Official Website for OPSEU Local 415

Local Lines — Special Issue for partial-load faculty

The attached issue of Local Lines is a special issue for the partial-load faculty at Algonquin.

As well, please find an accompanying union membership form if you have not already completed such a form. There is no additional cost to join the union. The completed from can be dropped off at the union office, C215b.

Jack Wilson

First Vice President and Editor, Local Lines

Taxable Status of Strike Pay

The local has received numerous querries regarding the taxable status of Strike Pay. 

This is addressed on the Canada Revenue Agency website at the following link:


Pat Kennedy

President, OPSEU Local 415

CAAT Pension Plan funded status grows to 118%

Dear members, 

I am pleased to be able to convey to you some fantastic news of continued grown of our jointly governed CAAT Pension Plan, which stands 118% funded on a going-concern basis, with a funding reserve of $2.3 billion, based on its latest actuarial valuation as at January 1, 2018. This is an improvement over last year’s valuation that showed the Plan 113% funded with a funding reserve of $1.6 billion. 

For further details, I invite you to read the attached 2018-03-01 CAAT-Funding Valuation news release. 

Pat Kennedy

Faculty Sponsor of CAAT Pension Plan

Information you need to know about Health & Safety


Risk Management and Physical Resources are 2 different departments. Risk Management deals with Health & Safety issues. Occupational Health and Safety details posted @

Risk Management

The College has endorsed an Enterprise Risk Management Framework to support its efforts in the area of risk management. This framework is steered through the College Risk Management Committee (CRMC).A

LOCAL 415 Health & Safety Representatives are

They are members of a college Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC).


What is my responsibility if I observe an unsafe environment?

  • All employees are responsible for Health & Safety. Report to your manager.
  • Not sure if is a Health & Safety issue? Ask anyway.

When do I complete an incident report?

  • For any accident or injury.
  • An Online Quick Report is posted on the Occupational Health & Safety link on the Risk Management site.

What do I do in an emergency requiring immediate response?

  • Call Ext 5000.

Who pays for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

  • Employers provide and pay for PPE if required for the job. Contact Risk Management directly if your manager refuses.

What do I do if there are signs of mice in my work area?

  • Call Physical Resources (Ext. 7710). DO NOT clean yourself.

REMEMBER: An employee has the right to know about any hazards in their work area AND has the right to refuse unsafe work.

Stay safe!

Leslie & Judy

LOCAL 415 Health & Safety Representatives

Partial Load Registry serves to prioritize the hiring of partial load employees

One of the major gains from this round of bargaining is the Partial Load Registry that serves to prioritize the hiring of partial load employees who have registered their interest in being employed as a partial load employee in the following calendar year, detailed in the following excerpts from our new collective agreement.

26.10 D In addition to maintaining a record of a partial-load employee’s job experience, the college will keep a record of the courses that the employee has taught and the departments/schools where the partial-load employee has taught such courses.

By October 30th in each calendar year, a currently or previously employed partial-load employee must register their interest in being employed as a partial-load employee in the following calendar year. This individual will be considered a registered partial-load employee for the purpose of 26.10 E.

All partial-load employees employed for all or part of the period from September 1 to December 31, 2017 will be deemed to have registered for the 2018-2019 academic year.

26.10 E Subject to the application of Articles 2.02 and 27.06 A, commencing in the 2018-2019 academic year, where the school or department within a college determines that there is a need to hire a partial-load employee to teach a course that has previously been taught by that registered partial-load employee in the department/school, it will give priority in hiring to such partial-load employee if:

(i) They are currently employed, or if they have previously been employed as a partial-load employee for at least eight (8) months of service as defined in 26.10 C within the last four (4) academic years, and

(ii) The assignment of such course will not cause the employee to exceed the maximum teaching contact hours for partial-load employees.

The offer of partial-load employment is conditional on the college subsequently determining there is sufficient enrollment to warrant the assignment being offered. Where two (2) or more partial-load employees would be entitled to be offered the course assignment, the employee with the most service will be offered the first opportunity.

The local has yet to receive a response as to where partial load employees send their email by October of each year to indicate their interest in partial load work for the following calendar year; however, it is recommended that you email your manager at this time with your intentions so that you have a written record of your intentions. Don’t forget to retain a copy of all correspondence.

