Hello everyone!

  1. New OCADFA board member: But first, as I announced at the end of also semester, Bodgan Luca has been elected to the OCADFA board, so I want to welcome him.
  2. Bargaining: Bill Leeming (our Negotiations Chair), the rest of the negotiations team and I spent this weekend in mediation with the Employer, with William Kaplan as mediator. After two days of mediation, we agreed to schedule another day of mediation and, if that further day of mediation is unsuccessful, a day of arbitration. The arbitrator is looking at available dates, so we don’t know at this time when those will be. However, we’re imagining sometime in the next month or two.

    What does this mean? Continuing mediation will allow us a final chance to arrive at a settlement. If we settle, we will be bringing the agreement to you for ratification. If you ratify it will be the new agreement. If you don’t ratify it, we go back to the arbitrator for final binding arbitration – meaning that the agreement is imposed on you. (No more ratification.) If we do not arrive at an agreement through mediation, we go directly to arbitration and an agreement is imposed on you by the arbitrator. It is vital to note that this is simply a description of possible directions that the process could take from here, and that the rules of mediation prevent us from saying anything about the quality or content of the discussion.

  3. Grievance Chair: I am delighted to announce that Kathleen Morris officially has started as grievance chair. You can reach her at ocadfagrievance@gmail.com. Some of you will recall that I’ve also talked about building out our grievance committee to support this position and defray the associated workload somewhat, and you will be hearing more about that process in the coming weeks.
  4. New president email address: along with the separate email address for the grievance chair, we’ve established a new email address for the OCADFA president: ocadfapresident@gmail.com. Please use this address for all ocadfa-related correspondence. It makes it easier for me to ensure that I don’t miss things and simplifies archiving (not least because the volume of OCADFA-related traffic means that my OCADU email constantly bumps against its storage limitations).

And a few other items that are not OCADFA business but nonetheless of interest. First, the Art Gallery of Ontario has been hosting a series of Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Many of you will be familiar with this concept, but the basic idea is that Wikipedia skews against equity-seeking groups. So, when you look at Wikipedia entries regarding artists and designers, for instance, all equity-seeking groups are underrepresented. Edit-a-thons are intensive, group sessions to create new entries to improve that situation. So the Art Gallery of Ontario Library & Archives has organized two edit-a-thons this winter. The first, in partnership with the Black Arts/History Reading Group, will be this Wednesday at 5-9 pm (tutorial 5:30-6:30 pm). The AGO Library & Archives also is organizing a follow-up on their previous Art + Feminism edit-a-thon for early March and I’ll pass along more information about that as I get it.

Finally, as I mentioned previously, this year’s annual conference of the Universities Art Association of Canada will be in Banff on October 12-15. The deadline for session proposals is January 16, and I encourage everyone to consider entering proposals. You can find more information at the UAAC website.

And that’s it for now. If you’re new, welcome; if you’re returning, welcome back. And thanks for all you do.