Issue No. 551
12 March, 2021
Like you, the DTU Executive is working remotely! We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the implications. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Employee Assistance Program
We recently realised that part-time and hourly-paid employees do not have access to the Employee Assistance Program provided by the College. Although this eligibility criterion is not new, it was recently brought to our attention in the context of our Wellness Weeks campaign. We find it shocking that part-time and hourly-paid employees, many of whom have worked at the College for years, do not have access to the external resources provided by this program – especially in the midst of a pandemic!
If you are as outraged about this as we are, we encourage you to email the Director of Human Resources (email@example.com) and the Director General (firstname.lastname@example.org) calling on them to expand access to this program.
Nego Update – One step forward, two steps back!
As you may have gathered from our most recent updates, there continues to be no progress in our negotiations, even as we approach one year since the expiration of our Collective Agreement. Negotiations had stalled when it became apparent that the government had failed to give its negotiation teams the mandate, and crucially the funds, needed to settle many of our demands. More recently, the government negotiation team has reneged on an “agreement in principle” that the two sides had reached regarding a demand that does not even require additional funding. The most recent issue of the Info-Négo addressing these “developments” can be found here in English and French.
In light of these more recent developments, it is even more important that we support our negotiation teams and increase our mobilization and pressure tactics. At our General Assembly on 16 February, our members unanimously passed two motions mandating the DTU to work on increasing pressure tactics and to plan for a strike at an appropriate time, as well as to call on the FNEEQ-CSN to coordinate an informal common front with other unions in the education sector.
Que l’assemblée générale donne le mandat d’intensifier les moyens de pression en milieu de travail en tenant compte de la situation sanitaire et de planifier l’exercice de la grève au moment jugé opportun.
As part of this effort, there have been several recent mobilization activities to increase awareness of our demands and pressure the government to negotiate. Thanks to members for participating in a variety of actions – from building snowfolk, to web commando actions and “yammer-ing” on the College’s Wellness Initiative. In our current remote working conditions, we are increasingly reliant on online platforms, not only as a means of communication but also as a means of mobilization! If you don’t already, follow our Facebook page and join the Cegep FNEEQ en nego Facebook group for updates on mobilization activities both at Dawson and elsewhere in the network.
All documents relevant to the current negotiations, such as Info-Négo issues and our demands, can be found on the Négo 2020 section of our webpage, and updates are also provided at General Assemblies and in Owl Hoots. However, if you are interested in receiving shorter, more regular updates, please let us not and we will add you to a “Négo” mailing list.
Freedom of Expression
The DTU has received multiple questions from members about academic freedom of speech in recent years. Furthermore, the recent media attention that this issue has garnered has generated a discussion at the National Assembly. Many courses address important but often charged issues, such as the BLM protests for racial justice and issues of gender identity, and it is important to have clarity about teachers’ and students’ rights as well as best practices to achieve an open and respectful environment in the classroom.
Remote teaching during the pandemic has made this issue more pressing: teachers are concerned about the possibility of being recorded or having people who are not registered in the class hearing parts of the discussion without context.
Academic freedom: Rights and responsibilities, in brief
The Collective Agreement provides some protections for teachers against discrimination (Clause 2-3.00) on various grounds, such as age and race. In relation to questions of academic freedom, the Collective Agreement explicitly states that a teacher cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their opinions or political views, nor on the exercise of their academic freedoms. In the context of the current negotiations for the new Collective Agreement, discussions are being held about potentially clarifying these rights.
Students also have the right to a safe learning environment, and specifically the right “not to be subject to sexist, belittling, or discriminatory remarks or behaviour in the classroom” (ISEP, Appendix 1, #10 and #11). This responsibility is shared by teachers and students; while teachers have the responsibility to approach sensitive topics in an appropriate manner and to set the tone of discussion in class, students also have an obligation to be respectful of their classmates and teacher.
Finally, given that departments are responsible for determining objectives and pedagogical methods, as well as approving course outlines, we believe that these are also the right place to have discussions about appropriate pedagogical approaches for dealing with potentially fraught issues. If departments feel that these discussions would benefit from external expertise, there are resources available through the College as well as the Professional Development Fund for activities of this nature.
