Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

On the Line: College Faculty Strike Bulletin #3

Please find the new strike bulletin attached.

 

Emily Visser

Communications Officer

Agente de communication

OPSEU/SEFPO

416-443-8888 x8714
416-557-7936

Strike gaining momentum via The Chronicle of Higher Education!

We have been picked up by The Chronicle of Higher Education – social media is making a difference in how the news and issues are being reported this time around!!!

http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/digital-picketing/64475

 

Wednesday, October 25 Local 415 Strike Bulletin

Real troupers

Hats off to the morning shifts who persevered in very wet weather Tuesday morning. Even graduates of the Pre-Health Sciences program and current Practical Nursing students joined us in the rain! While all lines have enjoyed good support from the students and the public in the fine weather, today sent a clear message to everyone we are not fairweather faculty when it comes to pursuing our goals.

 

Political pressure in Toronto

Striking college faculty from the GTA, students, and allies from across the labour movement will rally in downtown Toronto on Wednesday. The rally will call on Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews to send Ontario colleges back to the bargaining table with clear direction to bargain a fair collective agreement.

 

Local news coverage – recent interviews with Pat Kennedy

1. ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1239620

 

2. Carol Ann Meehan’s Show Oct. 24 (1-2) Pat is last item: advance to Minute 35.46 and it starts  http://www.1310news.com/audio/the-carol-anne-meehan-show/


Time for you to apply some political pressure

There is a very quick and effective way for you and your network of family and friends to send a message to Premier Wynne and Deputy Premier Matthews. Go to

https://opseu.org/news/click-here-support-college-faculty

 

Rumours

It is not unexpected that rumours will be generated during picket line discussions. There are three we would like to dispel.

 

1. “We will be out until Christmas”

In the past, strikes have been in the range of two to three weeks. The government has never been prepared to see them go any longer for concern the students would lose their year.

 

2. “Sessionals and part-time faculty should be joining us on the picket line”

They are not on strike and therefore not obliged to be on the picket lines. If they choose to participate (and several have) we are very grateful. However, we need to appreciate their vulnerable status and the fact we are not their bargaining agent.

 

3. “We can’t get enough Timbits!”

That person is joining the picket line for the first time.

 

Missing shift hours

 

Just a reminder, it is imperative if a given shift is not a complete four hours, the missing time must be made up and recorded within the strike week or the partial shift hours will not be credited for strike pay as per OPSEU policy.

 

Jack Wilson, 2nd VP

 

Reasons behind college strike discussed by local union president

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 420 President Eric Bauer, from Loyalist College, provides details about the motivation from the faculty’s perspective underlying the current strike at the 24 colleges in Ontario during a conversation on Consider This Live, part of the Drive Time on Northumberland 89.7 FM.

Here’s the link to this excellent interview http://consider-this.ca/?=5669

Of special note is that Eric Bauer is Judy Puritt’s brother.

Don’t forget to follow the local on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/opseu415/

 

Strike Bulletin No. 1

Support pours in as Faculty Strike begins please read full bulletin here

Picket line solidarity

Message from the Local 415 Strike Committee:

During a strike, there is no crossing the picket line for any reasons. The OPSEU Strike Policy is clear that with the exception of essential emergency services, no member of the bargaining unit that is on strike is to cross the picket line under any circumstances. By going on strike, we have made it clear we have withdrawn our services and our presence for the duration of the strike period. Therefore, notwithstanding any inducements by the college management to cross the picket line — whether it be the use of college parking or college washrooms —  we want to be clear any crossing of the picket line constitutes strike breaking.
Message from the Bargaining Team:

 

It is more important now than ever that we stand together as faculty. The effectiveness of any job action is through withholding entirely the work that we do from our employer. This is the nature of a strike. Continuing to engage in work whether online or face-to-face serves only to prolong a strike and to undermine the solidarity required to reach a settlement.

 

In preparation for a strike or lockout

It is business as usual until a strike or lockout occurs. Please do not alter your weekly syllabus to make up classes that could be missed or give students extra work to do during a potential work stoppage. It is important that you do not post content on learning management systems ahead of time and remember to turn off the “automatic” or “timed” release of upcoming content. You should turn off any assignment dropboxes that will automatically open during a strike.

