OCADFA Member:

A lot has happened since my message of August 14. So I want to give you some important information, a bit of which is for new members, but most of which is for everyone. This email is a little longer than usual, but please take a minute to the read it all, as it’s important.

1) If you’ve received this email, you belong to the OCAD Faculty Association (OCADFA). Whether you’re a TA, RA, Sessional Lecturer, Program Chair, or anything in between, OCADFA is here to negotiate for you and help you when things go awry in the workplace.

2) President Sara Diamond made special reference to increased growth and development of hybrid and online courses at OCAD U over the upcoming year. This is consistent with her promises to the provincial Liberal government in her Strategic Mandate Agreement document (October 12, 2012).

OCADFA is concerned that our members know their rights with respect to their production of hybrid and online course materials. Under the existing OCAD University Intellectual Property (IP) policy, and the covering memorandum of understanding with OCADFA through which the existing IP policy came into being, we want you to know that the default position is that faculty own the IP in the copyrightable works they create for hybrid and online courses – BUT SUBJECT TO SOME LIMITATIONS.

Under the IP Policy, the employer can ask you to give up certain rights for compensation pursuant to a separate contract (sometimes called a “Developer Contract”) for what is construed to be additional work outside a faculty member’s regular duties. At that point, it becomes the subject of individual negotiation between the faculty member and the employer. It is not uncommon for “developers” to be asked to waive their rights, including rights of ownership. The Contractor (e.g., employer) effectively then owns the materials and the right to licence the material to third parties. In some cases, developers have been put in the position of having to request, even pay, for a licence from the contractor so that they can use the course materials for future employment with other institutions.

You should therefore be very careful about signing such agreements. We strongly urge you to contact OCADFA if you have questions about a proposed agreement, or the extent to which it modifies default rights under the IP policy and the MOA.

3) Communication is a priority for us – through emails, website, events and so on. So please let us know if we can do things to make our communications more accessible. Would other platforms (e.g. social media; telephone) be easier? Have you had challenges with our meeting spaces? Are there other accommodations we should be considering (e.g. seating up front; ASL; real-time captioning; child care; religious holidays)? This list is only partial, and some accommodations are more within our control than others. But to get started on increasing access, we need to know the issues, so please send us your thoughts.

4) Admission to the AGO is free with your faculty card; major exhibitions are an extra $5.00;

Thanks for all you do to make teaching at OCAD University better. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Best regards,