We also encourage you to contact your manager to determine if partial-load work exists in your area for this spring/summer and see if your receive a response in the spirit of the new wording of the collective agreement,


Pat Kennedy

President, OPSEU Local 415



Social Media Day of Action for Contract Faculty – February 28

Dear faculty and allies,


February 28 is the Social Media Day of Action for Fairness for Contract Faculty in partnership with our university colleagues at the Ontario Coalition University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). The goal is to ensure that the issues of precarious work and fairness for contract faculty are trending on social media platforms in a positive manner as faculty, students, staff, and supporters across Ontario continue to work together as allies. This year’s day of action will be of particular importance as we will be using the momentum generated by Bill 148 and our fall strike to build more support for contract faculty in the lead-up to the provincial election in June. 

The political goal of the day will be to get as many people as possible to tweet and post Facebook messages to their provincial election candidates. The messages will highlight priorities for contract faculty at our institutions, the need to implement the equal pay for equal work provisions in Bill 148, how precarity for contract faculty can affect the quality of education, and where we go from here. 

To be as effective as possible, you can direct messages, not just to your local candidates/MPPs, but also to your college Board (where possible) and/or your college president, as well as your college’s Twitter or Facebook page. You can also direct tweets to your college’s @SpottedatOurCollege account, which are very popular with students and could help broaden our social media reach and build more support. Feel free to also take selfies sending messages of support to contract faculty. 

See the attached graphics as well as a list of possible social media contacts for all colleges. Graphics  Contacts 





Here are a few sample tweets, but please feel free to mix and match and come up with your own! (Remember to replace anything highlighted in yellow with information specific to your or your institution):


Hey @Candidate, #Bill148 improved minimum wage provisions, unionization, & leave provisions for many workers, but doesn’t address abuse of fixed-term contracts at our colleges. Will you commit to supporting contract faculty? #StandWithFaculty


Hey @President/@BoardChair, will you #DoTheRightThing and implement fairness for contract faculty? #StandWithFaculty


Taught X courses for X years with no job security. @YourCollege should treat its contract faculty with fairness and respect! @BoardChair @Candidate #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty


Hey @YourCollege, I work alongside my contract colleagues who are doing the same work. Contract Faculty deserve equity. #Fairness4CF


Hey @President/@BoardChair, you were in favour of an executive compensation framework to bring equity to your senior executives’ pay. How about fairness for Contract Faculty? #Fairness4CF


Ontario college students deserve the best education possible. Full-time faculty hiring should correspond with enrolment growth. @Candidate @BoardChair #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty


Poor working conditions for teachers hurt students, institutions, and communities. #Bill148 has not done enough for our contract faculty. @PoliticalCandidate, will you stand up for precariously employed college workers? #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty


Hey @SpottedatOurCollege, shout out to all my colleagues working on contract while supporting their students and families! #Fairness4CF #StandWithFaculty


@SpottedatOurCollege Shout out to all the contract professors teaching valuable and necessary programs!  #Fairness4CF


Hey @President/@BoardChair, I’ve committed to my college; why won’t you commit to me. #Fairness4CF #DoTheRightThing


And, sample Facebook posts (remember to replace anything highlighted in yellow with information specific to your or your institution):


It’s time for fairness for contract faculty at @YourCollegeFacebookPage! Contract faculty deserve equal pay for work of equal value, job security, and access to benefits.


Our students deserve the full attention of faculty who have equal pay for their work. It is time for fairness at @YourCollegeFacebookPage!


Treating Ontario’s college contract faculty fairly should be an automatic. It’s time to #DoTheRightThing here @YourCollegeFacebookPage!


Graphics will be sent when ready for your use on social media.


All faculty members, students, staff, and members of the community at Ontario universities and colleges are invited to participate. Allies who want to join in should make sure they use the hashtags:






In solidarity,


The CAAT-Academic  Divisional Executive


Toronto Star Article on Precarious Jobs at Ontario Colleges‌​

Here is a link to a recent Toronto Star article: Ontario campuses see increase in precarious jobs, study shows

Notice of OPSEU Local 415 Faculty Union General Meeting – Thursday, January 18, 2018

There will be a General Meeting of the Faculty Union on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in the Woodroffe Campus Staff Dining Room, 4 – 6 pm.


