Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Update of the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting 3 February 25, 2019

I attended this meeting remotely from home as I had just had knee surgery and was unable to make the meeting in person.  Here is my report to you the faculty.

The meeting started with Celebrating Student Success and recognizing the students from the school of Business Marketing team who competed in the Ontario College Marketing Competition. The Team Algonquin finished in second place provincially – our best finish in the 40-year history of the event!

The following are my summaries for each item presented.

Workday Project Update:

A general update regarding the Workday initiative was covered by Doug Wotherspoon.  This was the last update to be presented to the BOG.  I was very disappointed as the “phishing” incident was played down and only mentioned once.  One would think after causing three weeks of disruption and preventing many employees from properly performing their job the “phishing incident” would have been at the top of the presentation. I found that it was quickly mentioned almost as an irrelevant point.  This prompted me to ask for a confirmation that no personal information to faculty and staff had been released during the incident.  The president responded with the remediation that occurred such as password changes for all, restoration of affected computers but no specific response to the actual question.  I followed up with a question to Doug Wotherspoon regarding if we had in place a multiple-factor authentication process to access account information.  His answer appeared to indicate that this was going to be implemented as part of the remediation process. I found it interesting that an event, which allowed the infiltration of principle college system and required the disruption of many of the college operational system such as VPN, e-mail, Workday, was played down at a Board of Governor meeting.

Solar Photovoltaic Project Update:

This project as you know was spearheaded as part of a government green gas reduction initiative and funding to the amount of 6.8 million dollars.  The installation of solar panels on the roof of the Ottawa campus are to be used to replace the use green gas producing fuels for such things as air based heating, hot water production and reducing  electrical use from the grid. The project has plenty of merit and I feel was a great direction for the college to embark on back in June of 2018.  The timeline to submit a proposal and ensure the funding was short.  Apparently, this caused the engineering company to fast track their forecasted estimate of total cost of the job.  A significant error was in the area of the electrical upgrades required to utilize the air based heating portion of the project.  A solution was proposed to use the hot water generated from the panels to supply the hot water requirements on campus.  This unfortunately has cause a 1.2 million dollar shortfall on the project that is now on the college’s books.  I personally felt that if the engineering company made the error they should at least be partially responsible for the additional cost and therefore voted against the motion for the college to cover the 1.2 million dollar short fall.  Unfortunately, aside from one other governor voting against this motion, the motion was moved.

2019-2021 Business Plan & 2019-2020 Annual Budget:

The Business plan for 2019 to 2021 were presented and the 2019-2020 budget were presented by each VP.  The sound on the remote system was disconnected at that time and therefore I was unable to hear the presentation or ask questions.

I reviewed the plan and budget and did not find any items of concern.  The plan continues to follow the Strategic Plan and focus on Student Satisfaction, Co-op and Employee engagement.  The Learner Driven plan and focus is a personal concern.  How is this style of course and program management going to fit with the existing programs and courses at Algonquin?  As well, is today’s student population able to create their own learning path?  The International strategic refresh requires more detail. The most positive piece of the plan is the replacement proposal for the Student Information System or GeneSIS. Considering that over the last decade 20 out of the 24 Ontario Colleges have replaced their system there will be a lot of information regarding the system options on the market.  This will not be a cheap fix or easy fix

The Budget for the upcoming year has challenges of its own.  The 10% mandated fee decrease and ancillary fee decrease will cause some considerable revenue shortfalls. The program tuition costs for domestic and international students have been adjusted to reflect these issues. Domestic students will see a 10% decrease yet this shortfall will be compensated with an increase to international student. I had a concern on whether this would affect the international student numbers in a negative way.  The president reassured me that similar increases were going to take place across the board with the other Ontario Colleges.  My belief is that if raising prices brings down the numbers of international students, this will only increase the college shortfall.  As you know the international student intake has been the redeeming feature for the college over the last few years. Only time will tell if this comes back to bite us. . It was also mentioned that 51 full time positions were on the budget for next year 31 of them for faculty.  It was not clarified if this included the replacement position of the voluntary retirement incentive.

There are two physical space major Strategic Investment projects starting.  The pedestrian bridge to the LRT station and the SA new athletic and Recreation Complex.  There was no mention of increasing the number of classroom space available.

Third Quarter 2018-2019 Financial Projection

The sound returned to the remote system and I was able to rejoin in the discussions and presentations.

A significant positive was the enrollment increased by 7.0% from the Approved Annual Budget.  There were two costly items for the third quarter.  The first was a 3 million dollar estimate for the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program and the other was the 3.5 million dollars expense from the College departure from IBM in regards to Workday.  I asked the president if the lost position from the Voluntary Retirement Incentive would be replaced by new full time position as part of the succession plan. Her answer was yes they would.

