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:
- 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 https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onla/doc/2018/2018canlii26586/2018canlii26586.html 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.
- 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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
President, OPSEU Local 415