Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

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

Response To College President’s Message of March 16, 2018

The college president announced on Friday that seven programs will have their fall intake suspended.

The union will be scrutinizing the college decisions to suspend in upcoming meetings of the College Employment Stability Committee. We have already asked the college for supporting data to understand how the college arrived at the decisions to suspend; the request includes as well  a breakdown of how the college arrived at the figure of $25 million to meet its obligations under Bill 148. We have also asked the college its intentions with respect to the affected faculty. We will be working closely with affected faculty to ensure their rights under the Collective Agreement are respected, and every effort will be made to mitigate any involuntary lay-offs or transfers. 

Pat Kennedy

President, Local 415

Local Lines — Special Issue for partial-load faculty

The attached issue of Local Lines is a special issue for the partial-load faculty at Algonquin.

As well, please find an accompanying union membership form if you have not already completed such a form. There is no additional cost to join the union. The completed from can be dropped off at the union office, C215b.

Jack Wilson

First Vice President and Editor, Local Lines

Taxable Status of Strike Pay

The local has received numerous querries regarding the taxable status of Strike Pay. 

This is addressed on the Canada Revenue Agency website at the following link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/personal-income/amounts-that-taxed.html

 

Pat Kennedy

President, OPSEU Local 415

CAAT Pension Plan funded status grows to 118%

Dear members, 

I am pleased to be able to convey to you some fantastic news of continued grown of our jointly governed CAAT Pension Plan, which stands 118% funded on a going-concern basis, with a funding reserve of $2.3 billion, based on its latest actuarial valuation as at January 1, 2018. This is an improvement over last year’s valuation that showed the Plan 113% funded with a funding reserve of $1.6 billion. 

For further details, I invite you to read the attached 2018-03-01 CAAT-Funding Valuation news release. 

Pat Kennedy

Faculty Sponsor of CAAT Pension Plan

Information you need to know about Health & Safety

DID YOU KNOW?

Risk Management and Physical Resources are 2 different departments. Risk Management deals with Health & Safety issues. Occupational Health and Safety details posted @

http://www.algonquincollege.com/safety-security-services/home/risk-insurance-management/

Risk Management

www.algonquincollege.com

The College has endorsed an Enterprise Risk Management Framework to support its efforts in the area of risk management. This framework is steered through the College Risk Management Committee (CRMC).A

LOCAL 415 Health & Safety Representatives are

They are members of a college Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC).

FAQs

What is my responsibility if I observe an unsafe environment?

  • All employees are responsible for Health & Safety. Report to your manager.
  • Not sure if is a Health & Safety issue? Ask anyway.

When do I complete an incident report?

  • For any accident or injury.
  • An Online Quick Report is posted on the Occupational Health & Safety link on the Risk Management site.

What do I do in an emergency requiring immediate response?

  • Call Ext 5000.

Who pays for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

  • Employers provide and pay for PPE if required for the job. Contact Risk Management directly if your manager refuses.

What do I do if there are signs of mice in my work area?

  • Call Physical Resources (Ext. 7710). DO NOT clean yourself.

REMEMBER: An employee has the right to know about any hazards in their work area AND has the right to refuse unsafe work.

Stay safe!

Leslie & Judy

LOCAL 415 Health & Safety Representatives

Partial Load Registry serves to prioritize the hiring of partial load employees

One of the major gains from this round of bargaining is the Partial Load Registry that serves to prioritize the hiring of partial load employees who have registered their interest in being employed as a partial load employee in the following calendar year, detailed in the following excerpts from our new collective agreement.

26.10 D In addition to maintaining a record of a partial-load employee’s job experience, the college will keep a record of the courses that the employee has taught and the departments/schools where the partial-load employee has taught such courses.

By October 30th in each calendar year, a currently or previously employed partial-load employee must register their interest in being employed as a partial-load employee in the following calendar year. This individual will be considered a registered partial-load employee for the purpose of 26.10 E.

All partial-load employees employed for all or part of the period from September 1 to December 31, 2017 will be deemed to have registered for the 2018-2019 academic year.

26.10 E Subject to the application of Articles 2.02 and 27.06 A, commencing in the 2018-2019 academic year, where the school or department within a college determines that there is a need to hire a partial-load employee to teach a course that has previously been taught by that registered partial-load employee in the department/school, it will give priority in hiring to such partial-load employee if:

(i) They are currently employed, or if they have previously been employed as a partial-load employee for at least eight (8) months of service as defined in 26.10 C within the last four (4) academic years, and

(ii) The assignment of such course will not cause the employee to exceed the maximum teaching contact hours for partial-load employees.

