NEW: Workload

Revised: February 25, 2021.

The information in this manual provides guidance on implementing policy but in all instances, the policies are binding and take precedence over the information provided in this manual.

1 Relevant Policy
2 Principles of the WLPP
3 Development of a Unit Workload Policy
4 Workload Assignments Should be Consistent With a Faculty Member’s Appointment
5 Assigning Workload — Faculty
6 Librarians and Workload

1 Relevant Policy

2 Principles of the WLPP

2.1 There are three elements of workload

  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … Workload allocation that will comprehensively take into account the full scope of activities and expectations of a member of a unit, commensurate with the 3 principal components of a faculty and librarian member’s appointment.” (WLPP, 1.2)
  • “The assigned proportion of a faculty member’s work will include teaching and preparation for teaching, and the necessary administrative tasks associated with the operation of a collegial environment. The remainder of a faculty member’s working time is self-directed and may consist of research, scholarly, creative or professional work consistent with the type of appointment the faculty member holds. Subject to any requirements in Article 8 of the MOA and the WLPP, individual units shall determine the balance amongst the three principal components of a faculty member’s activities: teaching, research and service.” (WLPP, 4.0 — emphasis added)

2.2 Not all workload is assigned

  • “Workload is a combination of tasks assigned and tasks determined through collegial interaction and self-direction.” (WLPP, Preamble)
  • “The remainder of a faculty member’s working time is self-directed and may consist of research, scholarly, creative or professional work consistent with the type of appointment the faculty member holds.” (WLPP, 4.0)

2.3 Workload should be determined locally

  • “Units vary in their contributions to the University mission and so it is understood that what constitutes normal workload will vary from one unit to another.” (WLPP, Preamble)

2.4 Workload distribution should be fair, reasonable, and equitable

  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: A fair, reasonable and equitable distribution of workload;” (WLPP, 1.2)
  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … Workload allocation that will comprehensively take into account the full scope of activities and expectations of a member of a unit, commensurate with the 3 principal components of a faculty and librarian member’s appointment.” (WLPP, 1.2)
  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … Assignment of individual workload based on the principle that comparable work will be weighed in the same manner.” (WLPP, 1.2)

2.5 The allocation of workload should be transparent

  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … A transparent process of workload allocation within a unit, based on decisions made in accordance with criteria that are known to members within that unit;” (WLPP, 1.2)

2.6 There should be flexibility in the allocation of workload

  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … Flexibility in workload allocation that reflects the missions of units and is consistent with the type of appointment members hold and the diversity of their research and scholarship and assigned teaching and service responsibilities and activities;” (WLPP, 1.2)
  •  “At the same time, unit members will experience different demands from year to year in the balancing of domains of workload, and so an individual member’s workload may vary from year to year and from a colleague’s workload within a year.” (WLPP, Preamble)

2.7 Workload policies should be developed collegially

  • “Engaging in collegial discussions about workload and producing fair and transparent workload considerations within units is intended to assist units and unit members in managing and balancing workloads.” (WLPP, Preamble)
  • “The University of Toronto is committed to: … Criteria for workload allocation that have been developed in accordance with collegial governance, including the opportunity for members of the unit to contribute reasonably to their development and review. In this regard, workload allocation should respect academic freedom and a reasonable degree of professional autonomy; Workload allocation that will comprehensively take into account the full scope of activities and expectations of a member of a unit, commensurate with the 3 principal components of a faculty and librarian member’s appointment.” (WLPP, 1.2)

3 Development of a Unit Workload Policy

3.1 All academic units must have a policy

  • Every academic unit that holds majority budgetary appointments must have an approved Unit Workload Policy specific to their unit.
  • “All units shall establish a Unit Workload Policy Committee to create and maintain a Unit Workload Policy, including workload norms, standards or ranges appropriate to the Unit and consistent with the terms of this WLPP and the Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”).” (WLPP, 2.1)

3.2 Importance of a collegial process — composition of workload committee

  • “Proposed Unit Workload policies shall be developed and revised collegially at the unit level.  Members of the unit shall be invited to provide input in writing or orally to the Committee on the contents of the proposed policy.” (WLPP, 2.11)
  •  “The composition of the Unit Workload Policy Committee will be established through a collegial process that provides a reasonable opportunity for all members of the unit to have input regarding which members shall serve on the Committee. This will include an email or other written communication to unit members inviting them to put their names forward for consideration. Committee membership should be reasonably reflective of the membership of the Unit, including reflecting the types of appointments that faculty members in the unit hold. The Unit Head shall be the Chair of the Unit Workload Policy Committee.” (WLPP, 2.2 – emphasis added)

