Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

OPSEU Local 415 Bulletin – August 21, 2018

Welcome back to members who were on annual vacation. For those members who were working at the college this summer, I hope you had a good Spring/Summer semester.

I want to take this opportunity to let you know about some of the union local’s priorities for the fall semester:

  1. Stop the Abuse of Partial-Load Faculty

Since the Kaplan award was released, we have been attempting to engage the college regarding the changes to article 26 – Partial-Load (PL) Employees. Despite our efforts to get a clear response from the college on the partial-load registry, the college has been sending mixed messages about PL workloads and seniority.

Since the spring PL members have been advising us that their fall hours have been reduced and that the college is not following the new seniority language. In fact, a number of serving PL members have reported that they were not offered PL hours at all. PL members are frustrated that they have either received inadequate responses or no response at all from management when they inquire about their workloads. Unfortunately, we received even more inquiries from members over the summer.

We have also been advised that in light of the recent St Lawrence decision that member PL coordinators are being told they must choose between teaching and coordinating as the college will no longer be offering them layered contracts. The work still exists. Instead of acknowledging this as full-time work and doing the right thing by making these full-time positions, they are shuffling the work around as reported by a number of PL members this past spring.

This is no way to treat our dedicated colleagues. The local will continue to question the college on their decisions in regards to the Kaplan award. We are consulting with OPSEU legal and the DivEx on actions we can take as a local. We are also encouraging PL members to tell us their stories.  The local will do everything in its power to ensure that our PL colleagues are treated fairly, and we will provide them of what their options are under the collective agreement.

  1. Unanswered Official Requests for Information

Since January, the local and members of official union/college committees, such as the College Employment Stability Committee (CESC), have made requests for information from the college that they entitled to in the performance of their duties. In many cases, the college does not reply at all. In one case, a member of the CESC made an initial request of the college over 100 days ago. We are still awaiting a response, despite sending follow-up requests directly to the president of the college, who is also a member of the committee.


  1. Mishandling of Issues

Since returning from the strike, the local has been made aware of several situations where members have brought issues to management’s attention that of gone largely ignored. Some of these situations are of a severe nature. They include, but are not limited to sexual harassment, racism and gender discrimination. These are very serious issues that the local is working with the affected members on. We will support them in making sure these issues are properly addressed by the college.

We have a particularly disturbing case brought to us in the past few weeks. A racialized female teacher has been denied a leave without pay for family reasons. When we reviewed our case files we found examples where non-racialized female members have been granted leave without pay for family reasons on two occasions.

Additionally, there has been a grievance filed stating that “The Employer has failed to address sexual harassment in the workplace creating a toxic and harmful workplace environment.  As well the College has failed to provide a working environment that is physically and psychologically safe.”

I have been invited to the President’s Breakfast to say a few words about our priorities; however, I am on vacation until the end of August. Be rest assured, our priorities are simple – that the College follows the Collective Agreement.

If you have any questions or want to discuss issues you or your colleagues are facing, please feel free to stop by the union office or send us an e-mail to us:


In Solidarity,


Pat Kennedy

President, OPSEU Local 415

New petition to get rid of Sinclair and the Council

OPSEU to file Charter challenge over college back-to-work law

Please read the following OPSEU press release :

OPSEU to file Charter challenge over college back-to-work law | OPSEU
Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is challenging the Ontario government’s latest back-to-work legislation in court. The province ended a five-week strike by Ontario college faculty November 20 by passing Bill 178, the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2017, on November 19. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically Section 2 (d), which protects freedom of association.

In Solidarity,

The Bargaining Team

Strike purchase information for CAAT Pension Plan members

Strike purchase information from the CAAT Pension Plan 

Please share this email with your members. We are available to answer questions. Contact us via email at, or by phone at 1.866.350.2228. View this on our website

 2017 strike purchase information from the CAAT Pension Plan

As a Plan member who was on strike, you will be able to purchase the pensionable service lost during the strike.

The CAAT Plan is working on a special process “window” to efficiently deal with the expected high number of strike purchase requests. The window will start in June 2018.  Before then the Plan will be working with employers to receive and validate the data necessary to calculate strike purchases. We will roll out more details on this special process in the coming weeks through our website, newsletter and My Pension Newslink.

If you don’t make a 2017 strike purchase during this special window, you will be able to purchase it at a later date with no change in cost. All 2017 strike purchases will be based on your salary rate and the contribution rates at the start of the 2017 strike. In other words, the costing remains the same no matter when you make a 2017 strike purchase. 

If you terminate employment or retire before this special strike purchase window, you will have the chance to make your strike purchase before the special window starts.

To make any other kind of service purchase (for example a leave of absence or lay off) please follow the usual process.  More details

What do you have to do?

No action is required at this time to start your strike purchase.  In addition to any updates in our upcoming Newsletter, we will be regularly updating our website with information to help you make a decision about making the purchase, as well as details about the purchase process. If you wish to have these details sent directly to your email address as they become available, we encourage you to subscribe to My Pension NewsLink.

If you expect to terminate employment or retire on or before June 30, 2018, please read on for the steps you should take.

If you retire on or before June 30, 2018:

Strike purchases cannot be made after your retirement starts. If you want to make a strike purchase, you must make it before you retire. If you are planning to retire and want to make a strike purchase, you must notify your employer as soon as possible so they can start the purchase process. Your payment must be remitted with your Pension Application form.

For members whose Pension Application form has already been submitted, the CAAT Plan will contact you directly regarding the purchase.

