Hello everyone –
As many of you know, Thursday’s Negotiations Mandate meeting was just the start of a whirlwind month for the Faculty Association, as we prepare for negotiations while getting ready for our AGM at the end of November. So I want to offer some further information about those points, as well as say a few things about our broader context.
Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting, and who provided feedback there and by email. There’s still time to contact Bill Leeming or me if you want to weigh in on anything (and you should), but do it soon because Bill’s already assembling your responses into a draft Mandate to bring to the Negotiations Committee in the middle of the month. The representatives on the Negotiations Committee, as elected Thursday, are:
- Bill Leeming, LAS, Associate Professor & Negotiations Chair
- Charles Reeve, LAS, Associate Professor & OCADFA President
- Eric Steenbergen, Studio Technician
- Bogdan Luca, Sessional Instructor, Art
- David Griffin, TIS Art
- James Olley, TIS Art
- Ron Wood, Continuing, Art
- Robin Kingsburgh, CLTA, LAS
- Debbie Adams, Professor, Design
The conversations that Bill and I have been having with you this semester have made clear that the treatment of academic staff and contract instructors concern everyone, and so it’s great to see that concern reflected in the composition of the Negotiations Committee. You’ll be hearing more from us about negotiations very soon.
Annual General Meeting
You’ll be getting an invitation for this soon but I can tell you now to hold the morning of Friday November 27 for this event. This is the meeting where elections for board positions are held, and we will come back to you with more information on that soon.
One bit of business from last year’s AGM: because of some confusion at the board level, we said that the terms of Amy Swartz and Fatimah Tuggar were for two years—but they aren’t. They are for three years, as are all board positions.
If you are on a performance review committee, you need to know that either of the following is an MoA violation: (1) if you base your merit assessments on the idea that no one can receive higher than a 1.2; or (2) if you base your merit assessments on the idea that the average of your merit assessments can be no higher than 1.2. The MoA (Article 24.3.6) couldn’t be clearer: merit increments are “based on each faculty member’s performance review.” If an administrator instructs the committee to consider other factors, such as the 1.2 average, she or he violates the MoA. Should you find yourself being so instructed, please contact us immediately.
This issue is coming up increasingly, so I want to clarify an important principle: what matters is total hours worked. Both the MoA and the Employment Standard Act set clear limits on how much you work. So, if you’re full-time, you work 35-40 hours per week; if you’re 70%, you work 25-28 hours per week; if you’re half-time, you work 17.5-20 hours per week. For example, if you’re 70%, and for whatever reason (class size, new courses, etc.) your teaching takes 28 hours per week, then that’s it: you have fulfilled your obligation.
Obviously, this is about averages. We know that some weeks will be heavier than others, and that’s fine. But if, on average, your total hours exceed what I’ve noted above, then you may have cause for a grievance, and you should contact us. In other words, if you’re contracted to work 27 hours per week, for example, and your teaching takes all that time, then the Employer loses out on your service (rather than getting it for free).
On Friday, OCADFA joined faculty associations across the country in calling on the administration at Nipissing University to return to the bargaining table, the hope that Nipissing can avoid being subjected to its first-ever strike. Despite the pressure, and the fact that NUFA has offered an imaginative range of proposals that will help contain costs while preserving jobs and maintaining or improving the quality of education, the Employer remained inflexible, and many of you will have seen that faculty at all three Nipissing campuses now are on strike. This situation is unfortunate to say the least, and we’ll keep you informed about how we can support our colleagues as things develop. You can find updates and more information at the NUFA strike website.