For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 2nd May. You can drop your application off at 8A.11 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.
The deadline to apply for a Voluntary Work Reduction is 15th May. You should submit your request in writing to Odette Dubé in HR.
EI Information Session
Are you a Continuing Education or Non-permanent teacher? Did you know
that you are eligible for Employment Insurance between contracts? Join us on Tuesday, May 7th at 4:00 PM in the Rose Lounge (room 7C.5) for a brief information session. A light dinner will be served. Please RSVP at email@example.com.
Faculty Vacation Period
The last day of availability is Friday, 14th June. The first day of availability for next semester is Monday, 19th August and classes start on Thursday, 22nd August. Any teacher who plans to be away outside of the official vacation period should request a transfer of availability from their sector dean.
Recent Gains in Continuing Education
The Union has an agreement in principle with the College regarding seniority for Continuing Education teachers who are absent for medical reasons. Previously, the College had argued that Continuing Education teachers should not gain seniority for hours they did not teach due to illness. In response to Union pressure and a potential arbitration on this issue, the College has agreed to recognise seniority for Continuing Education teachers who are absent for medical reasons. This is an important gain for our most vulnerable colleagues as it protects them from being passed on the seniority list which could have an adverse impact on their career progression.
This provision protecting seniority is even more important in light of the recent changes to the loi sur les normes du travail which guarantees Continuing Education faculty access to two days of paid absence per year for medical or family reasons. While this is an improvement, there is still a long way to go in gaining equity for our Continuing Education colleagues. The Union will be continuing to pressure the College for a real sick bank for Continuing Education teachers operated and remunerated in the same way as for regular day teachers.
Continuing Education Mobilisation Committee
The Continuing Education Mobilisation Committee has been meeting regularly this semester to share concerns and discuss strategies for bringing awareness to the precarious position of our Cont. Ed. colleagues. Some of the initiatives that have come out of these meetings, are letter-writing campaigns being organised by continuing education teachers within their departments and a proposed Course Outline statement relating to Cont. Ed. teacher availability. On the recommendation of the Mob committee, the Executive Council have asked departments to consider passing motions to include the statement in their course outlines. This is an important way to signal our solidarity with continuing education teachers and to provide them with some protection against student complaints. As negotiations progress, the committee will become even more central in guiding our mobilisation efforts. We invite all continuing education teachers to get involved. The next meeting is 15th May at 4pm; if you are interested in coming out, please rsvp so we can order enough food: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passing of Michel Giroux, French Department
Nous sommes tristes d’annoncer le décès de Michel Giroux. Lucie et Louise du département de français nous rappellent que “Michel fut un collègue grandement dévoué à tout le département de français et à tous les enseignants de Dawson puisqu’il a été secrétaire-trésorier, puis vice-président du syndicat entre les années 2000 et 2004. Lorsqu’il est parti en congé de maladie, il avait été élu à la présidence du syndicat pour l’année 2004-2005.”
Dawson’s representative on the Negotiating team will be coming to hear faculty’s views on what should be our priorities going into the 2020 negotiations. Every department has been invited to send a rep along; if you would like to join us please rsvp to email@example.com
For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 8th April. You can drop your application off at 8A.11 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.
Pub Night: 4pm, March 15th in Oliver’s (2C.1)
Come out to Oliver’s for the DTU Pub Night!
We invite you to drop by our office in 8A.11. We can answer questions
regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work
experience documentation, and anything else related to working at
Dawson. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at email@example.com
with any questions.
The Executive Council are considering forming a committee of teachers to address environmental issues.The mandate of the committee could include raising awareness about environmental campaigns, promoting local initiatives, and mobilisation. If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know.
Profs pour la Planète
Vanessa Gordon, from the Political Science Department, writes about the Profs pour la Planète movement:
Last January 29, I got a curious text from an old friend, Violaine Brisebois-Lavoie. Violaine is a psychology professor at cégep Bois-de-Boulogne:
She provided a link published the day before by a French group who called themselves ‘les enseignant.e.s pour la planète’. It was something about someone called Greta Thunberg and global warming.
Then, that Saturday, I was absentmindedly scrolling down my Facebook feed and there was Greta Thunberg again: whatever she was doing with regards to climate change, she seemed to be doing it right. I looked her up, found her TED talk and listened.
What followed was a very methodical speech, given by a 15 (now 16 year old) girl about how the time had come to engage in civil disobedience to save the planet. More specifically, she called on students to strike until such time as politicians finally take decisive action to prevent climate catastrophe. She’s right.
Looking back at the link that my friend Violaine sent, it was a petition being circulated by French teachers in support of Greta Thunberg. The petition calls for teachers to properly explain the climate crises and support students in their strike efforts.
We decided to launch our own petition, tailored for our Québecois colleagues. We called ourselves ‘Profs pour la planète’. Violaine contacted our French counterparts for permission to use their petition.