3.3 Unit workload policies should be reviewed every three years

  • “Unit Workload Policies shall be reviewed at least every three years by the unit.” (WLPP, 2.16)
  • Unit workload policies in multi-department Faculties (MDFs) should be approved by your Dean’s Office; unit workload policies in single-department Faculties (SDFs) should be approved by the Office of Faculty & Academic Life. (WLPP, 2.12; 2.13; 2.15; 2.16)

4 Workload Assignments Should be Consistent With a Faculty Member’s Appointment

  • All appointed faculty are covered by their unit workload policy.
  • “Each faculty member will be covered by the Unit Workload Policy for the Unit in which they hold their primary appointment.” (WLPP, 2.3)

4.1 Faculty with cross-appointments

  • “Faculty members holding budgetary cross-appointments to more than one unit should be assigned teaching and university service duties in a manner consistent with their percentage appointment in each unit.” (WLPP, 6.1)
  • “A common meeting involving the faculty member and all heads of units to which the member is appointed should take place to discuss workload and to resolve any conflicts in expectations between units. This meeting should occur, in person or by telephone, in any given year in which one of the Unit Workload Policies is amended or at the request of the faculty member or any of the heads of relevant units. A written record of the teaching, supervisory and service expectations agreed at the meeting shall be kept by the unit heads and the faculty member.” (WLPP, 6.1)

4.2 Faculty whose main graduate appointment is associated with another academic unit

  • “Faculty members who hold their main graduate appointment outside their primary unit of appointment should also have a common meeting, in person or by telephone, involving the faculty member and both the unit head and graduate chair in any year in which one of the Workload Policies is amended or at the request of the faculty member or any of the relevant units. This is to clarify workload and to resolve any conflicts in expectations between units. A written record of the teaching, supervisory and service expectations agreed at the meeting shall be kept by the unit head, graduate chair and the faculty member.” (WLPP, 6.2)

4.3 Part-time faculty

  • “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.” (Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Faculty, January 2021, Preamble)

4.4 Teaching stream faculty

  • “Teaching and related Administrative Responsibilities; Scholarship, and Service, constitute the principal obligations of faculty members in the Teaching Stream.” (WLPP, 7.1)
  • “Scholarship refers to any combination of discipline-based scholarship in relation to or relevant to the field in which the faculty member teaches, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and creative/professional activities.” (WLPP, 7.2)
  • “Teaching stream faculty are entitled to reasonable time for pedagogical/professional development in determining workload as set out in paragraph 30(x)(b) of the PPAA*.

*e.g., discipline-based scholarship in relation to, or relevant to, the field in which the faculty member teaches; participation at, and contributions to, academic conferences where sessions on pedagogical research and technique are prominent; teaching-related activity by the faculty member outside of his or her classroom functions and responsibilities; professional work that allows the faculty member to maintain a mastery of his or her subject area in accordance with appropriate divisional guidelines.” (WLPP, 7.2)

4.5 CLTA faculty

  • “In developing Unit Workload Policies, the Committee should address workload assignments for CLTAs having regard to workload related similarities and differences with tenure and teaching stream faculty in the same unit.” (WLPP, 2.13)
  • “The teaching load of a Contractually Limited Term Appointed (CLTA) faculty member shall be no more than that of a comparably situated member in the same continuing track (i.e., Tenure Stream or Teaching Stream).” (WLPP, 9.1)

4.6 Workload adjustments

  • “Temporary reductions of workloads. In assigning workload to pre-tenure and pre-continuing status faculty, temporary reductions in teaching and service loads are to be encouraged.” (WLPP, 3.2)
  • The Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments provides for a term adjusted workload for pre-tenure/pre-continuing status faculty following a successful interim/probationary review. See PPAA, II, 9 for tenure stream faculty1 and PPAA, VII, viii for continuing stream, teaching stream faculty2.

1 “Appointees who have been granted a renewal of their initial contract are entitled to request an adjustment to their workload assignment for one academic term in order to allow them to focus on preparing for their tenure consideration and to address any advice from the review of their initial appointment. Normally this term will not include assigned teaching, or service; but the term may include assigned teaching, with the candidate’s agreement, in order to address advice from their review.”

