Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Program Cuts – 30 April 2018 Update

 I want to present a profile on Mark Stevens, professor in the Motive Power Technician program in Pembroke. I have met Mark on a number of occasions primarily dealing with the intake suspension related to his program. Mark is a Master Mechanic who also has operated his own business for many years prior to joining Algonquin.

Notwithstanding the claims of senior administration, there has been no remediation related to the program that Mark was been made aware of. The last time PQR was completed was 2012-2013 and that one was the first and only one ever done. Keep in mind, as well, that the new campus opened just four years ago with dedicated space specifically for this program.

You should also be aware that since 2014 Mark has requested a one-week PD course which specializes in electric vehicles. The training center for this course is recognized around the world and has been largely followed. Each request was denied by management. Mark was trying to get ahead of the curve with a niche offering in this area to support his program. The US Military has taken this training as well as   many secondary education institutions. The Petawawa military base is as close as you can get to Algonquin! I can only assume that the Canadian military would have the same interest as the US Military.

The mind-numbing piece of information on this was when I found out that he had secured with the help of Pauline Edmonds a plug-in hybrid electric car for free.

Mark will be presenting to the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Governors in May. I thought it was important to provide some background on some of the faculty whose programs have been impacted by the seven program intake suspensions.

We will continue to report on our findings from the College Employment Stability Committee. It is clear that we will need to pay continued attention to the various expenditures the college has made over the past few years such as the losses associated with the Jazan Campus.

 

Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU 415

 

Notice of OPSEU Local 415 Annual General Meeting on May 10, 2018

The Faculty Union AGM will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the Woodroffe Campus in T130, 12:00 – 2:00, with teleconference link to Pembroke and Perth. 

 Sandwiches and coffee will be provided and those in attendance are eligible for door prizes. 

The agenda is attached.

Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

Program Cuts – 22 April 2018 Update

At the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting of April 16, 2018. Kelley Denham, a graduate of the SSW program in Perth made an excellent presentation on the success she achieved through the program. Kelley is a single mother of four who has a

full time job working in the field she was trained. On this alone she deserves our complete respect. Kelly is Program Assistant for Adult Learning & Training Centre in Smiths Falls. Kelley started a petition with respect to program closures at Perth, her reference during the presentation to the BOG of over 1000 names/signatures was stinging! She gave numerous examples of the positive impact of the programs on the lives of former students. She concluded by asking the BOG “Who was consulted on program suspensions”, which hit the main issue dead on. There was no response to this question. College administration looked completely out of step with what had been presented publicly.  The college is fortunate to have Alumni like Kelley and she deserves an answer.

The Local has reached out to cover her travel costs from Smith Falls, child care costs and supper as a small recognition of the time and effort she put into raising the awareness of the treatment of these programs. She is a real Star.

We continue to request information from the college at the CESC, related to both employment stability now and in the future. Some examples are listed:

  1. Following the direction of President Cheryl Jensen to request full details from Academic Managers regarding mediation efforts for programs with suspended intakes has proven to be futile. Twenty-eight days has passed since the original request and there has yet to be a response from any level of Management.
  2. On April 4th, 2018 requested “Can you provide the costing for 2016-2017 for masonry program without the salary and benefits of the full time faculty member who left the program?” NO response
  3. On April 9th, 2018 requested “all the non-full time course loading requirements at Perth for fall 2018. We can use this in advance of the next CESC meeting.” NO response
  4. On April 20th, 2018 requested “Given that the college has such a large financial surplus for a publicly-owned educational institution, has consideration been given to reducing program financial contribution in order to avoid program intake suspensions?” Response pending

 

CAAT Pension Plan annual report released with video

The CAAT Pension Plan 2017 annual report is now available on the CAAT Pension Plan website in English and French together with a short animated video. The report details a notably strong year of investment performance that demonstrates the focus the Plan has on delivering value and securing pension benefits. It also notes the intention to further strengthen the Plan and widen defined benefit plan coverage with the introduction of a second plan design.

 

On Wednesday, April 25  the CAAT Pension Plan will host a noon-hour webinar and question-and-answer session about the Plan’s annual performance.

 

You will find the annual report and video here.

Pat Kennedy

Faculty Sponsor of CAAT Pension Plan

Program Cuts

Last month, the local was taken by surprise and was dismayed by the announced intake suspensions of seven programs: five at Perth, one at Pembroke, and one at Woodroffe. We were surprised as there had been no prior communication to the local that any of the programs were in difficulty. We were dismayed as the college appears to be using the intake suspension process to bypass the need for a vote by the Board of Governors whereby the suspension process could be halted. The impact of the intake suspensions will have consequences for students, faculty, and the local community, particularly in Perth. 