Conclusion

Overall, the BOG meeting was quite productive.  I was disappointed as I found the agenda to be extensive for a proposed two-hour meeting.   The presentation of the committee reports were passed over and the pace of the meeting seemed very fast.  Considering we had many issues to deal with and an in camera segment as well. I personally felt overloaded with information and rushed in my decision-making.  Attending the meeting remotely did not help.  I will make sure to be there in person from now on.  I hope this was a random occurrence.

Enrico De Francesco

Faculty Governor

OPSEU Local 415 2nd VP Election March 13, 2019

Sisters and brothers,

Local 415 will be conducting an election for the 2nd Vice Presidents position. As you may recall the local held a by-election on December 5th, however I was unable to determine a successful candidate in the election due to inaccuracies on the voters list provided to the Union by the Employer. Then, because of adverse weather conditions, the rescheduled election of February 13, 2019 was cancelled.

Due to these unfortunate events, the local will be conducting another election on March 13th, 2019.

In order to prevent the same issue of inaccurate lists I will be confirming members who are partial load or who are unsure of their status at the polling station. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load at the time of the vote in order to confirm you are in good standing with the local, you will be required to provide your pay statement to show Union dues deductions as well as hours worked. Your pay statement will need to show your name and employee number as well. If you wish to blackout other areas, you may. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load and you do not provide a pay statement, I will have to segregate your ballot and then confirm your status afterwards which may take days or weeks.

The process will be as usual for all other members who require to be a signed member of the Union in order to vote. If you have not signed a union membership card you can do so at the polling station.

The two candidates for the election are:

  • Annette Bouzi
  • Tracy Henderson

The by-election will be held as follows on Wednesday March 13, 2019:

– Ottawa Campus: Union Faculty Office, C215B, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

– Pembroke Campus: Room 122, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

– Perth Campus: Room 101, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All full-time and partial-load faculty who are members of the union are eligible to vote.

In solidarity

 

Nelson Ross Laguna

OPSEU Region 4 Rep and

Electoral Officer for Local 415

Protect Yourself Against Workday Security Breaches

During the past several days, faculty have identified to the local that they are quite concerned regarding the safety of their personal and banking information on the college’s Workday system.

I asked the college president on February 6, if she could confirm that Social Insurance Numbers and banking information had not been compromised, given the Workday fiasco.

On the same day, she responded “Yes I can confirm that”; however, the local has since learned that at least a week earlier to this confirmation by the college president that a college employee was informed that his Workday account had been compromised during the phishing attack. The college offered “Identity Theft Protection Services” from ID Alerts for the next 2-years and advised the employee to change his bank password.

One has to wonder why the college was not aware of such phishing attack problems and Workday issues well before implementing Workday on January 7, 2019 given that this information has been widely published on the web since at least May 2017 as per the following article

 

https://www.carpedatumlaw.com/2017/05/protect-people-newest-workday-scam-reroutes-employee-direct-deposit-funds/

 

Additionally, Workday security issues have also be widely published as per this article.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/workday-com/

 

If you suspect that your personal or banking information has been compromised, I recommend that you ask the college for  “Identity Theft Protection Services” from ID Alerts for the next 2-years.

Although there is no guarantee that all faculty will receive this email because of the state of the college’s email system, I would encourage you to pass this information along to coworkers so that they take action necessary to safeguard their personal and banking information.

 

Pat Kennedy, President
OPSEU Local 415

Local 415 By election to be rescheduled

Sisters and brothers,

Please be advised that due to an aggressive snow storm due to take place on Tuesday February 12th and Wednesday February 13th, for the health and safety of OPSEU local 415 members and OPSEU staff, I have decided to cancel the election scheduled for Wednesday February 13th. Some members and staff raised concerns in regards to the weather especially for our members living and working in rural areas.

“OPP detachments throughout Renfrew County put out a request on Twitter that the public postpone any unnecessary travel due to poor weather conditions and reduced/zero visibility. They listed the most affected areas as Eganville, Cobden, Horton, Admaston/Bromley and Pembroke”.

I will be rescheduling the election in the coming days. Please stay tuned for a new date.

 

In solidarity,

Nelson Ross Laguna

Nelson Ross Laguna

Staff Representative

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Ottawa,On

18447651416 ext 5445 (office)

613-324-4174                (cell)

By-Election for Second Vice President – OPSEU Local 415 – Personal Biographies of Nominees

As previously communicated, there will be a by-election for the Second Vice President of OPSEU Local 415 at all three campuses. In order to better acquaint you with each of the nominees, they were asked to provide personal biographies to be sent out to all full-time and partial-load faculty.

The attachment contains the personal biographies of the two nominees.