Equity and Diversity Committee
As you may be aware, several departments have been having discussions on ways to address structural inequalities and to promote diversity at the College at all levels: hiring, retention, the curriculum itself where appropriate, and so on. Moreover, the CSN has also been increasingly paying attention to these issues, which have been highlighted by recent world events, and recent discussions at our Executive Council meeting confirmed that these are concerns shared more broadly among our members.
With this in mind, the DTU is looking for interested members to form a committee to address these issues. This will be a member-led committee, with the Executive providing support and liaison as needed. The committee will develop its own mandate, but we hope it will provide a forum to explore ways in which we can work to improve equity and diversity at Dawson, as well as within the DTU and its Executive itself.
If you would like to get involved, please write to us at email@example.com!
Your Rights, Explained – Double Employment
The Collective Agreement, which applies to all public Cegeps in Quebec, stipulates (Article 5-1.12) that anyone who has full-time work cannot exercise priority on a teaching workload. This is commonly referred to as “double employment”. What follows is a brief explanation of “double employment”; however, members are encouraged to contact the DTU with any questions about their specific situation.
Why does double employment matter?
The purpose of the double employment clause in our Collective Agreement is to ensure that public sector funds are utilized to provide access to full-time work for as many people as possible.
What counts as double employment?
Any teacher who has a full-time contract, either at Dawson or elsewhere, or who has a reasonable expectation of full-time employment during a given semester, is considered to be double-employed when applying for a teaching workload at Dawson. [see ANNEXE II-6 of the Collective Agreement for more details]
Teachers with either a full-time annual contract or full-time contracts for both fall and winter semester, whether at a Cegep or a University, are usually considered to be full-time for the year, which includes the summer months. Consequently, even if you are not “actively” teaching during the summer, you would still be considered double employed for summer courses if you had a full-time contract in the academic year.
Note that double employment only applies to someone who has full-time work. A teacher who has a part-time contract, even if it is for the whole semester, or who has several part-time jobs elsewhere, is not considered to be double employed.
The College expects 32.5 weekly hours of work from full time teachers, so teachers are free to take on additional work outside these hours — of course, other employers may have their own rules about double employment, but those would not be enforced by Dawson.
What does a double employed status mean?
Under the Double Employment Clause, teachers who work full time outside the College do not have any priority at Dawson.
Teachers have an obligation to declare their double employment status when applying for a posting. Since teachers who sign a G.O.S. (General Offer of Service) are considered to be applying to all teaching jobs for which they are eligible for that year, they do not apply directly to a posting. However, they are still required to inform the College of any change to their double employment status. Whether a teacher is applying directly to a posting or has submitted a G.O.S., the relevant time for determining double-employment status is when the workloads are posted.
Any teacher who is in a situation of double employment, or who has a reasonable expectation of being in such a situation, should inform Dawson’s Human Resources immediately. Similarly, any teacher who was in a situation of double-employment but is no longer double-employed should inform HR as soon as possible.
Send us an email — firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to discuss your situation with you.
Work From Home – Calculating Days
As you may know, the federal government has broadened the eligibility requirements for claiming the Work From Home tax deduction this year in response to the shift to remote work necessitated by the pandemic. If you intend to use the simplified form for claiming these deductions, you will need to declare the number of days during which you were working from home during 2020.
For full-time regular, day teachers, the number of days worked from home refers to all working days (i.e. Monday-Friday) during our period of availability. For day teachers who had full-time work in both Winter and Fall 2020, the total number of days worked from home is 159 days.The table below provides more detail for those whose situation was slightly different. Note that you should deduct any sick days from your total.
|Semester||Start Date||End Date||Statutory Holidays||Total # Days|
|Winter 2020||16 March 2020(1st day working from home)||17 June 2020||3 Days||65|
|Fall 2020||19 August 2020||31 December 2020||3 Days||94|
The situation for part-time and continuing education teachers, however, is not as straight-forward as it is unclear how to “convert” the number of hours worked into days, particularly in the summer when courses are considerably condensed. We have contacted both the College and FNEEQ for guidance on this, and as soon as we have information we will communicate it to our members.
