As we wrap up 2023 Fall and prepare for some much-deserved time away from college work, we wanted to highlight some of our accomplishments.
We began this academic year by concluding the 2021 round of bargaining. We thank the full bargaining team, including Shawn Pentecost, our Local Treasurer and Pembroke steward, who represented us both this and the previous round of bargaining. The tradition of having representation from our Local continues, with our Secretary, Martin Lee, having been elected to the 2024 team.
Our August general membership meeting was well attended, and we received strong support for our updated Local bylaws. These bylaws were accepted by OPSEU/SEFPO, and now provide an explicit statement of value, ensure better alignment of academic year to elections, and include updates to practice. Recently, we completed steward elections with great success. With a tremendous response and the addition of 11 new stewards, our Local Executive Committee (LEC) is now a much larger and more diverse representative body.
More highlights include:
- Ever since we switched to full year teaching, faculty have had less and less time for meaningful reflection. Finding time to explore research related to industry changes or trends, exploring new resources, and pursuing career opportunities for students is now supported in an ongoing fashion through the 112 course renewal hours. Be sure to ask for them on your SWF in at least 4-hour segments; they cannot be carried forward.
- Having heard from many faculty about poor scheduling, your Local has challenged the college to improve our timetables. Too many of us see empty rooms during the day all over campus—the college is undertaking a renewed look at space and scheduling for the winter.
- Many members have visited us in our new, brighter location (A207a). Given the success of our drop-in open house and the SWF open house, expect more of these in the new year.
- The Local held an educational video viewing for Blood and Water, followed by a successful fundraising campaign to support First Nation, Neskantaga. The boil water conditions this remote community has had to endure for 28 years and counting are both heartbreaking and unacceptable.
- This fall saw major global shifts of power with the horrific situation in Palestine and Israel triggering activism worldwide, including within the labour movement. Many OPSEU/SEFPO members, including college faculty, have been active in wider community protests demanding a ceasefire.
With that, we wish everyone time to unwind and disconnect from the college this holiday period. Take the time to rest and enjoy good company with family, loved ones, close friends, and by yourself. We look forward to continuing to work closely with and for the membership in 2024.
Your Local 415 Leadership Team
Annette Bouzi, President
Judy Puritt, First Vice-President
Ala’ Qadi, Second Vice-President
Tracy Henderson, Chief Steward
Martin Lee, Secretary
Shawn Pentecost, Treasurer