Article 28 of the Collective Agreement: Employment Stability

To enhance short-term and long-term employment stability at the college, there is a union-college committee called the College Employment Stability Committee (CESC) responsible for recommending long-term and short-term strategies. The union representatives on the committee are Pat Kennedy, Jack Wilson, David Haley, Rod Bain, and Sharleen Conrad-Beatty. The college representatives are Cheryl Jensen, Claude Brulé, Cathy Frederick, Chris Hahn, and Diane McCutcheon. 

In order to make appropriate recommendations, the committee is to have access to “data provided under the Collective Agreement” and may “identify needs for further data collection.”

Work of the CESC to date

The committee met March 15 and March 22. At the meetings, the union reps requested the data they felt was necessary to understand why the seven programs were to have their intakes suspended. Some of the information has been forthcoming, but other information has yet to be released. Therefore, we cannot say the communications from the college have met the level of transparency we had hoped for.

To give you a sense of what the union reps are experiencing, on March 26 one of the reps emailed Cheryl Jensen and the college reps the following request: 

“Can you [Cheryl] please provide how the college helped to mitigate the issues in these programs, and provide examples of these actions.” 

When there had been no response — after two weeks! —  the same union rep emailed Cheryl again requesting the same information. The remarkably sparse response was a one-liner:  “I suggest you obtain this information from the academic area.” 

Following Cheryl’s direction, the same request for information has since been put to the managers responsible for the suspended programs. To date, there has not been a single response. 

Needless to say, we are most concerned that the remediation plans that the seven programs were alleged to have undergone were either not done or not done with the appropriate rigour and attention. The latter should be a concern for all programs, for the college has indicated there are more suspensions to come in the years ahead. This applies in particular to any program which has been told by the college it is currently “under remediation.” 

Monday, April 16: crucial  Board of Governors meeting

The seven intake suspensions will be on the agenda of Monday’s Board of Governors meeting. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 4:00 in Room T102.

Future work of the CESC
The union reps have indicated their availability and their desire to meet as often as necessary. Unfortunately, the college reps have offered very limited availability and no further meetings have been scheduled. We will continue to provide updates in the weeks ahead.


Pat Kennedy, President
OPSEU Local 415

 

 

New updates from the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Faculty Reps

Did you know there is a new OHS Standard related to children on campus? 

A recommendation was sent from the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee to the college to establish the OHS Standard. The policy is not in reference to “bring your child to work day”, or other college sanctioned events, but is related to a situation where a student brings a child to sit in on the class. 

A Faculty member is NOT required to allow the child in the class. BUT if you do allow, then it is essential that you contact your Manager in the moment to request their agreement. If the Manager agrees, then according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Manager is considered the “supervisor” in that situation. If the Manager does not agree then the Faculty member is considered the “supervisor” in that situation. NOTE that the definition of “supervisor” at the college and  “supervisor” in the Occupational Health and Safety Act are not the same. A person who has met the definition of a supervisor within the meaning of the OHSA assumes the legal responsibilities of a supervisor under the Act. It is strongly suggested that you get your Manager’s agreement in writing.” 

Did you know that personal vehicle use for work-related duties might cost you? 

As posted on the Risk Management site: “If you are using your personal vehicle for work related duties, your personal insurance policy would respond for accidents in involving injury or damage. In Ontario, insurance follows the vehicle regardless of the driver or legitimate activities of the vehicle. The Ontario insurance act requires any accident involving damage or injury to be reported to your insurance company within 7 days. It would be beneficial to consult with your insurer if you are using your vehicle for work purposes to ensure you meet the proper declaration requirements of your policy. Algonquin College holds additional liability insurance that may be applied if your personal limits have been exceeded. This policy does not cover physical damage or your vehicle.” 

Don’t want to use your own vehicle? Then speak to your Manager about the options for rentals or college vehicles or other modes of transportation. Is your Manager’s response that you have to use your own vehicle? Depending on if you agreed on a contract to use your own vehicle, then that could be a Labour Relations issue. Contact Human Resources for information.  

Questions or concerns about Health and Safety at Algonquin College? Contact a JOHSC rep or Risk Management  (x5357).

 

Judy Flieler (flielej@algonquincollege.com )& Leslie Wyman (wymanl@algonquincollege.com)

JOHSC Faculty Reps

Algonquin College