Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

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

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

Update for Partial-load faculty

Earlier today, the College announced that it will be extending Winter term partial-load contracts previously scheduled to end mid-April to May 1, 2020. The local had been advocating for the College to compensate part-time faculty for time spent on COVID-19-related additional work, including the extension of the grade deadline and we are encouraged that the College has taken the right approach here.

This week we are also learning that the College has continued to reduce course delivery for the summer, which is unfortunately adding stress for all part-time faculty. If you have learned that you will not have a contract for the Spring/Summer term, federal and provincial governments have announced a number of support measures to help mitigate the financial impact. Below is some general information:

If you have any questions or concerns about your individual situation, 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

Local Update Spring 2020 Semester

While the College previously announced its general plan for a May 19 start to the Spring 2020 semester, implementation details are now unfolding. As you begin discussions with your Chair about your revised assignments, below are some things to keep in mind.

  • For our Partial-load colleagues, if you are asked to be involved with any development work between semesters, you should be compensated accordingly.
  • For our Full-time colleagues, our position as a local has always been that the SWF must capture all work assigned. As such, request appropriate time for course development and delivery mode due to the change in modality.
  • The number of revised teaching contact hours on a SWF should be reasonably similar to those originally assigned;
  • Our Collective Agreement provides for 10 days of Professional Development time – 5 of which can be used in sequence. These days can be used for opportunities that faculty deem appropriate for professional growth.

During the pandemic, while we are working remotely, SWFs can be completed by e-mail. You may agree to your revised SWF or, if you feel it is not reflective of the work you are being asked to do, exercise your right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group (WMG).

Other matters of concern are the timing of annual leave and appropriate workplace accommodations, including for those caring for family members. If you have any questions about your situation, please reach out to us at COMMS@locallines.org or extension 7716 and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.

As you focus on your wellness and delivering quality work during these challenging times, be assured that we continue to press the College for faculty rights and adherence to our Collective Agreement.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Update #4 on COVID-19

On Friday, we all received the College’s framework for the Spring 2020 semester. The College has not yet confirmed how it will implement any of the details of the semester. We have secured its commitment to revising SWFs and sharing information with the Local as it becomes available.

The Local has not agreed to any matters regarding the Spring 2020 semester. We have put forward our membership’s concerns on a broad range of issues including workload, intellectual property matters, teaching hours for partial-load members and full-time faculty vacation.

We continue to voice faculty issues and to ensure adherence to our Collective Agreement. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, we are pushing for Algonquin College to be remembered as an employer that did its part to create climate of security for workers, in a time when we so need it. Holding the College to account in all aspects of our work is what we will continue to do.

If you have any questions, please e-mail COMMS@locallines.org or leave us a message at (613) 727-4723 Ext. 7716. We will provide a timely response to your e-mail or call.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Part-Time Faculty Professional Development Compensation (March 14 to 27, 2020)

In recent discussions, we learned that the College will compensate sessional, part-time and partial-load faculty for certain professional development hours completed at Learning and Teaching Services (LTS) between March 14 and 27 to prepare for the change in delivery mode to courses. The details are as follows:

  • Partial-load, sessional and part-time faculty who participate in LTS-delivered sessions related to alternate delivery of courses will be paid $25/hour for time spent in the sessions;
  • Those who complete one or more of the following Employee Learning courses will also be compensated: EDU2001, EDU2002, EDU2003; and
  • There is a cap of 15 hours for this paid training, which must take place between March 14 and March 27.

We encourage you to contact your manager for further details and to claim this compensation.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Update #2 on COVID-19

We have been monitoring all COVID-19 developments closely and regularly communicating with both the College and our OPSEU colleagues across the province. These are certainly difficult and extraordinary times.

We are encouraged by Algonquin College’s decision to make alternate work arrangements more broadly available – this is a decision we were advocating the College to make over the weekend. The health and well-being of all faculty and community members are of paramount concern.

While the situation is still in flux, we know that all faculty, including part-time, sessional, and partial-load members, will continue to be paid at our current rates during the temporary suspension of classes. We recommend that faculty track the hours of work put into completing all tasks related to modifying your courses for new delivery modes.

Finally, below is a list of resources should you need the support. In the turmoil of the current moment, let us remember to take good care of each other and ourselves.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415