CTD Courses for Faculty
We would like to remind you that all teachers can take courses offered by the College (such as the non-credit courses offered by the Centre for Training and Development) for free. If you wish to register for a CTD course, you should email the office directly (email@example.com) who will send you the “Employee Registration Form” to complete. This will ensure that you are not charged for the course. If you have recently registered and paid for such a course, you should contact the CTD office for a reimbursement.
Contrary to what is indicated on the registration form, free registration for CTD courses is not contingent upon an 80% attendance rate. If you have been charged for a course you took due to this “policy”, please let us know so that we can follow up with the College.
Issue No. 550
3rd February, 2021
The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
Mélanie Beck, VP External
Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
Welcome Back! Like you, the DTU Executive is working remotely! We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the implications. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Coalition Main Rouge
Currently all negotiations are at a standstill. There has been no movement at the Central Table (where issues of salary, pensions, and parental rights are discussed) since November and now the sectoral table has stalled as well. While some of this is understandable due to the situation with COVID-19 and remote working, this cannot be used as an excuse to delay negotiations.
During the Fall semester, there had been some movement at the Sectoral table, which is focused on the specific working conditions of Cegep teachers. The FNEEQ negotiating team met regularly with the government representatives, and they had some promising discussions regarding our demands. There appeared to be openness towards reaching agreements on some small issues.
However, the FNEEQ negotiating team has now reached an impasse regarding the demands that require additional funding as there appears to be no commitment from the government to resolve these issues. Notably, these demands relate to pay equity for Continuing Education, more resources for coordination, and increased resources for medical technologies. The government negotiators have received no mandates to settle any of the issues and the money required to meet the demands is not forthcoming.
We have now reached the moment where our negotiating teams need our support to demonstrate to the government our commitment to improving our working conditions. There is a good possibility that we can achieve significant improvements for Continuing Education teachers through FNEEQ’s modified proposal (DS-5), but if this possibility is to become a reality, we need to fight for it!
At our upcoming General Assembly on 16 February we will discuss ramping up pressure tactics and planning for a potential strike mandate. Several of you have already participated in recent “web actions” to raise awareness around negotiations – check out the facebook group cégep FNEEQ en Nego to see some of the creative pressure tactics being deployed across the network. It is important that we show our solidarity for the other public sectors in the CSN, particularly those in the health sector where their ability to deploy negotiation pressure tactics is limited by legal frameworks as well as the current public health situation. Come and join us to share your thoughts about how we can support our negotiation teams to ensure a positive outcome to these negotiations!
Winter 2021 – Cont Ed Encadrement
The Ministry of Education has allocated various ‘envelopes’ of additional funding to support student success and alleviate some of the additional burdens of remote learning during the Winter semester. We had several meetings with the College last semester regarding how they intend to allocate the resources at Dawson. The College indicated that these resources would be allocated in various ways, including some release for teachers to provide support in discipline-specific aspects of online teaching, lower the caps on student numbers in classes in some disciplines, and remunerate Continuing Education teachers who agree to provide encadrement for their students.
Given that encadrement falls outside of the contractual obligations of hourly-paid Continuing Education teachers, the DTU and College reached an agreement about how this was to be implemented. The College sent details about this to all cont-ed teachers at the end of last week. (If you have not received this information, you should contact the Cont Ed office to ensure you are on their mailing lists).
If you agree to provide this encadrement, you need to reply to the email sent by the Cont Ed office confirming that you accept the agreement, and you need to include a section on your Course Outline under the heading “Special Winter 2021 Encadrement” outlining the forms of encadrement you will be providing to students.
Useful Information for Members
Employee Assistance Program
All College employees are eligible for the Employee Assistance Program, which connects employees with specialists for help in dealing with a variety of personal issues, including mental health issues. Employees are entitled to up to 5 free consultations per year, but they can also choose to continue with the services at their own expense if needed. A full list of the kinds of services offered as well as information about how to obtain services is available online.
Professional Development Funds
Professional Development Funds are available to all faculty and can be used to fund professional development activities such as attending workshops, participating in conferences, and taking courses. Teachers can also apply for a reimbursement of up to $100 for computer equipment.