She then did a superb job of adapting it to Québois audiences, in collaboration with Maude and Rafaëlle, both experienced activists in their own right, and Violaine put the petition on-line. With feedback from Mathieu, Sari and I helped in translating it to English.
We all contacted our colleagues, then our friends working on environmental issues and in the media. We got a bit of coverage, deftly handled by Violaine. As of this reading, the petition has received over 4,000 signatures.
‘Profs pour la planète’ has also:
accompanied high school students on their Friday strikes;
worked with educators who have met with school boards to come up with resolutions to support striking students;
reached out to unsupportive schools and invited them to revise their positions;
met with student union representatives as well as representatives of student environmental groups to discuss strategy and offer support;
offered advice to fellow teachers regarding how to go about supporting students and the ecological movement;
opened up a Facebook group for our project. To date, more than 130 people have joined.
engaged with other environmental groups (from social media to university research centers) to help with strategy and share information
In the medium to long term, we will join students for this coming March 15 strike, as well as the September 27 strike. We also hope to develop pedagogical tools to share with our colleagues, and do all that we can to represent teachers who have decided to support students and join the call for civil disobedience.
The ‘Profs pour la planète’ petition is available online, and there is also a Facebook group. The Profs pour la Planète group will be meeting ahead of Global Climate rally on March 15th at 12:30 on the north-east corner of Parc and Duluth.
Fiona Hanley, from the Nursing Department, writes about Health and Climate Change:
Something is profoundly wrong with the way that we have come to live; in the divisiveness we have created between people, nations, animals and nature, and the way in which we continue to relentlessly damage the planetary home that sustains us. Recent dramatic weather events have heightened our sense of the fragility of the ecosystems that have sustained us, and whose resilience until recently we have taken for granted.
As we approach the third decade of the 21st Century we are losing the stability of the earth systems that have allowed humans to thrive and flourish. We have in fact altered the structures and functioning of planetary systems to such a considerable degree that the International Union of Geological Sciences agreed in 2016 to change the name of this epoch from Holocene to Anthropocene, or ‘Age of Humans’.
The world glimmers at night, thanks to our love affair with fossil fuels, the drivers of economic development, which have given us the power to transform our lives, and transform the world. The stars that inspired philosophers and scientists in the search for meaning are now largely obscured.
We have failed to really grasp that the world has undergone radical change, and are only now awakening to the consequences of what some say is a huge out of control experiment on our ecosystems, our populations, our children and our future.
Dramatic events in 2018 marked a turning point for many in the realisation of the significance climate disruption brings to their lives, and that even the wealthiest and most comfortable among us cannot be immune to extreme weather, fire or floods. A sense of loss, anxiety and ecological grief began to take hold in the spirits of many.
Climate change has been called the greatest health threat of the 21st Century (The Lancet 2009), as the earth’s average surface temperature rises in synchronicity with unprecedented greenhouse gas emissions. Direct and indirect health effects result from extreme weather, water and food contamination, droughts, floods, insect-borne and other changing patterns of disease, temperature extremes of hot and cold, acidity of oceans, air pollution, biodiversity loss, and other phenomena. The most recent special report from International Panel on Climate Change warned of the catastrophic effects on ecosystems and human health in a 2°-warmer world.
We also know however that deep evidence-based climate action has the potential for significant health benefits, and that actions designed to reduce greenhouse gases, dependence on fossil fuels, development of alternative energy and transport, have direct effects on human health and thriving.
We are at a turning point where decisions must be made to ensure that increases in global temperatures are kept to 1.5 degrees or below. Canada had a very important role in reaching the Paris agreement, but we are sadly lacking in achieving goals set to reduce emissions, and Canadians have a failing grade, being one of the highest per capita GHG emissions, with significant contributions of the oil and gas sector, transport,
February 2019 saw unprecedented collaboration from major health organizations in a call to action on Climate and Health to demand that all federal political parties in Canada make meaningful and effective action on climate change as central to their party platform in this election year. We have the opportunity to make the changes needed to avoid catastrophic climate change, and ensure a stable future for our youth. We must recognize that climate disruption is a health emergency, and take the measures necessary for the sake of us all. A good place to start for busy people is the Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World 🙂
If you are interested in finding out more about these issues, Dawson faculty have shared some links that you could check out:
Happy New Year! We hope the new semester is off to a great start. As always, we invite you to drop by our office in 8A.11. We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We invite you to join us for a General Assembly on Wednesday, 30th January in 5B.13 at 11:30am. Lunch will be served at 11:15am. The items on the agenda are Negotiations 2020, Religious Neutrality, and the Policy to Counter Sexual Violence.
For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 11th February. You can drop your application off at 8A.11 or email it to email@example.com. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity
Members of the DTU Executive attended a Regroupement Cégep in Montreal on January 24th and 25th.
