Frequently Asked Questions

The SWF or Standard Workload Form is a workload contract between you and the college and is used to calculate each teacher’s workload for a specified period of time. Article 11 of the Collective Agreement explains the formula and its application in detail. You will find a copy in Appendix I of the Collective Agreement.

The clauses in the pages of your Collective Agreement entitled ‘Article 11: Workload’, cover all aspects of your workload. Your workload is itemized on the Standard Workload Form (SWF). Take the time to read it, as it is a complex article. Should you have any difficulty in the interpretation of this article, please contact the Local Union office or call us at 416-415-500 ext 2200.

Only full-time professors are issued SWFs. 

Full-time counsellors and librarians who are assigned teaching hours receive letters detailing how their teaching hours are calculated. In any case, all workloads should adhere to the provisions of Article 11 [11.01 A].

Sessional, partial-load and part time faculty are paid for each teaching hour worked.

SWFs are to be issued not later than six (6) weeks prior to the beginning of the period covered by the timetable, excluding holidays and vacations [11.02 A 1 (a)].

The supervisor shall discuss the SWF with the teacher before it is issued [11.02 A 1 (a)].

You have three (3) working days from the date of receipt of your SWF to examine, sign, and submit it to your supervisor.

You may discuss your SWF with anyone you choose, including your colleagues, stewards, or members of the Workload Monitoring Group. This type of discussion can be particularly useful in determining if you are being treated equitably in comparison to others in your work area.

Your workload is calculated on the following factors [11.01 B 1]:

  • teaching contact hours [11.01 B 2 and C]
  • attributed hours for preparation [11.01 D 1 and D 2]
  • attributed hours for evaluation and feedback [11.01E 1 and E 2]
  • attributed hours for complementary functions. [11.01 F]
  • atypical circumstances [11.01 G 2]

We have a SWF Check page to help you.

Your SWF should accurately reflect your teaching load. Each course and section should be listed separately, and you should have no more than four (4) different course preparations or six (6) different sections in a given week. Your supervisor must ask for your consent before assigning you to do any work in excess of these limits [11.01 D 2].

The maximum contact hours per week for a teacher in a post-secondary program is eighteen (18). For a teacher not in a post-secondary program, twenty (20) is the limit [11.01 I].

Multiply your assigned teaching contact hours by the preparation factor [11.01 D 1 and 11.01 D 3 (i) to (ix)].

Each course you teach is classified according to your experience in teaching it, whether it is an additional section of the course you are teaching concurrently, or whether it is a continuous-intake program.

  • “New” – 1:1.1 A “New” course is the first section of a course you have never taught before, or are teaching for the first time since a major revision.
  • “Established A” – 1:0.85 An “Established A” course is the first section of a course you have taught before, but not in the previous three years.
  • “Established B” – 1:0.60 An “Established B” course is the first section of a course you have taught within the last three years.
  • “Repeat A” – 1:0.45 A “Repeat A” course is any of the subsequent sections of a course you are teaching in the same semester, taught to students in a different year or in a different program. If the students in your section are not all from the same year and same program, Repeat A is to be used.
  • “Repeat B” – 1:0.35 A “Repeat B” course is any of the subsequent sections of a course you are teaching in the same semester, taught to students in the same year and program.
  • “Special A” and “Special B” “Special A” and “Special B” courses are continuous-intake courses or courses in which the objectives describe the students’ application of knowledge in actual work settings. See the Collective Agreement for the ratios [11.01 D 3 (vii) and (viii)].

Multiply the assigned teaching contact hours by the class size and the evaluation factor [11.01 E 1].

Hours for evaluation and feedback are based on the method of evaluation being used. Three types are identified in the workload formula, but it is also possible to have a blended evaluation factor if more than one type is used.

  • “Essay or project” (Ratio: 1:0.030 per student): Involves marking essays, essay-type assignments or tests, projects, or student performance based on behavioral assessments [11.01 E 2 (i)]. Students’ performance based on behavioral assessment includes such techniques as presentations in class which the professor then further assesses after the class.
  • “Routine or assisted” (Ratio: 1:0.015 per student): Involves the grading of short answer tests or the use of mechanical marking assistance or marking assistants [11.01 E 2 (ii)].
  • “In-process” (Ratio: 1:0.0092 per student): Means that the evaluation is performed entirely within the teaching contact hour [11.01 E 2 (iii)].