If you terminate employment on or before June 30, 2018:

If you terminate employment, or expect to terminate, and want to make a strike purchase, you must notify your employer as soon as possible so they can start the purchase process. Any purchase must be completed no later than 30 days after your termination of employment. Normally, members cannot initiate a service purchase after their employment has ended; this special 30-day period is to give those terminated members who wish to make a 2017 strike service purchase the opportunity to do so.

Bulletin here 

OPSEU NEWS RELEASE for September 21, 2017: “College faculty request ‘no-board’ report in contract talks”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                      September 21, 2017


College faculty request “no-board” report in contract talks


TORONTO – The union bargaining team for 12,000 Ontario college faculty has asked the conciliator in its negotiations with the College Employer Council to issue a “no-board” report, a move that will put the parties in a legal strike or lockout position by mid-October.


Under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA), either party can request a no-board report, which is typically issued within a few working days of the request. From there, workers can strike, or their employer can lock them out, 16 days later.


Union bargaining team chair JP Hornick said calling for the no-board report is an attempt to trigger real negotiations around education quality, fairness for contract faculty, and other issues.


“Unfortunately, our employer’s approach to this round is based on demanding concessions and refusing to engage with our proposals at all,” she said. “It is our hope that a no-board report will make the colleges see that the way through the current impasse is through constructive negotiation.”


The union has not set a strike date, Hornick emphasized. The CCBA requires the parties to give five days’ notice of a strike or lockout. “If negotiations are moving forward as we approach the legal strike or lockout position, we will continue bargaining,” she said.


OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the colleges appear to be “out of step” with the thinking of their major funder, the Government of Ontario.


“At Queen’s Park yesterday, The Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and the Minister of Labour, both displayed a real willingness to work together with us to resolve the serious issues in the colleges,” he said. “I advise the colleges to listen much more closely to what is being said at Queen’s Park so we can come to a settlement that is acceptable to both sides.”




For more information: JP Hornick, 416-806-9526; Mona Chevalier, OPSEU college faculty bargaining team (French only)

OPSEU NEWS RELEASE for September 14, 2017:”College faculty vote set table for talks”

On behalf of the bargaining team, thank you for the decisive support you gave our negotiators in yesterday’s vote. The full-time and partial-load faculty at Local 415 voted 75 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary to assist the bargaining team to get a fair and reasonable contract. We look forward to the resumption of contract talks in the days ahead. Please read the press release from the bargaining team, using the following link.

College Faculty strike vote sets table for talks/OPSEU

Toronto – The bargaining team for faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges has received a strike mandate from its members, setting the table for collective bargaining that is scheduled to resume next week. Sixty-eight per cent of college faculty represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) entrusted their elected team with the ability to call a strike if the College Employer Council refuses to budge on key issues.


Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

One Faculty Member’s response to Cheryl Jensen’s Message to academic employees regarding Strike Mandate voting on September 14,2017

From: Shawn Pentecost

Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:41 PM

To: Cheryl Jensen

Cc: Patrick Kennedy

Subject: Your Message Titled “Important Voting Information”


Hello Cheryl,


I am writing in response to your e-mail sent to me as a faculty member regarding the upcoming strike vote on September 14, 2017.


Firstly, I am very disappointed that you chose to send such a communication with misleading and outright inaccurate statements to faculty..  I also am aware that you are not the only president who sent this same message out today.


In your message you “encourage [Faculty] to fully understand the issues from both perspectives”. I find this statement disingenuous as farther down in your communication you make the following statement:


The proposed changes [by the union]would impose fixed-staffing ratios and restrict college administration from participating in the oversight of academic programming and delivery.


Nowhere in our faculty proposals do we seek to “restrict college administration from participating in the oversight of academic programming and delivery.”  Our proposals are seeking a defined role in academic decision making.  Our proposals also state that relying on precarious employees for over 80% of teaching is not sustainable. If you were listen to our students as we have been doing  in recent days at information booths across the college campus, you would have heard their deep-rooted concern regarding the effect that the over reliance on precarious workers has had on the consistency and quality of their programs.


You also inaccurately state that “governance is outside the scope of the collective agreement”. Our proposal on collegial governance clearly states that the Academic Senate would work under and report to the Board of Governors.  I would also like to point out that Sheridan College already  has an Academic Senate and by all reports it has served the college well.


Secondly, as a member of the bargaining team,  I cannot and will not recommend any type of concession which is not in the best interests of students and faculty. A moratorium on the union’s ability to address the growing deficit of full-time positions is just one such concession.


I would also remind you that, as one of the 24 college presidents, you were invited to join the Faculty Bargaining Team and the 24 local presidents in Toronto on September 20, 2017 to apply pressure on the government and MPP’s to increase funding to, and the quality of, the college system. You declined‎ our invitation to work together to improve quality education for students.


On a go forward basis, I “encourage you to fully understand the issues from both perspectives” before you forward such a misleading communication to me as faculty member and union steward.


In the winter, I was perplexed when your proposed executive compensation package was seeking a salary increase in the 50% range. Then this communication today. Quite honestly, I am struggling to see how either of these fits within the college’s core values of Caring, Integrity, Learning and Respect.




Shawn Pentecost


Faculty Member

Local 415 Steward

2017 Faculty Bargaining Team Member


September 14 Strike Mandate Vote Hours/Locations and Strike Pay if a Strike is warranted

The team is negotiating through the rest of September to achieve a good contract for college faculty. On September 14, your support will help reject management’s vision and continued negotiations towards faculty’s vision of improved quality and fairness in colleges.

The attached  information is here contains information on the September 14 Strike Mandate Vote Hours/Locations and Strike Pay IF a strike is warranted.


Pat Kennedy, President

OPSEU Local 415

Partial Load Bargaining Information

Please see here for Bargaining information , Strike vote locations, times and Strike Pay

Information IF a strike is warranted