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

OPSEU Local 415

OPSEU Local 415 is the democratically-run body that represents Algonquin College full-time and partial-load faculty (professors and instructors), cousellors, and librarians.

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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


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