Yesterday, our Negotiations Chair sent the following update to the OCADFA membership:
Dear OCADFA members,
I am writing with an update on our current negotiations.
For over a year, OCADFA’s bargaining team has represented our collective interests to secure a new contract. We secured a mandate from you and have worked hard to ensure we stayed united and focused on our common goals. In our view OCADFA’s proposals are normal in the sector, and serve to bring us into alignment with other post-secondary institutions.
I would like to thank our excellent Negotiations Committee members: Min Sook Lee (FoA-Tenured), Danyil Panasyev (Studio Technician- Contract), Charles Reeve (FoLassis-Tenured), Tanner Serson (Teaching Assistant), Annie Tung (FoD-TIS) and Mary Eileen Wennekers (FoLassis-Sessional) for working diligently on this round of bargaining. We have been supported by OCADFA’s Executive Director Graeme Reniers and represented by a stellar legal team, Steven Barrett, Chris Donovan and Emily Denomme from Goldblatt Partners. I want to thank the OCADFA bargaining team for their hard work, insight, and dedication.
We were unable to resolve several critical issues during mediation and will now be moving to arbitration presided by William Kaplan. Our arbitration hearings are scheduled for April 25th and 29th. Kaplan will make a binding decision after the hearings which is not subject to ratification by the parties. In coming to this decision the arbitrator is guided by principles of replication and gradualism.
Replication tends to come to agreements that would likely have been reached under strike/lockout processes, the results of other negotiations in our sector are the primary comparison. Gradualism is the incremental change that one expects from any negotiations process, in this sense as well our proposals are intentional design to build on previous years and represent steps towards a better OCAD U for all of us.
OCADFA’s proposals are normative and reasonable, and we are well placed to achieve our priorities. Arbitration does not erase, and should not diminish, the progress we have made to date. So far, we have agreement on several important issues, two of which I wish to highlight here:
- Pregnancy and Partial leave with a top-up to 95% for a standard twelve month leave and 57% for the extended leave of eighteen months. There is also a top-up for adoption leave and a short supplemental leave for those who do not qualify for pregnancy leave.
- There is a substantial revision to the process for hiring Teaching Assistants/Research Assistants with the goal of demystifying this process. We believe that our current TAs/RAs and our graduate students should be prioritized and properly matched with available opportunities that reflect their areas of expertise and research/practices.
We are currently finalizing OCADFA’s Arbitration Brief which lays out our positions and supporting arguments for the hearing this Sunday, I will be sharing this with you as soon as it is complete.
Eric Steenbergen, OCADFA Negotiations Chair
Click here to view our Arbitration Brief