The Collective Agreement allows for mixed evaluation types. When you discuss this with your supervisor, make sure that the mixed factor gives you enough time to do all the marking. For example, if you do essay marking and decide to add on some Scantron tests without reducing the amount of essay marking, do not accept a mixed evaluation type [11.01 E 2 (iv)].

Talk to your colleagues – they may have a similar problem. Talk to your supervisor about the extra work and request additional time on your SWF or a reduction of your workload. If your supervisor does not agree, log your workload (such as marking and meetings) for the semester. Write down how much time you actually spend marking, performing committee work, and so on. Later in the same semester or the following semester, you will have actual figures with which to argue your case before your supervisor and possibly before the Workload Monitoring Group.

The maximum limits to your workload are:

  • 10-month academic year [11.03]
  • 12 consecutive months of teaching in a continuous-intake program, followed by at least one month’s vacation [15]
  • 36 teaching weeks / academic year for post-secondary faculty [11.01 B 1]
  • 38 teaching weeks / academic year for non-post-secondary faculty [11.01 B 1]
  • 18 TCH (Teaching Contact Hours) / week for post-secondary faculty (648 TCH / academic year) [11.01 I]
  • 20 TCH / week for non-post-secondary faculty (760 TCH / Academic year) [11.01 I]
  • 180 contact days / academic year (10 months) for post-secondary faculty [11.01 K 1]
  • 190 contact days / academic year (10 months) for non-post-secondary faculty [11.01 K 1]
  • 44 hours / week for total workload [11.01 B1]
  • 8 hour teaching day [11.01 L 1]

Overtime may exceed no more than one TCH / week; or three (3) total workload hours / week. In other words, you may not be assigned more than 47 hours total workload / week (i.e. 44 hours maximum + 3 hours maximum overtime = 47 hours).

Overtime is voluntary, not obligatory. [11.01J 1]

The college cannot assign overtime to probationary professors under any circumstances.

The minimum limits to your workload are:

  • 4 hours for routine out-of-class assistance to individual students and 2 hours for normal administrative tasks
  • These two limits are minimums; if your workload requires more than this minimum amount, ask for more. [11.01 F]
  • 12 hours between end of one work day and start of next [11.01L 3], wherever possible
  • 10 days of professional development, including at least five uninterrupted days.
  • These PD days must fit in the 10-month academic year, along with your teaching workload.

Article 11.01J1 indicates that all overtime work “shall be voluntary.” Therefore, if you do not wish to work any overtime, you must provide the chair with a viable reason, as article 11.01 J3 makes reference to the fact that agreement for overtime shall not be unreasonably withheld.

Each full-time teacher is given a minimum of six (6) hours for routine out-of-class assistance to individual students and normal administrative tasks. You decide how and where you will use this time [11.01 F].

The college may assign any other functions appropriate to the professional role of the teacher. These can include attending regular meetings, working on committees, doing curriculum development, or performing coordinating duties, or even specialized tasks like setting up a lab or working with special-needs students. If your supervisor asks you to do something, it shall be recorded on your SWF.

Office hours are not obligatory unless they appear on your SWF as an additional complementary function on an hour-for-hour basis. They are not part of the minimum six complementary hours.

Discuss any disagreement with your Chairperson and if there is no resolution at that stage, then sign your SWF, making appropriate comments in the space provided: “Faculty Member’s Comments”, and placing a check mark in the box labelled “Proposed Workload Referred to the Workload Monitoring Group” [11.02 A 3 & 4]. (If you need more space for comments, attach a separate sheet.) Your steward can assist you with the wording. Be brief. Submit this document to your supervisor within 3 working days of receipt of the SWF and immediately email a copy to the Local.

You may want to download the Flow Chart for Workload Resolution for easy reference. This flow chart will explain the steps required to resolve your workload problem quickly and efficiently.

Discuss the SWF with your supervisor. If you present your arguments clearly, you may be able to convince your supervisor to make changes [11.02A 6 (a)]. The discussion should take place within 14 days of your becoming aware of the unacceptable circumstances. (The “circumstances” could be the SWF you have received or a change in your workload such that your SWF no longer reflects your actual workload.) Your supervisor must provide a response to your complaint within 7 days of your discussion.

If your supervisor does not settle the matter to your satisfaction and issue a new SWF containing the appropriate changes, refer the unsatisfactory SWF to the Workload Monitoring Group, in writing, within 7 days of your supervisor’s response.