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How is Equity for Northern Ontarians threatened in this round of negotiations?

Rather than working with the NUFSA to support our common goal of educational excellence for northern, Indigenous and Francophone medical students, the administration is proposing to:

  • Reverse existing equity provisions in the collective agreement that promote gender equity, including assurances that women are represented on promotion committees and the ability to defer the promotion and tenure process based on family leaves (for example, parental leave and caregiver leave).
  • Introduce processes in the collective agreement that would put NUFSA members with disabilities at risk by continuously requesting medical information and independent medical examinations to justify workplace accommodations, and by eliminating accessible parking close to buildings for disabled employees. Once these provisions are lost at NOSM University, they can be easily lost for others in the NOSM University community, including students.
  • Hinder our collective efforts of fostering a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace by refusing to collect information on equity-deserving groups in the recruitment and hiring process and by removing language in our collective agreement that ensures job postings are also advertised in publications that may be especially directed to equity-deserving professionals. Putting up barriers for equity-deserving faculty jeopardises our ability to support a rich, equitable, or inclusive learning environment.
  • Remove job security protections to make it easier to lay off faculty, librarians, and professional staff which could result in economic precarity for equity-deserving academic staff and the erosion of academic freedom. This would impact students’ learning experience by making it harder to connect with faculty year over year for academic advising and mentorship opportunities. NOSM University will lose its competitive edge compared to southern Medical Schools when it comes to attracting high quality academic staff and faculty. Academics will see NOSM University as an unattractive outlier as a career choice.
  • Jeopardize NOSM University’s academic integrity by allowing unqualified non-faculty managers to perform some of our work. Imagine having someone who is not an expert in, for example, medical sciences taught in Theme 4, to direct medical scientist faculty and academic staff on how to prepare students for medical school exams, and eventually the licensing exam. 
  • Erode the level of expertise behind the development and teaching of curriculum on topics such as ethics, professionalism, Indigenous and Francophone Health, social and population health, legal responsibilities. 
  • Weaken faculty’s right to determine how and what technologies we use to teach, some of which enhance accessibility in the classroom.
  • Disadvantage NUFSA members with respect to faculty status through established partnerships with Laurentian University and Lakehead University, which are needed to fairly compete for research grants. This will damage the quality and diversity of research at NOSM University. It will also restrict our ability to conduct research that benefits patients in northern Ontario, a key aspect of social accountability. This will disadvantage NOSM University students with respect to research opportunities and limit the level of research that can be done compared to other medical schools. Research opportunities are a requirement for accreditation and to provide additional income and experience to northern medical students.

NUFSA believes deeply in the future of NOSM University and wants to work with the NOSM University Administration on building a strong stand-alone medical school University in Canada. 

Students deserve the best possible education, which is only possible when faculty, librarians, and professional staff have fair workloads, equitable compensation, and guaranteed job security. 

Faculty, librarian, and professional staff working conditions are student learning conditions.