Dear OCADFA Members:
The Board of Governors vote last week means we now have an agreement. So I wanted to thank all of you who came to meetings to set priorities and hear about the deal and participated in the ratification vote.
No agreement is perfect: every agreement is a stage in a process. So, just as the elimination of the five-year cap and the reduction of studio teaching followed from previous negotiations, some of what happened this year will lay the groundwork for future gains. The fact that over 200 of you participated in the ratification vote shows terrific engagement and solidarity. It also provides a great foundation for our next task: the union affiliation conversation.
In November, you voted overwhelmingly to review OCADFA’s structure, specifically regarding whether OCADFA should explore affiliation with a larger union. It’s time to begin that process, by convening a committee that comprises representatives from all OCADFA constituencies. We know that some major unions would love to have us—at least three already have told us as much. So the questions are: do we want to join up with one of them? If yes, which one? If no, do we want to make other adjustments to our structure? Or are we happy with the status quo?
If you’d like to help lead this important conversation, please send a note to Connie Reid (firstname.lastname@example.org). All groups need to be represented, from TAs to full professors, from sessional to tenured, as well as academic staff. So if you’re interested, please get in touch.
Thanks also for your participation in the survey regarding Sara Diamond’s performance. It didn’t provide surprises: she did well on items like equity and diversity, and public visibility, but you had very serious concerns about core items like financial transparency, effective leadership, and understanding effective art and design education, research and practice. And, again, the high participation rate (over 200 members) gave us useful context for thinking about negotiations and future directions.
Finally, although the spring general meeting is two months away, we’re planning for it now and you’ll be hearing from us about that soon.
And, as always, thanks for all you do for the quality of education at OCAD University.