Hello everyone –

I hope you’re all making it through the end-of-year craziness in one piece. A few timely reminders before we get down to a few items of business: (1) OCADFA’s Spring General Meeting is coming up on Wednesday, April 26 at noon in room 320 of 205 Richmond Street, so please mark your calendars; (2) if you’re interested in proposing a paper for a session at this year’s conference of the Universities Art Association of Canada, the session descriptions are now available. There’s something for everyone (art, design, creative, scholarly), the deadline for paper abstracts is May 12 and the conference is at the Banff Centre, October 12-15. And now, down to business. Just three short items, but all very important.


Budgetary Remedial Action Plan

You will have received an email entitled “Multi-year Forecast and Remedial Action Plan process” from Alan Simms about two weeks ago, and a few people have had questions about this matter. So: while OCADFA understands that the Employer plans to take “remedial action” in its budget process this year, the fact remains that they do not have carte blanche and that faculty members and academic staff have important rights under both the OCAD University Act and the Memorandum of Agreement. We will diligently monitor any measures proposed by the Employer as a result of this process. Moreover, if you see anything that you think might contravene either the Act or the MoA, please contact us immediately so that we can assess whether we need to take action. As I say, if something feels wrong, there’s a good chance that it is, so if you have concerns, you should contact me at ocadfapresident@gmail.com or Kathleen Morris, OCADFA Grievance Chair, at ocadfagrievance@gmail.com.


2017 Sunshine List

Just prior to the above-noted email about the Remedial Action Plan, you will have received a note from Connie Arezes-Reis titled “Public Salary Disclosure — 2016.” The timing of the two notes was interesting, given that the note about salary disclosure opens by observing that, of the 107 OCAD employees above the $100,000 threshold, 60 per cent were faculty, 10 per cent were academic administrators and 30 per cent were administration. Now, that seems to be true as far as it goes, but Eric Steenbergen crunched some numbers and that’s not the whole story. Of those on the sunshine list the average faculty exceeds the $100,000 threshold by $18,574.  For administrative faculty it’s $35,842, and for the administration, including all managers, that number is $34,606. So, while there are twice as many faculty on the list as administrators, administration represent 64 percent of earnings over $100,000.

Also interesting is Connie Arezes-Reis’s statement is that “As has been the case since 2009, compensation for the President and the university’s Vice-Presidents remains frozen.” However, a look at the data for Sara Diamond suggests something different. In 2009, her salary was $257,500.10, whereas last year it was $278,958.42. Intriguingly, this amount is down slightly from $283,250.11, but in any case we are presented with the question: when is a raise not a raise? Now, it is worth noting that, according the sunshine list, Sara’s salary did, in fact, remain frozen at roughly $257K from 2009 to 2014, but these numbers again don’t tell the whole story since, as I noted last year at this time, her current contract is more than $320,000 richer than the contract she had in 2009. Again: when is a raise not a raise? There’s more to be said about this matter, but I’ll save that for next time.

If you spend time with kids

This last piece has nothing to do with union business, but it’s sad and it’s serious and I hope you’ll take a second to read it if you spend time around kids—as parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, whatever. Yesterday morning, my wife and I attended a memorial service for a boy, three years old, who choked on, of all things, a marshmallow. It reminded me with stark urgency that I’d been meaning for several years to take a new parent first aid course, but never quite got around to it. I will now, and I urge everyone who spends any time with kids, especially young ones, to do the same. Saint John’s Ambulance offers a wide variety of targeted courses that are efficient and affordable.

That’s it for today. Please enjoy the long weekend and take care of yourselves and each other.