Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Health and Safety Reminder

Please be advised that the College Coronavirus Information site has the most updated information for employees. The site includes guidelines for employees and students, FAQs, COVID-19 safety training, as well as the Self-Screening App (must be completed before to go on campus). 

If you do not feel that your work conditions are safe, contact your Chair immediately with your concerns. Since documentation is essential for anything related to health and safety, you are strongly encouraged to do so in writing and keep copies of all communications when notifying your Chair about any illness/injury or safety concerns. You are also encouraged to fill out this OPSEU questionnaire if you believe or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (whether working on-campus or remotely), in addition to reporting to the college.

As your Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) representatives, please contact us at wymanl@algonquincollege.com and lamarcj1@algonquincollege.com with any questions or concerns about health and safety or regarding information you are receiving within the department. Messages submitted through COMMS@locallines.org will also be forwarded to us.


Stay safe,

Leslie Wyman and JP Lamarche
JOHSC Representatives
Woodroffe Campus

Winter Message

Dear Colleagues,

As 2020 draws to a close, I wanted to acknowledge this historic year – we’ve all been tested in ways that would have been hard to imagine before March. Thank you to our hardworking members for all you have done to maintain quality education and compassion during these trying months. As ever, Local 415 has remained hard at work, challenging the college to do better, supporting individual faculty members through a range of issues, and continuing to be active at the provincial level.

The year end also gives us time to reflect. You’ll be pleased to know that we have accomplished a lot as a local union in 2020 – from enhanced rights for our partial-load members, gains through dispute resolution processes outside of grievances, and ensuring adherence to our Collective Agreement rights. We will build on that momentum for 2021 – a bargaining year.

Finally, rest assured that your Local remains in regular contact with the College on all matters, including the recently announced provincial lockdown. You will receive updates as appropriate. 

Wishing you the peace of the season and a most restful winter break.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi (she/her)
President, OPSEU Local 415

December 2020 Local Lines

Jordan Berard, Editor of the Local Lines newsletter, invites you to review the final 2020 issue.

Bargaining 2021 Bulletin #1

Please see the attached message from our 2021 Bargaining Team.

English bulletin – December 2020

French bulletin – December 2020

In solidarity,
OPSEU Local 415

SWF Workload Reminders

If you are teaching a traditional semester, SWFs are due this Friday, by end of day on November 20.

Please note that although the College continues to use its SWF adaptation formula to provide time for “COVID-19 Adaptation and Planning”, the Local has never endorsed this approach. In discussions with your manager about your workload, we encourage you to identify and request the number of hours you deem appropriate to complete the continuing adaptation of your courses under Complimentary Functions. The College has stated that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Therefore, if the hours presented by your Chair do not appear adequate, we encourage you to raise this point. Even if you have already returned your SWF, you can raise this point and ask that it be revised.

Remember, if you have SWF questions, send them to COMMS@localllines.org and a steward will respond promptly. We are here to answer workload questions and support you in your understanding.

In solidarity,

Your Local 415 Workload Monitoring Group
Judy Puritt
Annette Bouzi
Enrico DeFrancesco
Scott Fewer

October 2020 Local Lines

New editor Jordan Berard invites you to review the October 2020 issue of Local Lines.

Partial-Load Update – September

Hopefully you have had a good start to the semester, and you have settled into a routine balancing Algonquin with your home life. You will have seen a few messages that have been sent to all of our OPSEU 415 faculty members in recent weeks; however, this message is specifically directed to you as contract faculty.

Reminder – Registry Closes on October 30

One of the significant gains that our union achieved in the last round of bargaining is the Partial-Load Registry. In order to be eligible for priority hiring in the 2021 calendar year, you must register your interest before the October 30, 2020 deadline. Even if you have filled in the Partial-Load Registry on a previous year, you must complete it again for this year. You can find the link here.

Partial-Load Hardship Fund

We recognize that the start of the semester can be challenging – even more so with the current COVID-19 climate. The stewards of our local voted in favour of establishing a hardship fund to provide interim support to our contract faculty colleagues in need. If you are a contract faculty member, who was Partial-Load in the Fall 2019, Winter 2020 or Spring 2020 terms, but have not been assigned Partial-Load status Fall 2020 or have seen a decrease in your expected teaching hours, you may be entitled to receive a grant of $250 from the Local’s Partial-Load Hardship Fund. The fund has $8,800 earmarked for this term. Claims will be processed in the order they are received, until monies run out. The application form is here.

As ever, if you have questions about your rights as a Partial-Load member please feel free to reach out to the local. We are available to members online (by email or virtual meetings) or over the phone. If you have any questions, please send them by email to COMMS@locallines.org or call (613) 727-4723 ext. 7716.

In solidarity,

Martin Lee (he/him)
Local 415 Steward | Partial-Load Liaison

Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) COVID-19 Update

Dear Colleagues,

Following President Brulé’s communique regarding a COVID-19 case, please be reminded that the COVID-19 Training and FAQs are both posted on the college Coronavirus Information site. As stated in the communique, “the College is working directly with Ottawa Public Health to assist them in contact tracing. Any members of the College community who may be directly impacted by this will be contacted accordingly.”

Ottawa Public Health guidelines are being followed and we have received an update from Risk Management that anyone from the academic area who may have been exposed has already been contacted.

Documentation is essential for anything related to health and safety. Therefore, it is important that when notifying your Chair about any illness/injury concerns, that you do so in writing and keep copies of all communications. We also encourage you to fill out this OPSEU questionnaire if you believe or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (whether working on-campus or remotely), in addition to reporting to the college.

