Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Local Update End of May

The college released information earlier this week regarding its approach to SWFs for the fall. Our local does not endorse this approach because it is outside of the parameters of our Collective Agreement. The college’s announcement does not change any of the advice that we have provided to date.

  • SWFs: We continue to recommend that you engage in conversation with your Chair about your SWF to ensure that (1) you are assigned appropriate course preparation and evaluation factors and that (2) your complimentary functions reflect the actual work that you have been asked to do. If you dispute your SWF, you may exercise your right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group in order to attempt to find a resolution.
  • “Remote” versus “online”: The college distinguishs between remote and online course delivery. This distinction does not change that, for most faculty, these are both new delivery modes. As such, the courses require increased time to prepare and, in the local’s view, justify a “NEW” course preparation.
  • Fall 2020 and beyond: The local is looking ahead of the fall and is questioning the college about Winter 2021 and beyond. Employment stability is a major concern for our local, and we will continue to question and challenge the college regarding staffing plans.
  • Labour dialogue: The local engages in regular discussion with our OPSEU CAAT-A colleagues across the province to discuss issues of common concern. Further, we are meeting with the college regularly because engaging in conversation is important in labour relations. Although we are engaging in new dialogues with management, we want to make it clear that our role is to be advocates for our members. The local recently accepted a seat on the College Budget Committee (with voice, no vote) in order to gain insight into any decisions that could affect our membership and to speak against any potential infringements on our Collective Agreement.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at COMMS@locallines.org and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

SWF Reminders: Fall 2020

We have received a number of questions from faculty regarding our Fall 2020 SWFs and the college’s approach to acknowledging the realities of teaching in a pandemic. When reviewing your SWF, here are some key items to be mindful of:

  1. Course preparation factor: Our position as a local is that a course we are teaching for the first time online should be credited as “NEW” on our SWFs. This is in addition to time that must be allotted to redevelop or convert the course.
  2. Complimentary functions: Development time should be reflected here and should capture the amount of time actually required to convert the course. In our collective agreement, there is no set formula for determining the amount of time needed for this work. As such, faculty should request the time that is appropriate for their particular circumstance. You are encouraged to ask questions about all complimentary functions that you are being assigned so that you are in a position to determine if the time attributed is appropriate.
  3. Evaluation factor: there are a number of ways that evaluation factors can be impacted by remote delivery. For instance, if you need to assess work differently and an “In Process” evaluation factor no longer applies, you are entitled to a revised factor.

The SWF is a very important tool in establishing the parameters of our work. Teaching in a pandemic has created an increase in faculty workload, which must be adequately captured on our SWF. Should you feel that your SWF is not a reflection of your workload, you have the right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group by checking the appropriate box. A union member of the WMG will then connect with you in order to begin the resolution process.

If you have questions, please connect with us at COMMS@locallines.org or extension 7716 and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.  

In solidarity,

Your Local 415 Executive & Workload Monitoring Group

Annette Bouzi (President, WMG Member), David Haley (First Vice-President), Enrico DeFrancesco (Second Vice-President, WMG Member), Pat Kennedy (Chief Steward), Judy Puritt (Secretary, WMG Member), Shawn Pentecost (Treasurer), Scott Fewer (WMG Member)

Local Update May 2020

We hope that you are staying safe and prioritizing your wellbeing during these times. We all have many questions about how the next several months will unfold and our local will continue to share new information with you as it becomes available to us. Please continue to reach out with specific questions and comments about your own situation at COMMS@locallines.org or extension 7716 and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Below are some key areas we are monitoring as the college continues to navigate the pandemic:

  • Faculty workload – During a non-teaching period, article 11.08 of our Collective Agreement applies. This means that a manager does not unilaterally assign work. Rather, “activities will be undertaken by mutual consent and agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.” This non-teaching period may also be a good time to use your 10 days of Professional Development. If you have any concerns about work expectations during a non-teaching period, please reach out.

  • SWFs – During a teaching period, all work assigned must be reflected on your SWF. The pandemic does not change this. While discussing your SWF with your manager, please feel free to reach out to us for advice, as many colleagues already have. Additionally, if at any point during the semester your SWF is no longer a reflection of your workload, you maintain the right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group.

  • Employment stability – There is a rigorous process under our Collective Agreement that must be followed should the college plan to displace or reduce the number of full-time faculty. To date, the college has not given the local any indication that this process is being considered. We are continuously monitoring data and will leverage all options to maintain our full faculty complement. While the college has suspended hiring in most areas, it has continued with the hiring process for a number of full-time faculty positions scheduled to start in Fall 2020.

  • Working from home – We maintain workplace accommodation and health and safety rights while working from home. Additionally, the college has stated that reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

The OPSEU Executive Board passed a motion to postpone all usual spring General Membership Meetings (GMM) until such time as we are able to gather in person. Our union local executive committee continues to meet virtually, and stewards are still available to meet with you by virtual appointment. Know that your local remains active in discussions with the college to ensure faculty rights are protected.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415