2 “Upon reappointment, the faculty member will be offered an academic term to focus on preparing for continuing status review and to address any advice from the interim review. Normally this term will not include assigned teaching above ½ of the normal teaching assignments or service, but with the candidate’s agreement the term may include more than ½ of the normal teaching assignments or some assigned service, in order to reflect feedback from the interim review.”

5 Assigning Workload — Faculty

5.1 Considerations

  • The teaching component of workload should be developed in line with Section 4 of the WLPP (and Section 7 for teaching stream faculty).
  • Service components should be developed in line with Section 5 of the WLPP.
  • Do not assign teaching in three sequential semesters unless this is at the request of the faculty member: Under the MOA, “faculty members shall not be required to teach formal scheduled courses for more than two terms in any academic year” (Article 8). Faculty members may request to spread their teaching across three semesters.

5.2 Annual written workload letters

  • Letters must be written: “Each member will be provided with a written assignment of their workload duties on an annual basis that includes the member’s percentage appointment and details of teaching and service or, in the case of librarians, professional practice and service, by no later than June 30th.” (WLPP, 2.17 — emphasis added)

5.3 Timeline to provide letters

  • June 30: “Each member will be provided with a written assignment of their workload duties on an annual basis … by no later than June 30th.” (WLPP, 2.17 — emphasis added)

5.4 Specifics of letters

  • “Where an individual member’s assignment is materially different from the unit’s workload norms, standards or ranges, the variation and the reason for it should be identified in the individual member’s written assignment of workload, subject to any accommodation agreements.” (WLPP, 2.17)

5.4.1 Letters must be made available

  • “All written assignments for each Unit will be collected in the Office of the Unit Head and made readily available for review at the request of any member of the Unit or the Association.  (WLPP, 2.17)

6 Librarians and Workload

6.1 Librarian Workload Policy Committee

  • “Librarians will be covered by a Librarian Workload Policy Committee that will create and maintain a Librarian Workload Policy, including workload norms, standards or ranges appropriate for the libraries and consistent with the terms of this WLPP and the MOA.” (WLPP, 2.5)
  • “Composition of the Librarian Workload Policy Committee. The composition of the Librarian Workload Policy Committee will be established through a collegial process that provides a reasonable opportunity for all Librarians to have input regarding which members shall serve on the Committee. This will include an email or other written communication to unit members inviting them to put their names forward for consideration. Committee membership should be reasonably reflective of the membership of the libraries, including reflecting the types of appointments that Librarians hold and should include representation from the UTM, UTSC, and Central and divisional libraries. The University’s Chief Librarian shall be the Chair of the Librarian Workload Policy Committee.” (WLPP, 2.6)

6.2 Librarians and workload

  • “Librarian workload is a combination of tasks assigned and tasks determined through collegial interaction and self direction. While the pattern of a librarian’s professional activity may vary from individual to individual, the following three activities constitute a librarian’s principal responsibilities:
    • (a) Professional practice for the Library, including teaching that has been requested or approved by a Librarian’s manager. In considering the teaching component of normal workload for librarians, relevant factors include the factors set out in Article 4.2, if applicable.
    • (b)  Research and scholarly contributions, including academic, professional and pedagogical contributions or activities
    • (c)   Service, which should be broadly understood to include service to the University, Library and the profession.” (WLPP, 8.1)
  • “Appointed librarians will have the opportunity to discuss with the appropriate unit head or senior administrator the distribution of their duties, taking into account the need for adequate time to fulfill the 3 principal responsibilities of librarians for the next academic year, at the time of the annual performance review.” (WLPP, 8.2)
  • “When previously unforeseen circumstances warrant, a librarian may request an in-year adjustment to their agreed workload distribution pattern. Requests for an in year adjustment will be considered in a manner consistent with the Librarian Workload Policy, the WLPP, and the MOA.” (WLPP, 8.3)
  • “The Librarian Workload Policy shall include the same workload norms for both permanent stream and CLTA librarians.” (WLPP, 9.2)

6.3 Librarians with an appointment in more than one library

  • “Librarians holding appointments in more than one library unit or Division should be assigned workload in a manner consistent with their percentage appointment in each unit.  A meeting involving the librarian and all heads of units to which the librarian is appointed should take place on an annual basis to discuss workload and to resolve any conflicts in expectations between units.  A written record of the expectations agreed at the meeting shall be kept by the unit heads and the librarian.” (WLPP, 8.4)