The PDF committee meets several times a semester. Applications should be submitted to email@example.com for consideration at the next meeting.
Work From Home Expenses: Reimbursements
As a reminder, you can claim reimbursement for certain expenses incurred for working from home (e.g. computer equipment, internet services, supplies). Note that some claims require approval from the Help Desk; you need to contact the Help Desk to receive a ticket number to include in your claim. To claim reimbursement, you need to complete the Covid Expense Report (which can be found on our website) and submit it, along with any required documents (e.g. receipts, invoices) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College no longer seems to be reimbursing for computer equipment, such as headphones, webcam, laptops etc., but such equipment is available for teachers to borrow. If you require computer equipment for online teaching, you should contact IT helpdesk: email@example.com.
Work From Home Expenses: Tax Forms
The College sent a Memo to all faculty on 4 January regarding the procedure for claiming “work from home” expenses on your tax return. As explained, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has simplified the process so that most employees will be able to claim the maximum amount ($400) without needing to submit a detailed expense report.
However, if you wish to submit the more detailed forms (T2200/T2200S/TP-64.3-V), the College will provide it to you on request. To request the form, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a long time, the DTU and many of our members have expressed concerns about Dawson’s partnership with the Confucius Institute. In 2014, the Executive Council took a position regarding the renewal of the contract which was communicated to then-DG Richard Filion; however, he was reluctant to take these concerns to the Board of Governors:
The DTU recommends to the Board of Governors of Dawson College to follow the recent example of several North American institutions by severing its ties with the Confucius Institute, unless the current agreement between them is renegotiated so that Dawson College has control over all academic matters, including the recruitment of teachers.
Concerns about the extent to which the Confucius Institutes are directed by the Chinese government have persisted, and several higher education institutions in Canada and elsewhere have terminated their partnerships in recent years. More recently, several members have expressed their concerns about the Institute, especially in light of the current human rights abuses being committed against Hong Kongers and Uyghurs. One such member, Fiona Hanley from Nursing, prepared a statement about the Confucius Institute which she has asked us to share with the membership. You can read the full text of her letter here: The coronavirus, the CI and China.
With Richard Filion’s retirement and the appointment of Diane Gauvin as the new Director General at Dawson, priorities and positions may change. In light of this, the DTU recently contacted Diane Gauvin to solicit her position on the Confucius Institute. She responded: “My intention is to review the impact of the Confucius Institute on the college and the Montreal community. I must also look at the legal aspects of the agreement that has been signed and speak to our partners.” We intend to follow up with the Director General and will continue to advocate for academic freedom and human rights on our campus.
Settlement of Insurance Dossier
Several years ago, the DTU identified numerous issues in the College’s billing practice for the insurance premiums, which had led to some teachers not being charged correctly and/or not having the correct coverage. The DTU Executive has been working with FNEEQ, La Capitale and the College to identify the errors and calculate the amounts owed to individual teachers. We are close to an agreement with the College and La Capitale regarding the reimbursements, and we hope to be able to communicate with individual teachers concerned in the near future.
October 14, 2020
The DTU Executive
Émilie Richer, President
Brian Seivewright, VP Internal
Mélanie Beck, VP External
Diana Glennie, Secretary-Treasurer
Louisa Hadley, Grievance Officer
The DTU Executive is working remotely! We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the implications. You can email us at email@example.com with any questions.
Personal Leave Requests: October 15th
If you wish to apply for a personal leave for Winter 2020, the deadline is 15th October. The application form is available on the College website.
Voluntary Workload Reduction Requests: November 15th
If you wish to apply for a Voluntary Workload Reduction for Winter 2020, the deadline is 15th November. You should email Cristina Stanciu in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest that you copy the DTU on this email at email@example.com.
Professional Development Leave Requests
Although there is no contractual deadline for applications for a professional development leave, the College requests that applications be made by 15th October. The application form is available on the College website.
Professional Development Fund Requests
The Professional Development Fund Committee have resumed its meetings and are currently reviewing applications. For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the PDF Committee, submit it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.