 

In the event of a strike or lockout

If it comes to strike action, we will be picketing and withholding our work from the employer. All teaching and professional activities related to our role as faculty must stop. This includes not communicating with students via email, learning management systems, and/or on social media. It also includes not meeting with students off campus and not teaching online in any capacity. Denying our expertise to the college is the main leverage we have to resolve a strike. If the colleges see that we are continuing to

work during this time, they will have less motivation to settle. We all want the best for our students and improving our working conditions will improve students’ learning conditions. While there will be short term inconvenience, there will be long term gains for both students and faculty.

 

Together we are stronger

All efforts have been directed towards a successful resolution to our bargaining. It is everyone’s hope that there will be no strike or lockout, but as recent events have shown solidarity works. In the event of a strike or lockout, our job as educators will be to engage our students in supporting our lines to build a better college system.

CAAT-A Strike Notice

Please read here

Press release advising that as of 12:01am on Monday, October 16, 2017 that our division is on strike.

Despite our attempts for an on time settlement, the employer has not been interested in bargaining in earnest.

Thank you for continued support.

In Solidarity,

The Bargaining Team

Baraining Bulletin #13: College Employer Council’s latest bulletin: more misinformation and double-speak

Bulletin here

College Employer Council’s

latest bulletin: more

misinformation and

double-speak

 

With their latest bulletin, the College Employer Council is once again misleading college faculty, students, and the Ontario public. They say their final offer will create full-time positions and increase faculty autonomy. In fact, it will do exactly the opposite.

 

Staffing grievances

 

False:

  • Council’s latest move would allow staffing grievances by removing the moratorium on Article 2.

 

True:

  • The moratorium on Article 2 expired, as was intended, with the last contract. The faculty team refused to sign Council’s requested extension of this concession.
  • Council’s offer allows the union to once more grieve for full-time positions under Article 2, but at the same time it drastically weakens Article 2 and makes it all but worthless.
  • Council’s offer makes it impossible to refer to part-time positions and their workloads when arguing for additional full-time faculty jobs.

 

Conversion of contract faculty

 

False:

  • Council’s final offer includes “improved conversion of contract faculty to full-time positions.”

 

True:

  • Council’s offer introduces a precarious, contract faculty position that has never existed before. This “temporary full time” position would be a one-year contract, but with absolutely no job security. It could be cancelled at any time with two weeks’ notice.
  • The new position would allow colleges to shift contract faculty back and forth between sessional and temporary full-time status, meaning that a faculty member could do years of full-time academic work without ever getting a full-time job.
  • The employer’s offer would expand the number of contract faculty in the college system and enable them to never have to hire a full-time faculty member again.
  • Their offer removes the provision through which sessional positions roll over into full time positions after one year.

Bill 148

 

False:

  • Council has a plan to respond to Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act when it becomes law.

 

True:

  • Council’s plan is to avoid their Bill 148 obligations for as long as possible.
  • They refuse to include any proposed measures of Bill 148 at the table, which would immediately provide equity for partial-load members.
  • This could indefinitely delay the equity intentions of Bill 148.

 

Workloads

 

False:

  • Council’s final offer creates “more faculty autonomy over personal workloads.”

 

True:

  • Council’s definition of “faculty autonomy” is not collegial governance or academic freedom. It means individual bargaining, which puts full-time faculty at risk.
  • Unlimited overtime allows the colleges to hire fewer full-time faculty.
  • If some full-time faculty do unlimited overtime, there may be pressure on others, such as probationary faculty, to also do this.

 

Students and bargaining

 

False:

  • A strike would be a terrible outcome for our students.

 

True:

  • The CAAT-A bargaining team remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement and hopes that the strike deadline will provide a pressure point for Council to return to the table.
  • Council has refused to engage in any real bargaining to this point and have forced the union to set a strike deadline.
  • Faculty proposals have been crafted with students’ best interests in mind.
  • Academic freedom and collegial governance would protect the quality and integrity of college programs.
  • A stable full-time faculty complement and equity and security for contract faculty would also improve students’ learning conditions.

 

Voting on Council’s offer

 

False:

  • The union should “let faculty vote” on Council’s offer.

 

True:

  • The Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) allows Council to bring a final offer directly to members without permission from the faculty bargaining team.
  • Council blames the faculty bargaining team for not “allowing” a vote on their offer.
  • Your bargaining team has been elected to bring an offer back to members that addresses your key demands and is one the team can recommend.
  • Council can bring any offer they want directly to the members: They do not need the faculty team to do that.

