Welcome to the 2022-23 academic year at OCAD University!  

In this issue:

  • OCADFA Calendar of Events
  • Covid-19 Safety
  • #SessionalsCount
  • Negotiations Update
  • 2020-2023 Memorandum of Agreement
  • Teaching Stream Permanency
  • New Board Members
  • OCADFA Office Move
  • Members Resources on OCADFA.ca


OCADFA Calendar of Events

This will be an active semester for OCADFA as we once again will serve Notice to Bargain at the end of November. You should have already received an invitation to our Welcome Back Social in Grange Park yesterday, and you’ll soon receive Teams meeting invitations for our other membership meetings. It is crucial for us to hear from as many OCADFA members as possible as we put together our bargaining mandate. With that in mind, we’ll also be distributing a membership-wide Bargaining Survey on Sept 19, which will run until Oct. 19. The results of the survey will be a pivotal factor in determining our bargaining priorities, so it’s important that all members take 15 minutes to respond.  

  • Welcome Back Membership Meeting (Virtual on TEAMS): Tuesday, Sept 20th, 10am-Noon 
  • Welcome Back Social (in-person): Tuesday, Sept 20th, 1-4pm (at Grange Park) 
    • Please RSVP to email invite sent on September 6 
  • TA/RA Townhall (TEAMS): Monday, Oct 3, 1:00 – 2:30 pm 
  • Sessional Forum (TBA) 
  • Grievance Workshop (TEAMS): Tuesday, Oct 4, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. 
  • Annual General Meeting (TEAMS): Tuesday, Nov. 8, 10:00 – 2:00 pm 

You can keep up-to-date on OCADFA’s full calendar of events and important MoA dates and deadlines on our website: https://ocadfa.ca/blog/2022/09/07/important-dates-and-events-2022-2023/ 


COVID-19 Safety  

As a community, many of us are meeting together in person in large-ish numbers for the first time since the pandemic began. It is exciting but also crucially important we continue to make safe choices about in-person gatherings. COVID-19 safety remains a high priority for all as we are in the seventh wave of a deadly pandemic.  

During the summer, OCAD U’s campus unions (OCADFA, OPSEU Local 576 and the OCAD Student Union) called for a mask mandate to be reinstated across campus. However, OCAD U Administration have instead implemented a partial mask mandate. Masks are required only in instructional spaces, including studios. Notably, masks are not required in hallways, elevators and stairwells. The incomplete mask mandate may lead to some confusion about OCAD U’s masking policies. The University’s protocols can be found here:  https://www.ocadu.ca/services/health-and-wellness/covid-19

Although a vaccine mandate is no longer in effect, we encourage all in our community to keep apace of COVID-19 vaccinations and get boosted. Information on vaccine clinics in the city can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-how-to-get-vaccinated/ 

The University’s layered approach to COVID-19 safety includes HEPA filters in instructional spaces, the distribution of masks, enhanced cleaning and designated eating areas.  



Sign our petition to support Job Security & Fair Pay for Sessionals at OCAD U! Please share our petition and share on your social media using #sessionalscount, 

OCADFA is launching our #SESSIONALSCOUNT campaign today. More than 60% of all OCADU faculty are Sessional, and remain the lowest paid faculty in Ontario universities. The majority of OCAD U Sessionals (70%) have been teaching at OCAD U for more than five years – many have taught at OCAD U for over a decade – yet remain precarious with no job security. Sessional Faculty are calling on the OCAD U leadership to work with OCADFA to improve working conditions. 

Please be sure to visit our campaign website here: https://ocadfa.ca/sessionals/ 


The past year has seen unprecedented challenges, action and gains for OCADFA’s Sessional members – who in the 21/22 academic year we counted 272 Sessionals representing 62% of all Faculty at OCAD University! Key developments this past year include: the first ever successful round of Sessional “Right of Reappointments” (ROR), an intervention with President Ana Serrano in response to long-declining Sessional working conditions, and the formation of a Sessional Task Force to address growing Sessional labour inequities at OCAD U. 

Right of Reappointment:

This past year, for the first time ever, eligible OCAD U Sessionals applied for the Right of Reappointment (ROR). It is still far from a perfect system, but this is the first meaningful step toward gaining any job security for Sessionals at OCAD U. This is just the beginning of what was a hard-fought and won acknowledgement of the deep commitment of long-term Sessionals – of which 70% of us have taught at OCAD U for more than 5 years. 

Sessionals Meet President Serrano:

On April 8, 2022, a watershed moment for Sessionals occurred. OCAD University’s President Ana Serrano held a Sessional Forum inviting Sessionals to consult on OCAD University’s new Academic Plan. To President Serrano’s credit, this was the first ever forum held to consult with Sessionals specifically. However, through an outpouring of increasing Sessional frustration, the forum quickly turned from its original agenda to instead focus on the continued exploitation and long-declining working conditions of Sessional labour at OCAD U. Sessionals who attended expressed that not only were they not happy with the declining working conditions, but that they had been burnt out by and fed up with low pay (the lowest in Ontario I might add), increasing class sizes, and zero job security. In other words, Sessional labour has never been more precarious at OCAD U.  

Sessional Task Force:

In response to our meeting with President Serrano, a Sessional Task Force was formed to address these Sessional Labour inequities. Through the Spring/Summer of 2022 the Sessional Task Force worked hard to develop a forthcoming campaign in support of Fair Pay and Job Security. We have also sent a formal invitation to President Serrano to join a follow-up Sessional Forum this Fall 2022. Hosted by representatives of the Sessional Task Force and open to all Sessionals, the forum will continue our discussion with President Serrano with the goal of acknowledging and improving our Sessional working conditions. The Sessional Task Force is open to all Sessionals, and we are currently seeking members to join. 

