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 for Partial-load faculty

Earlier today, the College announced that it will be extending Winter term partial-load contracts previously scheduled to end mid-April to May 1, 2020. The local had been advocating for the College to compensate part-time faculty for time spent on COVID-19-related additional work, including the extension of the grade deadline and we are encouraged that the College has taken the right approach here.

This week we are also learning that the College has continued to reduce course delivery for the summer, which is unfortunately adding stress for all part-time faculty. If you have learned that you will not have a contract for the Spring/Summer term, federal and provincial governments have announced a number of support measures to help mitigate the financial impact. Below is some general information:

If you have any questions or concerns about your individual situation, please contact us at COMMS@locallines.org and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Local Update Spring 2020 Semester

While the College previously announced its general plan for a May 19 start to the Spring 2020 semester, implementation details are now unfolding. As you begin discussions with your Chair about your revised assignments, below are some things to keep in mind.

  • For our Partial-load colleagues, if you are asked to be involved with any development work between semesters, you should be compensated accordingly.
  • For our Full-time colleagues, our position as a local has always been that the SWF must capture all work assigned. As such, request appropriate time for course development and delivery mode due to the change in modality.
  • The number of revised teaching contact hours on a SWF should be reasonably similar to those originally assigned;
  • Our Collective Agreement provides for 10 days of Professional Development time – 5 of which can be used in sequence. These days can be used for opportunities that faculty deem appropriate for professional growth.

During the pandemic, while we are working remotely, SWFs can be completed by e-mail. You may agree to your revised SWF or, if you feel it is not reflective of the work you are being asked to do, exercise your right to refer it to the Workload Monitoring Group (WMG).

Other matters of concern are the timing of annual leave and appropriate workplace accommodations, including for those caring for family members. If you have any questions about your situation, please reach out to us at COMMS@locallines.org or extension 7716 and a steward will get back to you as soon as possible.

As you focus on your wellness and delivering quality work during these challenging times, be assured that we continue to press the College for faculty rights and adherence to our Collective Agreement.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Update #4 on COVID-19

On Friday, we all received the College’s framework for the Spring 2020 semester. The College has not yet confirmed how it will implement any of the details of the semester. We have secured its commitment to revising SWFs and sharing information with the Local as it becomes available.

The Local has not agreed to any matters regarding the Spring 2020 semester. We have put forward our membership’s concerns on a broad range of issues including workload, intellectual property matters, teaching hours for partial-load members and full-time faculty vacation.

We continue to voice faculty issues and to ensure adherence to our Collective Agreement. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, we are pushing for Algonquin College to be remembered as an employer that did its part to create climate of security for workers, in a time when we so need it. Holding the College to account in all aspects of our work is what we will continue to do.

If you have any questions, please e-mail COMMS@locallines.org or leave us a message at (613) 727-4723 Ext. 7716. We will provide a timely response to your e-mail or call.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Part-Time Faculty Professional Development Compensation (March 14 to 27, 2020)

In recent discussions, we learned that the College will compensate sessional, part-time and partial-load faculty for certain professional development hours completed at Learning and Teaching Services (LTS) between March 14 and 27 to prepare for the change in delivery mode to courses. The details are as follows:

  • Partial-load, sessional and part-time faculty who participate in LTS-delivered sessions related to alternate delivery of courses will be paid $25/hour for time spent in the sessions;
  • Those who complete one or more of the following Employee Learning courses will also be compensated: EDU2001, EDU2002, EDU2003; and
  • There is a cap of 15 hours for this paid training, which must take place between March 14 and March 27.

We encourage you to contact your manager for further details and to claim this compensation.

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

Update #2 on COVID-19

We have been monitoring all COVID-19 developments closely and regularly communicating with both the College and our OPSEU colleagues across the province. These are certainly difficult and extraordinary times.

We are encouraged by Algonquin College’s decision to make alternate work arrangements more broadly available – this is a decision we were advocating the College to make over the weekend. The health and well-being of all faculty and community members are of paramount concern.