  • Annette Bouzi
  • Tracy Henderson

The by-election will be held as follows on Wednesday February 13, 2019:

– Ottawa Campus: Union Faculty Office, C215B, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

– Pembroke Campus: Room 216, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Room 334 from 1 p.m. to 3 pm.

– Perth Campus: Room 101, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 

All full-time and partial-load faculty who are members of the union are eligible to vote. We always welcome new members into OPSEU and membership forms will be available if you are not already a member and wish to sign up.

OPSEU Local 415 Communications Officer

Union Membership Letter

You may have received an email with respect to your Union Membership from the college.

You should disregard this, as it did not come from our local.

 

Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

REMINDER – OPSEU Local 415 2nd VP Election 13 February 2019

Sisters and brothers,

Local 415 will be conducting an election for the 2nd Vice Presidents position. As you may recall the local held a by-election on December 5th, however I was unable to determine a successful candidate in the election due to inaccuracies on the voters list provided to the Union by the Employer. Due to this unfortunate event, the local will be conducting another election on February 13th, 2019.

In order to prevent the same issue of inaccurate lists I will be confirming members who are partial load or who are unsure of their status at the polling station. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load at the time of the vote in order to confirm you are in good standing with the local, you will be required to provide your pay statement to show Union dues deductions as well as hours worked. Your pay statement will need to show your name and employee number as well. If you wish to blackout other areas, you may. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load and you do not provide a pay statement, I will have to segregate your ballot and then confirm your status afterwards which may take days or weeks.

The process will be as usual for all other members who require to be a signed member of the Union in order to vote. If you have not signed a union membership card you can do so at the polling station.

The two candidates for the election are:

  • Annette Bouzi
  • Tracy Henderson

The by-election will be held as follows on Wednesday February 13, 2019:

– Ottawa Campus: Union Faculty Office, C215B, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

– Pembroke Campus: Room 216, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Room 334 from 1 p.m. to 3 pm.

– Perth Campus: Room 101, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All full-time and partial-load faculty who are members of the union are eligible to vote.

In solidarity

Nelson Ross Laguna
OPSEU Region 4 Rep and
Electoral Officer for Local 415

“Teacher-less courses” offered at Algonquin’s new partner Northern College

It has come to the Local’s attention that Northern College, one of the colleges that Algonquin has partnered with under the recent Multi-College Collaboration Model agreement, offers “teacher-less courses”. Given the language of the agreement, and the parties’ commitment to “innovative delivery models”, everyone should take notice of the possible consequences of courses being delivered by technology rather than faculty.

This approach would have an enormous impact on securing new full-time positions, and could put existing full-time positions in jeopardy. Tracy Henderson, with support from our Divisional Executive, is in the process of reaching out to the Locals involved in the agreement to gather more information about what is happening at each college, and will be reporting back to DivEx with recommendations.

This is a significant development for our membership as “teacher-less” work forces do not make pension contributions, nor do they fund Long Term Disability programs.

We’ll be providing more information as it becomes known.

Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

 

{CAATA-Pres} Research into Multi-College Collaboration Agreements

From: RM Kennedy <rmatopseu@gmail.com>

Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 9:24 AM

To: CAAT-A Presidents

Cc: Tracy Henderson

Subject: {CAATA-Pres} Research into Multi-College Collaboration Agreements

 

Hello Presidents,

 

As you may have heard, Algonquin College along with Sault, Lambton and Northern, have signed onto a “Multi-College Collaboration Model.”

Tracy Henderson (from Local 415 and Divex 1st Alternate) has volunteered to do some research and strategic planning on the topic for us. We are very concerned that this may become the system-wide template for cuts and we want to get out ahead of it. For example, we could imagine a scenario where Algonquin develops online curriculum, which is then passed on to Northern College to be delivered on their new automated platform, eliminating real faculty work there. There are other ways this could work, but almost all of them will likely involve attacks on Intellectual Property (IP), academic freedom, faculty decision-making. program quality and bargaining unit size. Tracy will be reaching out to talk with the affected locals, but if anyone has any additional information on such agreements please pass it on to her.

 

In solidarity,

 

RM

Local Monitoring Multi-College Collaboration Model

We all received the notice via email that the college entered into an agreement with Lambton, Sault, and Northern College last week; however, it is not clear to the Local that the other colleges have received this information. The details of that agreement are contained in the attached document: Multi-College Collaboration Model  MOU 190109.pdf

The Local is monitoring this situation with respect to impact on programs and full time positions. The bullet in the communication that references avoiding “duplication” is of particular concern.

We are reviewing this in conjunction with the 2017 Price Waterhouse report attached “Fiscal Sustainability of Ontario Colleges Final Copy.pdf”,  which called for a reduction in staff.

 

Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

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