Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Local Update May 2020

We hope that you are staying safe and prioritizing your wellbeing during these times. We all have many questions about how the next several months will unfold and our local will continue to share new information with you as it becomes available to us. Please continue to reach out with specific questions and comments about your own situation at COMMS@locallines.org or extension 7716 and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Below are some key areas we are monitoring as the college continues to navigate the pandemic:

  • Faculty workload – During a non-teaching period, article 11.08 of our Collective Agreement applies. This means that a manager does not unilaterally assign work. Rather, “activities will be undertaken by mutual consent and agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.” This non-teaching period may also be a good time to use your 10 days of Professional Development. If you have any concerns about work expectations during a non-teaching period, please reach out.

  • SWFs – During a teaching period, all work assigned must be reflected on your SWF. The pandemic does not change this. While discussing your SWF with your manager, please feel free to reach out to us for advice, as many colleagues already have. Additionally, if at any point during the semester your SWF is no longer a reflection of your workload, you maintain the right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group.

  • Employment stability – There is a rigorous process under our Collective Agreement that must be followed should the college plan to displace or reduce the number of full-time faculty. To date, the college has not given the local any indication that this process is being considered. We are continuously monitoring data and will leverage all options to maintain our full faculty complement. While the college has suspended hiring in most areas, it has continued with the hiring process for a number of full-time faculty positions scheduled to start in Fall 2020.

  • Working from home – We maintain workplace accommodation and health and safety rights while working from home. Additionally, the college has stated that reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

The OPSEU Executive Board passed a motion to postpone all usual spring General Membership Meetings (GMM) until such time as we are able to gather in person. Our union local executive committee continues to meet virtually, and stewards are still available to meet with you by virtual appointment. Know that your local remains active in discussions with the college to ensure faculty rights are protected.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Update #3 on COVID-19

We hope you are all keeping well during this difficult time. Recognizing that we are inundated with COVID-19 e-mails, and that the situation is constantly changing, our communication to you will be streamlined.

The two most common questions we are receiving from faculty concern (1) intellectual property rights and (2) our pay. Here is what we know now:

  • The Academic Division of OPSEU (CAAT-A) has prepared some guidance regarding copyright, which is attached here. While there is always general concern about our work and intellectual property rights, the author of the document is of the view that the material we are creating now is not likely to be used by colleges in a way that would cause harm to our jobs. Further, in discussions with President Brulé, he confirmed to me that the work we are preparing now is to save the semester – not a permanent solution – and the College would not mandate it so.
  • The College has already stated that it will reimburse reasonable equipment expenses related to working from home, such as headsets and microphones. We advocated for clarity on additional expenses and the College confirmed that it will reimburse faculty for reasonable out of pocket expenses related to COVID-19, with approval from their manager, as posted here.
  • Everyone will continue to be paid at our current rates – this was confirmed and can be reviewed here on the HR FAQ website (Q2 and Q3)

The situation is constantly changing. We continue to closely monitor it and advocate for faculty.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415