Sessional Acknowledgments:

Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank two key figures in our Sessional efforts this past year: Ésery Mondesir and Mary Eileen Wennekers. Ésery’s advocacy for Sessional rights this past year led to the founding of the Sessional Task Force and laid the groundwork for our upcoming Sessional campaign. Ésery has since stepped down from both the OCADFA VP role and the Sessional Task Force to focus on his new Tenure-track Assistant Professor role. Thank you and congratulations Esery! I also want to thank another former OCADFA VP and our recent Sessional Outreach Coordinator Mary Eileen Wennekers whose deep research and Sessional rights advocacy was and remains invaluable to our continued efforts. Mary Eileen’s contract with OCADFA expired this past June and will be missed. Thank you, Mary Eileen. 

Visit the  Sessional Website (launching Sep 8th) and sign this Petition of Support!

We will continue to share updates about the #SESSIONALSCOUNT Campaign and details regarding our Sessional Forum this Fall 2022 on our website and through our newsletters. We ask all OCAD U community members for full support. This is a historic push for labour rights at OCAD U and together we will win. 

– Clifford Caines, Vice President and Sessional Rep, Negotiations Committee 


Negotiations Committee Update

Your negotiations committee took the summer to rest and review bargaining documents after a hectic Winter 2022 semester. We met five times during the semester to understand our Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) and how it impacts our working conditions. At the end of August, the committee participated in OCUFA bargaining training.  

In May and June, we held consultations with three faculty labour categories (Sessionals, Tenure/tenure-track, Contract faculty: Teaching Stream and Continuing). We will consult with Technicians and TA/RAs at the beginning of the Fall semester, which wraps up the scheduled consultations. 

The negotiations survey will be sent to members the week of September 19th and close on October 19th to help the committee better understand your priorities so that we can develop a bargaining mandate.  A draft bargaining mandate will be presented for membership approval at the AGM on November 8th, 2022. We give notice to bargain on November 30th, 2022. 

I want to take a moment to acknowledge Graeme’s incredible support and experience in this process as I transitioned into this new-to-me role and former negotiations chair Eric Steenbergen for the ongoing mentorship. Everyone’s been super supportive and awesome. 

– Annie Tung, Negotiations Chair 


2023-2023 Memorandum of Agreement 

We are still waiting for the Administration to finalize/approve the final draft of the 2020-2023 Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for signoff. In the meantime, you can use the previous MoA in combination with this summary of changes to find up-to-date language. We understand this is far from ideal and will distribute the new MoA as soon as it is available.   

For those looking to confirm their salary matches their placement on the salary grids, we have updated those sections on the website with the correct 2020-2023 salaries. You can find faculty salary scales here, and academic staff salary scales here.   


Teaching Stream Permanency 

We’d like to wish good luck and congratulations to the first group of OCADFA Teaching Stream members who will be submitting their review applications for permanency next month. This will be our first cohort of permanent Teaching Stream faculty members, the result of improvements made in our Memorandum of Agreement in the last round of negotiations.  

You can review this change in the Memorandum of Agreement here, and the implementation agreement for current Teaching Stream members here.  


New Board Members  

We’d like to welcome two members to OCADFA’s Board. Clifford Caines has succeeded Ésery Mondesir as Interim Vice President. Clifford is a Sessional Faculty member in the Faculty of Art, and is also serving as the Sessional representative on the Negotiations Team. Ésery has stepped down to focus on his new position as a Tenure-Track Faculty member, also in the Faculty of Art. Congratulations Ésery and best of luck in your new position! 

Also joining us on the Board is Ali Qadeer as Interim Grievance Co-Chair. Ali is a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design. He’ll be joined by Richard Hunt as Interim Grievance Co-Chairs, a newly established position on our Board approved by the membership at the Spring 2022 Membership Meeting.  If you have any questions about grievances, please read this FAQ and come to our Grievance Workshop on Oct. 4 which will be on TEAMS. Invite coming.  

Ali and Clifford’s appointments were approved by the Board in August 2022. We still have two vacant Directors-at-large positions. If you’re interested in filling one of these positions until our Annual General Meeting in November, please contact our President, Min Sook Lee, at minsooklee@ocadu.ca 


OCADFA office move 

The OCADFA office has moved, as of September 2, 2022. Our new office is in the 230 Richmond St W building, in room 520. It was sad to leave our longstanding office in 248-100 McCaul, but our new office in 230 Richmond will better suit our evolving needs, and is large enough to hold future board meetings, Negotiations Teams meetings, and other committee work.  

To maintain our presence in 100 McCaul, and improve our presence throughout campus, OCADFA bulletin boards will soon be making their appearance in every building where significant numbers of OCADFA members work.  


Member Resources on our OCADFA.ca website 

We’d like to draw your attention to a new member resource available on our website – a Guide to Individual Appointments Offers. This new resource is intended to provide members and prospective members with a rough guide to interpreting their individual offers of employment, and to ensure your offer is consistent with our Memorandum of Agreement and established OCAD U practices. If you have any questions or concerns about your offer, please contact our Executive Director or either of our two Grievance Co-Chairs.  

You can find other useful resources under the Resources tab of our website, including Know Your Rights! Sessional Handbook,our members handbook for Teaching and Research Assistants, and our primer on your Right to Reasonable Accommodation 

You can also find information on, and an application for, OCADFA’s new Community Support Fund. This fund was established in January 2022 to address situations where OCADFA members are experiencing a significant life event that places them in a position of economic, food, or housing insecurity.  



Formed in 1965 to protect and improve the working conditions of its membership, the Ontario College of Art & Design Faculty Association (OCADFA) represents more than 600 faculty and academic staff at OCAD University.   

If you have any questions, comments or would like to get involved with organizing with your colleagues to make our working conditions better for all, please contact us here.