Please find  the agenda here .


OPSEU Local 415 Communications Officer

December issue of Local Lines: Post-strike issue

On behalf of the Local Executive Committee, thank your for your solidarity and perseverance these last few months in securing a better collective agreement. Attached you will find a commemorative issue of Local Lines. Have a well-deserved break with your family and friends and all the best for 2018.

Issue here

{CAATA-Pres} FOR DISTRIBUTION: College Faculty: Update from your bargaining team – Issue #3

Update December 20 read here

Dear CAAT-A Faculty:

Attached you will find a bulletin that details faculty’s wins in Arbitrator Kaplan’s award which dictates our new Collective Agreement.  This award, from a neutral arbitrator, is a clear vindication that faculty’s vision for the college system is not only reasonable, but necessary for Ontario colleges.

Despite Council and management’s attempts to claim this for themselves, there is no way to read this award other than as an unprecedented and historic victory for college faculty. Arbitrator Kaplan heard submissions from both sides, probed these issues deeply, and appears to have agreed that faculty had the better plan for the colleges.

For context, arbitrators are inclined to keep status quo in their decisions; Kaplan instead has–based on the strength of our submissions–repudiated Council’s concessions AND given us our language on academic freedom in the new Article 13, “Copyright and Academic Freedom.”  We cannot overemphasize how unusual this is.

In addition, we fought hard for and won gains for our partial load faculty on seniority and job security.  For the first time ever, partial-load faculty have been included in the lump sum awards given by an arbitrator.  In addition, the Provincial Task force will begin in January to address issues of complement and precarity, and we meet with the employer to begin discussions on Bill 148 on January 15.

Kaplan has primarily adopted our RTW language, and repudiated Council’s claims that no additional work was required to salvage the semester.  Indeed, by granting lump sums to every faculty member, he has acknowledged that the strike is an atypical circumstance that requires remuneration.  He has also made the salary increase retroactive–something the Council fought stridently against.

Faculty are more united and organized than ever.  We have mobilized, walked the lines together, and stood our ground against an aggressive and intransigent Council team, against a government willing to violate our Charter rights, and together we made breakthrough gains on the quality of education and fairness for all faculty.

We must now turn our energies to the work of the Provincial Task Force: ensuring a faculty complement that works for the system and reduces precarity; creating a co-governance system that includes the voices of faculty and students in a meaningful way; improved funding for the system; modernizing counselling to improve student mental health in the colleges; and enshrining intellectual property rights for all faculty.

Our fight is not over–the issues with Council that came to light in this round need to be addressed, along with the damage done to labour relations at all colleges.  In addition, we have the upcoming Charter challenge to our bargaining rights. The work of the task force will require our continued mobilization and vigilance to ensure that it has teeth and that our key issues on governance and precarity are not lost.

On behalf of the bargaining team, however, I want to thank each of you for your incredible support and determination to make these gains possible.  Take some time to celebrate this massive victory:  we’ve earned it.

In solidarity,


College Faculty: Update from your bargaining team – Issue #3

December 20, 2017 

Arbitrator awards union language on academic freedom; previously agreed-to items included in award

Just over a month after the province legislated striking faculty back to work, we have a new collective agreement.

In an award issued Wednesday, December 20, arbitrator William Kaplan set out the terms of a four-year contract that will govern faculty work until September 30, 2021. The award includes language on items previously agreed on in bargaining, plus his (final and binding) decisions on issues that were still in dispute when bargaining ended.

Academic freedom

On academic freedom, Kaplan accepted the union’s language in its entirety, with the addition of five words to clarify one point. The new language under the heading “Copyright and Academic Freedom” makes it clear that all faculty have the right “to enquire about, investigate, pursue, teach and speak freely about academic issues without fear of impairment to position or other reprisal.”

This change is nothing less than historic. It is a watershed moment for the colleges that will be truly transformational in the years ahead.


On wages, the award provides the agreed-on raises of 1.75, 2.00, 2.00, and 2.00 per cent over the four-year term, but retroactive to October 1, the beginning of the contract. The employer had called for the first wage increase to take effect on the date of the award.