 

Intellectual property

 

False:

  • It is a gain for faculty to be able to discuss intellectual property issues and the definition of a Counsellor in subcommittees.

 

True:

  • Faculty and Council have been discussing intellectual property for the past three years in a subcommittee and no progress has been made.
  • Discussions in subcommittees are completely non-binding.
  • Referring an item to a subcommittee is a delaying tactic.

 

The bottom line

 

  • Council is moving away from settlement.
  • Council’s final offer is much worse than the previous “extension agreement” they tabled in August and has introduced significant takeaways.
  • Council is seeking to increase inequality and precarious work.
  • Their offer will expand the number of contract faculty, reduce the number of full-time positions, and make contract positions even more precarious.
  • Council wants total control over academic decisions.
  • Council is rejecting faculty proposals that would introduce inclusive, democratic governance into the colleges, and ensure a voice for faculty and students in academic decision-making.
  • Council’s final offer will negatively impact students.
  • More precarious contract faculty means less time for faculty to spend with students.
  • No faculty or student input into academic decisions means lower quality and less student success.

Video Message

Bargaining Team Video update

CAAT-A Negotiations Bulletin, Issue 12, October 11, 2017

Council walks away from the table

 

College faculty returned to the bargaining table Tuesday morning, October 10, ready to negotiate. Council tabled an offer that did not address any of faculty’s key demands. We could not recommend it to our members, and we told them so in detail.

 

The college faculty team rejected Council’s offer and issued a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m.., October 16, 2017.

 

The faculty bargaining team is committed to staying at the table right up until the strike deadline.. Council, however, has walked away from the table, and now claims that their offer was their final offer.

 

By setting a strike deadline, we are giving a clear message to the employer that we expect a fair deal for college faculty before Monday morning.

 

The employer’s so-called “final offer” is a poisoned pill. It fundamentally undermines the quality and fairness we have been working towards in this round of bargaining.

 

Key issues

 

Contract faculty:

 

  • The employer has proposed creating an entirely new “temporary full-time” category of contract faculty, paid at the partial load rate.
  • This new position has no job security. They could be terminated with only two weeks’ notice.

 

Reduction in full-time staffing:

 

  • The employer’s offer would allow unrestricted hiring of part-time faculty.
  • The employer says they have no problem with running entire programs with part-time staff alone.
  • Accepting this offer would mean the employer never needs to hire full-time faculty again.

 

Two-tiered system:

 

  • The employer’s offer entrenches inequality by removing the existing steps system in evaluating starting salary.
  • Contrary to the intent of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, this offer would move contract faculty further away from equal pay for equal work.
  • Contract faculty would be limited to teaching contact hours; they would not be paid for their actual workload.
  • Rather than improving the factors of qualifications and credentials upon hiring, the offer creates a hard limit on crediting formal qualifications.
  • A proposed new clause says that they can increase starting salary at the employer’s discretion.

 

Faculty complement:

 

  • The offer encourages outsourcing, and allows layoffs caused by outsourcing.

 

Wages and benefits:

 

  • The offer doesn’t address our movement toward the mid-point of our comparator groups.
  • Furthermore, starting salaries will be reduced by enforcing a hard cap on credential assessments.

 

Bill 148 delay:

 

  • The employer is proposing an arbitration process for Bill 148. This is an attempt to undermine the equity implications of the Bill for partial load faculty.

 

Council’s final offer does not address key faculty demands:

 

  • There is nothing on academic freedom, a key demand and a no-cost item.
  • The intellectual property issue will be sent to EERC committees as a delay tactic.
  • There is nothing on collegial governance, even though Sheridan has had a fully functioning senate for years now.
  • Job security for partial load faculty is not addressed.
  • Faculty complement is not addressed, even though a 50/50 ratio of full time to non-full time allows a high level of staffing flexibility for the colleges.
  • This offer entrenches and creates new forms of inequality.

 

Support is pouring in

 

Letters of support from OPSEU locals and other unions are pouring in as bargaining continues. Thanks to all who have expressed their support to date. This includes:

 

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association (MUNFA)
Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT)
York University Cross Campus Alliance
Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association
Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) Local 677
NOSM Faculty and Staff Association
Nova Scotia University Teachers Alliance

New videos!

 

Check out our new videos and share them widely.

www.collegefaculty.org
facebook.com/collegefaculty
@collegefaculty

 


OPSEU Local 415 Communications Officer

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