While the situation is still in flux, we know that all faculty, including part-time, sessional, and partial-load members, will continue to be paid at our current rates during the temporary suspension of classes. We recommend that faculty track the hours of work put into completing all tasks related to modifying your courses for new delivery modes.

Finally, below is a list of resources should you need the support. In the turmoil of the current moment, let us remember to take good care of each other and ourselves.

In solidarity,

Annette Bouzi
President, OPSEU Local 415

Update on COVID-19

OPSEU Local 415 has been closely monitoring the developments around COVID-19. We are participating fully in discussions with Algonquin College regarding contingency planning. In addition to our concerns for a safe workplace, our role is to ensure that contingency plans are consistent with our Collective Agreement.

We are engaged in continued conversation with union locals at all community colleges. The following issues are what we are centering on:

  1. Technological and infrastructural challenges to online classes
  2. Sick days for contract faculty
  3. Workload tracking and the equitable distribution of tasks
  4. Intellectual property in the event of a mass upload of materials and content online
  5. Complex accommodations for students and faculty
  6. Accommodations and protections for at-risk employees and employees with at-risk family members
  7. Laboratory, workshop, practical and field activities and the recovery of learning outcomes for lessons which must be done in person
  8. Protocols to support international students who may face quarantines or the inability to return to their home countries

In light of the recent announcement to close public schools after March break, our local will continue to advocate for family accommodations.

If you have concerns around your work and COVID-19, please connect with us. If you send an email, please use the subject “COVID-19” to ensure we flag your email as urgent.

Local Election Results

Sisters and brothers

I wanted to announce the following officers as elected to your executive. Today 433 members voted in the election.

  • Annette Bouzi is your local president
  • David Haley is your 1st vice president
  • Enrico DeFrancesco is your 2nd vice president
  • Pat Kennedy is your chief steward
  • Shawn Pentecost is your treasurer
  • Judy Puritt is your secretary

I want to thank everyone for voting today and for the scrutineers participating in the vote count. Diane Brule as always went above and beyond.

In solidarity,

Nelson Ross Laguna

Nelson Ross Laguna

Staff Representative

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Ottawa,On

Notice of OPSEU 415 Elections

Nominations have closed for the officer positions for OPSEU Local 415.

The following positions have been acclaimed:

Chief Steward: Pat Kennedy

Secretary: Judy Puritt

There will be an election for four positions.

President: Annette Bouzi and JP Lamarche

First Vice President: David Haley and Michael Nauth

Second Vice President: Enrico Defrancesco and Ken Hill

Treasurer: Martin Lee and Shawn Pentecost

Note that should any of the nominees wish to withdraw their nomination prior to the election, they should contact me directly via email (NRossLaguna@opseu.org) to do so.

In order to prevent any issues of inaccurate lists I will be confirming members who are partial load or who are unsure of their status at the polling station. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load at the time of the vote in order to confirm you are in good standing with the local, you will be required to provide your pay statement to show Union dues deductions as well as hours worked. Your pay statement will need to show your name and employee number as well. If you wish to blackout other areas, you may. If you are partial load or believe you are partial load and you do not provide a pay statement, I will have to segregate your ballot and then confirm your status afterwards which may take days or weeks.

The process will be as usual for all other members who require to be a signed member of the Union in order to vote. If you have not signed a union membership card you can do so at the polling station.

All full-time faculty and partial-load faculty who are members of the union are eligible to vote.

The vote will take place Tuesday February 18, 2020 at the following locations:

Woodroffe: (8:30-4:00) in C215B

Pembroke: (10:00-4:00) in Room 435

Perth: (10:00-4:00) in Room 118

In solidarity

Nelson Ross Laguna

Staff Representative

Ontario Public Service Employees Union 

Ottawa On

Office 18002687376 ext 5445

Cell 6133244174

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