Our History

The St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association (SJU ASA) is the certified bargaining agent for all faculty and professional librarians at St. Jerome’s University, a public Roman Catholic university federated with the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.

In April 2009, the Ontario Labour Relations Board certified The St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association (SJU ASA) as a trade union for full-time academic staff. On 25 April  2013, the Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a certificate for the SJU ASA to act as sole representative to all Contract Academic Staff (CAS) at St. Jerome’s.

The SJU ASA consists of two bargaining units (Full-time and CAS), and membership in each unit is determined by length of contract rather than full- or part-time status. The Full-time unit represents all academic staff (full-time or part-time) with contracts over 12 months in length. The CAS unit represents all members with contracts for less than 12 months, regardless of workload. Each unit has representation on the Executive Committee as well as its own Grievance Officer.

The SJU ASA replaced the St. Jerome’s University Faculty Association, which was integrated into the Faculty Association at the University of Waterloo. According to the University of Waterloo Act (2001), St. Jerome’s full-time teaching faculty are regular faculty members at UW. Given this historical connection as well as the federation agreement between the University of Waterloo and St. Jerome’s, the SJU ASA and FAUW have maintained collegial relations, with a FAUW representatives sitting as ex-officio, non-voting members on the SJU ASA executive committee and an SJU ASA representative sitting on the FAUW board of directors.

The SJU ASA is a member in good standing of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

According to its Constitution, the purpose of the Association is to:

  1. promote the welfare of the academic staff of the University, keeping in mind the good of the University as a whole;
  2. bargain collectively on behalf of academic staff at the University in all of employer-employee relations, including remuneration and working conditions;
  3. protect academic freedom while advancing teaching, research, and other pursuits of the academic staff at the University;
  4. promote collegial governance and safeguard the academic integrity of the University;
  5. facilitate the exchange of ideas between the Association and the broader University community, as well as with the general public;
  6. encourage co-operation between the academic staff of this University and the academic staffs of other Universities;
  7. advance the shared interests of the Association and its affiliates.


SJU ASA Equity Statement

(inspired by and derived from CAUT’s Equity statement, available at https://www.caut.ca/about-us/caut-policy/lists/caut-policy-statements/policy-statement-on-equity)

The St. Jerome’s Academic Staff Association is committed to securing and maintaining equity for members of marginalized groups that have been disproportionately excluded from full participation in the academic workplace. Such groups include but are not limited to women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, or 2-spirited, and racialized persons. The commitment to equity begins with the acknowledgement of inequity and demands proactive redress for the effects of systemic discrimination.

In the post-secondary education environment, systemic discrimination has manifested itself in barrier to access, employment, governance, inclusion, respect, and acceptance. The result has been that particular forms of knowledge production, promulgation, and pedagogy have been privileged over others, a practice that has limited the scope of academic freedom and scholarship.

The following list articulates the principles by which our union defines and pursues workplace equity.

The goal of equity is to achieve inclusiveness and social and economic justice through recognition, respect, numerical representation, accountability, responsibility and the development of balanced, healthy, and harmonious working environments.

The SJU ASA recognizes the importance of Indigenous perspectives that see equity as a continuing struggle to achieve and maintain balance between living things. Equity for Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) peoples requires recognition of their distinct Indigenous and treaty rights, as well as historical injustices which have resulted from longstanding Canadian colonial practices.

When assessing scholarship for career decisions, recognition must be given to different and diverse experiences of marginalized groups. Diverse substantive contributions to knowledge must be welcomed in the university or college. Diversity demands representation of difference in terms of vision, values, cultural mores, lived experience, methodologies, and epistemologies in critical analysis.

The attainment of equity requires vigilant monitoring and action to address restrictions to the realization of full participation of all members of the academy. An inclusive university or college is one that is active in eliminating these restrictions and promotes collegial governance and the full democratic participation and academic freedom of all its members, both regular and contract academic staff. Such restrictions include systemic discrimination, employment and education inequities, lack of accommodation, and institutional structures, policies, and practices that perpetuate systemic discrimination and may enable a climate of hostility or other adverse effects.

Realizing that equity is both an individual and a collective responsibility, the SJU ASA commits to providing leadership in the work of combating systemic discrimination, removing barriers, and promoting inclusivity.

The SJU ASA should take a leadership role in the realization of equity by negotiating equity provisions in agreements and by promoting equity within the association and its governance structure. Equity requires openness, transparency, and accountability in all aspects of institutional life including but not limited to anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, employment equity, accommodation, and salary equity.