The SWF (“swiff“, stands for Standard Workload Formula), is a document that is used to calculate workload (Article 11 of the Collective Agreement) for full-time teaching faculty. SWFs are usually given out once per term, 6 weeks prior to the start of the term. Prior to SWFs being issued, managers are required to have a conversation with each faculty member to discuss possible workloads for the upcoming term. Revised SWFs may be issued in certain circumstances, even after the SWF deadline, and is usually assessed on a case-by-case basis.
A SWF is like a “contract” – a written agreement between the College and a full time faculty member that outlines what work that faculty will perform in a semester. It is critical therefore that:
- SWFs are accurate in terms of the workload provisions and restrictions that are found in Article 11.
- SWFs state exactly what work will be performed during the semester. Any task that a faculty is required to perform must be listed on the SWF.
- SWFs clearly explain the nature of any task. This is especially true of items found on page 2 under “Complementary Functions.” No faculty should sign a SWF unless they are comfortable that they fully understand the details of the work they will be performing.
- SWFs are consistent, ensuring that all faculty receive the same credit for executing the same tasks.
- In cases where a faculty’s workload is varied during a semester, separate SWFs are produced for each of the different workload periods. For example, within a 15 week semester, some courses may be 7 or 11 weeks in length. Therefore 2 or 3 different SWFs may need to be written during the 15 week semester.
Reviewing your SWF
- 18 contact hours (teaching hours) is the maximum teaching hours for post-secondary faculty without going into overtime. The absolute maximum number of contact hours allowed is 19 hours/week. Overtime must be paid for that additional hour. The overtime rate is 0.1% of annual salary per hour (for example, a faculty making $100,000/year would earn $100/hour for overtime pay).
- There can only be 4 different course preparations in a week except by voluntary agreement (which shall not be unreasonably withheld). Multiple sections of the same course will count as one preparation.
- It’s a good idea to review the evaluation methods for each course on your SWF to ensure you receive the proper credit for the evaluation work that you do.
- The collective agreement says that faculty with more than 260 students in total may not have sufficient time for appropriate “out of class” assistance. One way of dealing with this is to discuss the issue with the supervisor and alleviate the issue by providing assistance to the faculty. This method rarely happens. The more typical process is to attribute an additional .015 hour for every student in excess of 260.
- 44 hours/week is the maximum total workload for faculty without going into overtime. That workload can be exceeded with voluntary agreement by the faculty. The absolute maximum number of workload hours is 47 hours/week. This number cannot be exceeded under any circumstances.
- Probationary employees cannot be assigned total workload hours in excess of the 44 hours per week under any circumstances.
- The minimum # of complementary hours that must be assigned for faculty who are teaching is 6 hours. The collective agreement breaks this down into: 4 hours for out-of-class assistance to individual students and 2 hours for normal administrative tasks (e.g. e-mails, preparing tests and assignments, D2L work, inputting grades, etc.).
- It is critical to ensure that the nature of other assigned tasks (complementary functions on page 2 of the SWF) is clearly described. Avoid vague language so that you fully understand exactly the type and volume of work you’re agreeing to at the time of signing your SWF.
- If you do not agree with your SWF, the first step should be to discuss the areas of concern with your supervisor in an attempt to resolve the issues. If agreement is still not reached, you must then check “Proposed Workload Referred to Workload Monitoring Group” and write the nature of the concern(s) in the comments section. Article 11.02A4 says, “In the event that the teacher is not in agreement with the total workload and wishes it to be reviewed by the WMG, the teacher must so indicate in writing to the supervisor within 5 working days following the date of receipt of the SWF.” Checking that box will ensure that your supervisor takes the concern seriously and will likely prompt them to seek a discussion. If the issue is settled, the WMG referral can be cancelled.
You may find the following documents helpful in understanding your SWF:
If you require clarification on the SWF or would like your steward to review your SWF, feel free to contact your steward directly.