The “Comité ad hoc sur la « situation des chargé-es de cours depuis les quatre dernières négociations »” presented their report to the Regroupement which prompted a spirited debate regarding the need to prioritize the negotiation demands pertaining to Continuing Education teachers. For the DTU Executive, it highlighted the importance of a strong mobilization by the cégeps who represent the largest portion of hourly-paid teachers. Dawson teachers from all sectors have been leaders in the fight for better working conditions in the hourly-paid sector and we hope this trend will continue as negotiations approach. We may invite Cont. Ed. teachers to come to some future Regroupements to share their experiences. Our goal is to sensitize other delegates to the realities of teaching in Cont. Ed. and to highlight the impact of expanding Cont. Ed. programs in urban centers on the survival of rural cegeps.
Cont. Ed. Mobilization
In order to keep Cont. Ed. issues front and center during the upcoming negotiations, we are re-mobilizing the Cont. Ed. Mob. Committee. The first meeting is Tuesday, February 5th at 4pm in 7C.5 (Rose Lounge). All Cont. Ed. teachers are welcome! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make sure to have enough food.
Bill 151 Policy Update
At the end of last semester, the Women’s/Gender Studies group passed a motion denouncing the lack of consultation involved in the development of the Bill 151 Policy to Counter Sexual Violence. This motion was passed at the DTU Executive Council and at many department meetings. Following this pressure, the policy was released to the Dawson community.
The Standing Committee has been formed which met on January 22nd and agreed on a process for the next steps in the consultation process. Consultation with the various unions, student groups, and some faculty groups will be starting soon, with a planned large-scale consultation for Faculty, Professionals and Support Staff, and Students to take place in March. The final policy will be presented to the Board of Governors for adoption in April.
Your Rights, Explained
Hourly Paid Work
Following a recent arbitration win, any extra duties teachers undertake outside of their normal workload (e.g. substitution, additional grading, placement test grading) should be paid at the hourly rate for hourly-paid professors (Appendix VI-1 Table B in the Collective Agreement)
We would like to remind you of your rights with respect to the evaluation of student work, in particular in the case of grade reviews. According to our Collective Agreement, only a student`s teacher or a Grade Review Committee (GRC) may modify a student`s grade (clause 8-1.02). The Academic Grievance Committee defined in the Institutional Student Evaluation Policy (ISEP) does not have the authority to modify grades, nor may it constrain the deliberations of the GRC. Further information on Grade Review and Academic Grievance Committees can be found here.
A big thank you to all those who came out in support of our Continuing Education colleagues at the two grade-in events (15th and 30th October). We hope the College will take the necessary steps to improve the working conditions of our most precarious teachers. Don’t miss Grade-in #3 on Wednesday, November 21st at 2 pm in the 4th floor lobby (A/B wings)!
Nov 15 – Voluntary Workload Reduction Requests
If you wish to apply for a Voluntary Workload Reduction for Winter 2019, the deadline is 15th November. You should email Odette Dubé in Human Resources. (We suggest you copy us on this email at email@example.com.)
Nov 28 – PDF requests
For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 28th November at room 8A.11 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.
Dec 31 – Final Grades Deadline
A reminder that there is only one deadline for final grades for all teachers, whether Cont’Ed or Regular, with or without exams held during the final exam period. The deadline for all teachers to submit final grades is 31st December, 2018.
November is Insurance Month!
During the month of November, you have the opportunity to make changes to your insurance coverage. Changes will take effect on January 1st, 2019. Note that there have been some recent modifications to the insurance policy which will affect both your coverage and your premiums. You can check out more details here. If you wish to alter your plan, you should contact Faten Samné in Human Resources.
General Assembly Recap
The November General Assembly served as a kick-off to the fast-approaching 2020 negotiations. We asked members to suggest issues that they would like to see prioritized at the bargaining table. Topics highlighted were: additional support for disciplines with rapid technological change, better consideration of student numbers in Physical Education CI calculation and improvement of Continuing Education working conditions.
We remind members that they play a crucial role in determining the DTU’s negotiation priorities, stay tuned for upcoming G.A.s!
Transfer of Availability
As the holidays are approaching, a reminder that teachers remain available to the college between the Fall and Winter semesters, with the exception of 25th December and 1st January. If you plan to be away during this period, you should submit a Transfer of Availability form.
Freedom of Religion
At its meeting on the 24th of October, the DTU Executive Council “affirm[ed] the right of all teachers to perform their duties wearing religious symbols.” The Religious Studies Department has asked the DTU to pass on the following message:
“The Religious Studies Department regards the proposed law to keep teachers from wearing clothing that makes their religious affiliation apparent as discriminatory. At the same time, such a law encourages, and in the mind of some, legitimates acts of disrespect, harassment, and even violence. For this reason, we are against this proposed law — we would like to see a neutral and tolerant society that allows all people the freedom to choose what they believe and wear.
We invite all those who would like to express their opposition to the law by wearing a religious symbol to contact Sonia Zylberberg who has offered to crochet a kippah (with your own choice of colours) for anyone who wishes to wear one.”