If you have any questions or concerns about health and safety or regarding information you are receiving within the department, please contact us at wymanl@algonquincollege.com and lamarcj1@algonquincollege.com. Messages submitted through COMMS@locallines.org will also be forwarded to us.

Stay safe,

Leslie Wyman & JP Lamarche
JOHSC Representatives (Woodroffe Campus)

Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) COVID-19 Update – September

Dear Colleagues,

As mentioned in our July message, the Local 415 Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) representatives participate on the college COVID-19 Coordinating and Workplace Return Group Committees. The planning for the spring and summer included the pilot projects for “winter teach outs” which had successful and safe results. We are still meeting and planning for the fall term as part of the same committees, and will continue to do on-campus inspections.

Employee information about returning to work, COVID-19 training, and FAQ’s are posted on the college Coronavirus Information site. In the FAQ’s there are many new answers to questions that we asked directly to the Senior Vice-President Academic, such as: “What is the strategy for faculty when a student arrives without a mask?” “What exactly are Faculty being directed to say or do?”  “Are faculty being directed to clean the work space in the classroom?”, “Who does faculty contact if they are unable to wear a mask?”, and “If a student is not feeling well in class, is the class cancelled?”.

For those classes being held on campus there is no assumption that the use of masks replaces other health and safety protocols (like hand washing) and class sizes will be limited. Upon entering campus, the requirement is for everyone to wear a mask and the college will have masks to hand out, if needed. 

The college COVID-19 Training must be completed by any employee accessing or returning to work on campus. Documentation is essential for anything related to health and safety, so it is important that you keep a copy of the certificate of completion for your own records and submit a copy to your Chair before going on campus.

Please note that when notifying your Chair about any concerns or illness/injury, we recommend that you do so in writing and keep copies of all communications. We also encourage you to fill out this OPSEU questionnaire if you believe or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (whether working on-campus or remotely), in addition to reporting to the college.

If you have any questions or concerns about health and safety or regarding information you are receiving within the department, please contact us at wymanl@algonquincollege.com  andlamarcj1@algonquincollege.comMessages submitted throughCOMMS@locallines.org will also be forwarded to us.

Stay safe,

Leslie Wyman & JP Lamarche
JOHSC Representatives (Woodroffe Campus)

August Update

Dear Colleagues,

With the return to most post-secondary classes scheduled for September 8, many are returning to work to prepare for the fall. We want to recognize the hard work of faculty who have been working throughout the Spring and Summer term, including the many who have participated in the Summer Pilot on our campuses.

It’s been a busy few months in our Local and here are a few highlights followed by some more detailed notes. Our Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees have been hard at work participating in on-campus inspections and ensuring adherence to safety protocols. Further, the Local has negotiated a new memorandum with the College on the definition of “regular” partial-load. Effective September 9, a contract faculty member who is assigned to teach more than six, and up to and including twelve hours per week for at least a 7-week consecutive period, will be considered partial-load. Additionally, we have seen many successes through the Workload Monitoring Group resolution process, and we welcomed several new full-time faculty hires across many areas of the college.

General Membership Meeting

Our General Membership Meeting is expected to take place in September by way of an online teleconference. We will share more detailed information on this once OPSEU provides more direction.

Accommodations

Please be sure to reach out with your questions about the college’s legal duty to accommodate, which extends beyond the provisions in our Collective Agreement:  Short-Term Disability Plan (STD, Article 17 for full-time members) and the Long-Term Disability Plan (LTD, Article 18 for full-time members). Accommodations can be arranged for many reasons, such as family status, including having an immunocompromised family member, having childcare obligations, or having health issues yourself. Remember, we have accommodations’ officers to help you, so please reach out to us for advice.

Workload

Several members have reached out with questions and concerns around workload as we have shifted to work under pandemic-related health and safety guidelines. It is important to remember that workload issues can be addressed at any point in the semester. That is, if your workload exceeds what the SWF captured when it was originally agreed to and signed, you are welcome and encouraged to raise your concerns. You can speak to your local steward, and/or contact the Local office and speak to someone on the Workload Monitoring Group.

Expansion of College Administration

The Local is disappointed to hear about the creation of additional college administration positions, as announced last week. At a time when the college is expressing concern about its budget, and asking employees to do more, the expansion of senior college administrator positions seems particularly misdirected. We have expressed our objection. The organizational focus, in our view, should be on continued growth in faculty and support positions, rather than the creation of additional layers of educational administration.

Steward Retirement/Union Elections

Last week the Local was informed by OPSEU that two stewards have retired: Pat Kennedy and Mark Stevens. We wish them well in their retirement and thank them for their service.

Pursuant to our Local Bylaws and the OPSEU Constitution, these vacancies must be filled through a by-election.  Beyond this, there are upcoming provincial meetings for which we will need to elect delegates. We recognize that you may be experiencing election fatigue with the number of recent elections in our Local.  Still, these positions need to be filled, and we are committed to implementing electronic voting as well as robust measures to ensure accurate voting lists. In order to participate in these upcoming votes, you will be required to provide the Local with your non-college e-mail address through a request that will come to your college account.

If you have any questions, please send them by email to COMMS@locallines.org or feel free to call us with your inquiries at (613) 727-4723 ext. 7716.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi, President
David Haley, First Vice-President
Enrico DeFrancesco, Second Vice-President
Shawn Pentecost, Treasurer
Judy Puritt, Secretary

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