Policy takes effect automatically on the start date of the new appointment if they receive another part-time appointment on or after January 1, 2021. For example, if a part-time faculty member had an initial one year contract from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 and they were offered and accepted another part-time appointment in the same unit starting on July 1, 2021 the new Policy would apply to them on July 1, 2021 and at which time they would have completed 1 year of appointment in the unit for the purposes of the new Policy.” (Appendix B, section 5)
  4. Part-time faculty currently appointed at less than 20%: “The 20% minimum will apply to appointments made after these amendments become effective. Those currently appointed at less than 20% will be grandparented for the full term of their employment with the University. For clarity, part-time faculty members appointed at less than 20% when the new part-time policy becomes effective would be covered by the transitional provisions and the new part-time policy in the same way as their colleagues with appointments greater than 20% except that the requirement that part-time appointments not be less than 20% of full-time employment would be waived.” (Preamble); “Part-time faculty members appointed under the current Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Faculty who are currently appointed at less than 20% will be grandparented for the full term of their employment with the University.” (Appendix B, section 7)
  5. Years as a CLTA may count towards part-time calculations: “Years served in the same unit under the current Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Faculty and years served as a CLTA faculty member in the same unit, without any break in employment of more than 1 year, will “count” under the new Policy (e.g., when determining timing for a review for continuing employment). (Appendix B, section 10)
  6. Clarification of part-time calculation: “The year in which the parties reach agreement “counts” in the calculation of the number of years the part-time faculty member has been appointed. Someone who is completing their 8th year of employment, for example, is considered to have been appointed for 8 years or more for the purposes of paragraph 2 above. (Appendix B, section 12)
  7. Part-time faculty whose contract is not renewed: “any part-time faculty member who meets the criteria in paragraph 3 below (i.e., appointed in the same unit for 8 or more years, normally without a break in employment of more than 1 year) or in paragraph 4 below (i.e., appointed in the same unit for 5 or more years and less than 8 years, normally without a break in employment of more than 1 year) on May 7, 2020 (and provided the new Policy is approved by UTFA Council and that the new Policy is ultimately approved by Governing Council) and whose contract is not renewed will be entitled to notice and severance pay under clause (13)1(b) of the new Policy as if they had been terminated without cause under that clause of the new Policy. Where any such part-time faculty member received written working notice of non-renewal before May 7, 2020 and/or severance pay, the period of working notice and/or severance pay received will reduce the amount of notice and severance pay owing, provided that in no case will such a part-time faculty member receive severance pay in an amount less than any severance pay entitlement under the ESA. Working notice does not reduce the amount of severance pay. For example, if before May 7, 2020 a part-time faculty member appointed in the same unit for 10 years received 3 months of written working notice of non-renewal they would be entitled to receive severance pay in an amount equivalent to 10 months’ pay less required deductions.” (Appendix B, section 2)

The agreement also provided for changes to the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments (2015) relative to both faculty holding a tenured full-time appointment and a continuing status teaching stream appointment. Please see below for Approval and Implementation details.

  • Establishes specific provisions for faculty appointed under the PPAA who wish to reduce their FTE: The part-time Policy “does not apply to tenure stream or continuing status teaching stream faculty members who must be appointed under the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments (“PPAA”).” (preamble)
  • Establishes definition of part-time: “A part-time appointment is one that does not exceed 75 percent of full-time employment.”
  • States that requests to reduce FTE to part-time will not be unreasonably denied: “Individuals holding a tenured full-time appointment [or a continuing status teaching stream appointment] may, with the agreement of the unit head and the appropriate division head, and with the approval of the Vice-President & Provost, reduce their appointment to part-time. Requests for such a reduction in percentage of appointment shall not be unreasonably denied by the University.”
  • Establishes normal limit of 20% FTE: “Appointments shall not normally be reduced to less than 20% FTE.”
  • Establishes normal limit of 3 years on reduction of appointment to part-time FTE: “Reductions in percentage of appointment shall not normally exceed three (3) consecutive years, unless the basis for the reduction is an accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code.” “Unless the basis for a reduction in percentage of appointment is an accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, a reduction in percentage of appointment shall not exceed three (3) consecutive years, and the faculty member must return to a full-time appointment at the expiry of the term of reduction in percentage appointment unless the reduction is extended in writing with the agreement of the faculty member, and the agreement of the unit head and the appropriate division head, and with the approval of the Vice-President & Provost.”

a) Approval in Governance

The amendments to the PPAA were approved by Governing Council on October 29, 2020. The changes to the PPAA will become effective January 1, 2021.

b) Implementation: Transition Framework for faculty with reduced FTE under the PPAA

The agreement negotiated provides for a transition plan for all faculty with tenure or continuing status who are currently employed on an FTE of 75% or less as follows below. Pending approval of the revised policy in governance, all part-time faculty in this category who may be affected by the change in policy will receive a personalized letter outlining how the changes may affect them.

  • “Individuals who held a tenured or continuing status full-time appointment and who under the current Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Faculty changed to a tenured or continuing status appointment part-time under paragraph (5) of that Policy may continue in their tenured or continuing status appointments part-time.” (Appendix B, section 8)

How faculty are affected depends on when their arrangement was entered into and whether or not it has an end date:

  • Those on reduced FTE with an end date: “Full-time faculty members who currently have approved part-time arrangements of limited duration will be grandparented until the end of that arrangement after which time future requests for part-time arrangements shall be considered under the relevant provisions of the new Policy.  Time spent in part-time arrangements prior to the effective date of the new Policy shall not be counted toward the three-year maximum in clause 5 of the new Policy.” (Appendix B, section 9)
  • Those without an end date whose current arrangement was entered into since January 1, 2019: “As a transitional provision, faculty members who changed from full-time to part-time within the 2 years preceding the effective date of the new Policy will have a time-limited one-time option to revert to their full-time status. This option is to be exercised within 3 months of the date the new Policy becomes effective. The Administration will contact all faculty members eligible to exercise this option to inform them of the option.” (Appendix B, section 8)
  • Those without an end date whose current arrangement was entered into prior to January 1, 2019: “For other faculty alteration of their percentage of appointment may occur only with the consent of the faculty member and the unit head, the division head, and the Vice-President and Provost.” (Appendix B, section 8)