Hello Everyone –

For some of you, this will be your inaugural email from the OCAD Faculty Association (affectionately known as OCADFA), so the first thing to be said is: if you’re new, welcome; and if you’re returning, welcome back.

The second thing to be said is: If you’ve received this message, you’re a member of OCADFA—whether you’re full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary/contract (i.e. sessional, continuing, CLTA, limited-term contract) and whether you’re an instructor, an academic counselor, a technician or a teaching assistant. You’re all members of OCADFA.

And that’s good, because OCADFA protects your rights (through the grievance process) and improves your working conditions (through negotiations). So don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you in any way. If something seems wrong or unfair, there may not be anything we can do – but there might, so we always encourage you to ask. The best person to contact initially is our Executive Assistant, Connie Reid: conniereid@ocadu.ca, or 416-977-6000 x336.

Two pre-emptive steps to help us help you: First, read your contract. Know your obligations; know your pay structure. This simple step will make it much easier for OCADFA to help, should things go awry. If you don’t understand something, ask: ask us, ask your chair, ask your dean. Second, meet your obligations. You likely will be required to attend sessions about Health and Safety, Canvas (a teaching-support web application) and orientation. These sessions are important, they’re good ways to meet your colleagues (including OCADFA officers) and they’ll make your life easier.

And if you’re a sessional, did you know that our Memorandum requires that long-term sessionals be short-listed for first consideration the next time a sessional position is posted for a course they’ve taught or a similar course? Article 16.1.7: “Once a person has taught five or more 0.5 courses on a sessional basis, he or she shall automatically be short-listed for consideration for any sessional course that the person taught when the course was last offered or for any sessional course that is closely related to a course he or she taught previously, whether or not the person is currently a sessional faculty member.” (p. 16 of the Memorandum, which you can find on the OCADFA website here.) It’s a good article to know, because it gives you at least some claim on courses that you’ve taught previously.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we look forward to seeing you in the fall, when we’ll have some very exciting ideas to discuss, and we’ll resume our regular communications throughout the academic year to keep you informed on university matters (i.e., negotiations) and employment.

Best regards,