The offer of partial-load employment is conditional on the college subsequently determining there is sufficient enrollment to warrant the assignment being offered. Where two (2) or more partial-load employees would be entitled to be offered the course assignment, the employee with the most service will be offered the first opportunity.

The local has yet to receive a response as to where partial load employees send their email by October of each year to indicate their interest in partial load work for the following calendar year; however, it is recommended that you email your manager at this time with your intentions so that you have a written record of your intentions. Don’t forget to retain a copy of all correspondence.

We also encourage you to contact your manager to determine if partial-load work exists in your area for this spring/summer and see if your receive a response in the spirit of the new wording of the collective agreement,

 

Pat Kennedy

President, OPSEU Local 415

 

 

Social Media Day of Action for Contract Faculty – February 28

Dear faculty and allies,

 

February 28 is the Social Media Day of Action for Fairness for Contract Faculty in partnership with our university colleagues at the Ontario Coalition University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). The goal is to ensure that the issues of precarious work and fairness for contract faculty are trending on social media platforms in a positive manner as faculty, students, staff, and supporters across Ontario continue to work together as allies. This year’s day of action will be of particular importance as we will be using the momentum generated by Bill 148 and our fall strike to build more support for contract faculty in the lead-up to the provincial election in June. 

The political goal of the day will be to get as many people as possible to tweet and post Facebook messages to their provincial election candidates. The messages will highlight priorities for contract faculty at our institutions, the need to implement the equal pay for equal work provisions in Bill 148, how precarity for contract faculty can affect the quality of education, and where we go from here. 

To be as effective as possible, you can direct messages, not just to your local candidates/MPPs, but also to your college Board (where possible) and/or your college president, as well as your college’s Twitter or Facebook page. You can also direct tweets to your college’s @SpottedatOurCollege account, which are very popular with students and could help broaden our social media reach and build more support. Feel free to also take selfies sending messages of support to contract faculty. 

See the attached graphics as well as a list of possible social media contacts for all colleges. Graphics  Contacts 

 

 

SAMPLE TWEETS

 

Here are a few sample tweets, but please feel free to mix and match and come up with your own! (Remember to replace anything highlighted in yellow with information specific to your or your institution):

 

Hey @Candidate, #Bill148 improved minimum wage provisions, unionization, & leave provisions for many workers, but doesn’t address abuse of fixed-term contracts at our colleges. Will you commit to supporting contract faculty? #StandWithFaculty

 

Hey @President/@BoardChair, will you #DoTheRightThing and implement fairness for contract faculty? #StandWithFaculty

 

Taught X courses for X years with no job security. @YourCollege should treat its contract faculty with fairness and respect! @BoardChair @Candidate #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty

 

Hey @YourCollege, I work alongside my contract colleagues who are doing the same work. Contract Faculty deserve equity. #Fairness4CF

 

Hey @President/@BoardChair, you were in favour of an executive compensation framework to bring equity to your senior executives’ pay. How about fairness for Contract Faculty? #Fairness4CF

 

Ontario college students deserve the best education possible. Full-time faculty hiring should correspond with enrolment growth. @Candidate @BoardChair #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty

 

Poor working conditions for teachers hurt students, institutions, and communities. #Bill148 has not done enough for our contract faculty. @PoliticalCandidate, will you stand up for precariously employed college workers? #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty

 

Hey @SpottedatOurCollege, shout out to all my colleagues working on contract while supporting their students and families! #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty

 

@SpottedatOurCollege Shout out to all the contract professors teaching valuable and necessary programs!  #Fairness4CF

 

Hey @President/@BoardChair, I’ve committed to my college; why won’t you commit to me. #Fairness4CF #DoTheRightThing

 

And, sample Facebook posts (remember to replace anything highlighted in yellow with information specific to your or your institution):

 

It’s time for fairness for contract faculty at @YourCollegeFacebookPage! Contract faculty deserve equal pay for work of equal value, job security, and access to benefits.

 

Our students deserve the full attention of faculty who have equal pay for their work. It is time for fairness at @YourCollegeFacebookPage!

 

Treating Ontario’s college contract faculty fairly should be an automatic. It’s time to #DoTheRightThing here @YourCollegeFacebookPage!

 

Graphics will be sent when ready for your use on social media.

  

All faculty members, students, staff, and members of the community at Ontario universities and colleges are invited to participate. Allies who want to join in should make sure they use the hashtags:

#StandWithFaculty,

#Fairness4CF

#DoTheRightThing

 

 

In solidarity,

 

The CAAT-Academic  Divisional Executive

LEC

Toronto Star Article on Precarious Jobs at Ontario Colleges‌​

Here is a link to a recent Toronto Star article: Ontario campuses see increase in precarious jobs, study shows

http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwgKz00zc

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