Partial-load faculty

Among the items negotiated prior to the back-to-work legislation were huge gains for partial load faculty. Under the new contract, partial-load faculty will:

  • get their contracts earlier;
  • move up the salary grid twice as fast;
  • have their seniority respected when applying for new contracts; and
  • have a much-improved chance of being considered for full-time positions.

Paramedical coverage 

Coverage for paramedical services under the benefit plan increases to $2,000/year, up from $1,500. Social workers and psychotherapists are now added to the list of eligible paramedical providers. 

Article 2 grievances

The Letter of Understanding that placed a moratorium on the filing of grievances related to Article 2 of the collective agreement (“Staffing”) is deleted from the collective agreement. Members may now file grievances when the employer violates Article 2. However, the arbitrator has ruled that such grievances “cannot rely on staffing which occurred from September 1, 2014 to December 20, 2017 to assist in establishing a breach of either of those Articles.”

The next 50 years: province-wide task force 

Under the new collective agreement, a new multi-stakeholder government-facilitated task force will be established to make recommendations on faculty complement, precarious work, college funding, student success, collegial governance, and other issues critical to the success of the college system. This is a serious forum in which faculty will be able to make their voices heard. The government has committed to considering the task force’s recommendations at the Cabinet level.

Bill 148

The award orders the parties to meet to discuss the way changes to Ontario labour laws under Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, affect members of the bargaining unit. This is where issues like equal pay for equal work will be sorted out. On issues where the parties cannot agree within one year, the award includes a binding process that allows either party to send the matter to a three-person arbitration board.

Teaching contact hours

The award clarifies that a teaching contact hour is a teaching contact hour now matter how it is delivered: “Regardless of the delivery mode, courses shall be deemed to have the same number of teaching contact hours as they would if taught entirely in the classroom or laboratory.”

Students requiring accommodation

Under a change to Article 11.02 C 2, the Workload Monitoring Group can now formally consider the number of students needing accommodation. This replaces the narrower term, “students with special needs.”

Recognition of formal qualifications

Under the job classification plans for professors, counsellors, librarians, and instructors, faculty members will now be able to get up to seven years’ credit for formal qualifications.

Counsellor classification

The parties will review the class definition of a Counsellor and consider updating it.

Additional francophone arbitrator for grievances

The award adds two new arbitrators, including one francophone, to the list of arbitrators eligible to rule on faculty grievances.

Return-to-Work Protocol

Kaplan has awarded each full-time faculty member a lump sum of $900, and each partial-load faculty member a lump sum of $450, to compensate for any extra work performed following the strike. The lump sums are an acknowledgement that faculty needed to do extra work in order to save the semester.

The union had proposed, and the arbitrator agreed, that partial-load faculty, not just full-time faculty, should receive the lump-sum payment. This is the first time this has happened in any faculty back-to-work protocol.

The lump sum payments settle “all claims, grievances or other complaints related to workload arising from the return to work from the strike.” For clarity, this means that all workload grievances related to the strike are deemed to be settled, and faculty may not file any new workload grievances arising from the strike.

For the purpose of calculating pay lost from the strike, the award says that one day is worth 1/261 of annual salary. This was the union’s proposal.

The award emphasizes that “there shall be no reprisals or discipline by either party arising from strike activities, including pre-strike activities.”

The arbitrator has ruled that the number of professional development days will be reduced to nine. The employer had asked that it be reduced to eight.

Standard Workload Formulas will not be adjusted down as a result of student withdrawals that occurred during the strike.

Four professors at La Cité who were suspended after the strike maintain all their rights under the collective agreement and at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

The return-to-work protocol is retroactive to November 20, 2017.

Read the award

The entire award from arbitrator Kaplan is online at

What is mediation/arbitration?

Arbitrator William Kaplan produced Wednesday’s arbitration award through a process called mediation/arbitration, sometimes called “med/arb.” The provincial government imposed this process on faculty in November when it passed Bill 178 to end the college faculty strike.

Med/arb does not mean that bargaining starts all over from the start; the med/arb process normally begins where talks broke off, and arbitrators include agreed-to items in their final rulings. In med/arb, the parties do not get to add new proposals. What typically happens is that the parties present their arguments, and the arbitrator decides which ones are the most compelling. All of the issues the arbitrator chooses to rule on are bundled together, and the resulting bundle is an award that includes all the changes to the collective agreement for the current round.

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