As a reminder, the Professional Development Fund is for activities related to professional training and development, such as courses and conferences; this fund cannot be used to reimburse expenses for software, office equipment, or office supplies. The DTU believes that the College has a responsibility to ensure that teachers have the necessary equipment to fulfil their duties and will continue to advocate for this.
Pay Implications of 14-week Semester
As you know, the College took the decision to reduce the semester from 15 weeks to 14 weeks; however, the total number of hours for courses have not been reduced, but rather are to be spread over 14 weeks.
For Continuing Education teachers, the contracts have not been modified, so the total remuneration, experience and seniority will remain as expected. Note that the total remuneration you receive will be the same, but it will be spread over 14 weeks instead of 15. For example, for a 60-hour course, instead of receiving 8 hours of pay per pay statement, you will receive 8.57 hours of pay.
This change also has an impact on substitutions. Every hour of substitution is now computed as a larger proportion of the course (1.0714-hours). This may have a significant impact in terms of pay for those of you that do several hours of substitution. We encourage you to check your pay statement and contact us if you have any questions.
On October 1st, the DTU sent a Memo to all members regarding the DTU Elections for 2020-21. As explained there, the unexpected closure of the College due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from holding in-person elections at the usual time. Initially, we had hoped to hold in-person elections this semester, but the current public health situation has made this impossible. The DTU has, therefore, decided to hold the elections electronically, using the online platform Balotilo that has been recommended by the FNEEQ-CSN.
The nomination and election periods for DTU positions will be announced in the coming weeks. However, in order to be able to vote, you must register by completing the DTU’s Voter Registration Form.
Serious Concerns regarding non-opening of Postes in Several Disciplines
As per our Collective Agreement, the College must declare postes (permanent positions) to the Ministry by prescribed dates, the last of which was September 30th. By this date, the College is required to make final predictions regarding the number of full-time teachers required in each discipline.
This year, when declaring the final number of postes, the College omitted to take into consideration most of the additional resources added to the Winter semester, despite knowing that they would be necessary. The College also failed to present the Union with staffing estimates by September 25th, as is required by the contract.
We were informed on the afternoon of September 30th that the College would only be declaring 2 additional postes to the ministry, despite a huge number of ETCs being added to staffing estimates. No explanation was provided, nor were we provided with the numbers on which they were basing their assessment. Since then, it has become apparent that the College did not take the time to determine whether or not postes should be opened, in particular in the General Education disciplines where we believe additional postes should have been declared in English, Humanities and Physical Education.
Transparency in the staffing process has been consistently problematic, although the DTU has made certain strides in recent years. The College often refuses to provide us with the documents required to verify their numbers. In recent years we have developed our own tools to help us make staffing assessments. This has led us to be more confident in our own numbers.
We are currently evaluating what options, legal or otherwise, may be the best for those teachers who may have been affected. Needless to say we are extremely disappointed with the College, whose actions suggest a disregard for those teachers who, after almost a decade, continue to await their permanence.
Concerns about Student AccessAbility Centre Services and Support
We have received a number of reports from teachers indicating a disturbing trend in terms of the support provided by the Student AccessAbility Centre (SAAC). The role of the SAAC has been a long-standing issue and the DTU has consistently expressed teachers’ concerns to the College. in 2017, the DTU Executive Council passed the motion: “That the DTU Executive Council, in accordance with the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, upholds the right of a teacher to deliberate, with the appropriate College personnel, on the accommodations provided to their own students. Furthermore, the Council mandates the Executive to make representations to the College on this issue.“
We understand that everyone is doing their best in these unusual circumstances and that there may be limitations on normal practices as a result of the current conditions of online teaching. However, we believe that the SAAC is failing to adequately support teachers in providing accommodations and, in some cases, are overstepping the boundaries of its tole by attempting to dictate elements of pedagogy and student evaluations to teachers.
Last spring, teachers raised the issue of the need for assistance in providing accommodations to students in the current context of remote learning. In the intervening months, there was a lack of collaboration and openness from Student Services with regards to addressing teachers’ needs, particularly in sectors that rely on formal examinations for assessment. At the beginning of the semester, the SAAC sent a memo (30 August, 2020) indicating that it would not be providing invigilation services for students requiring additional time. In a more recent memo (24 September, 2020), the College announced that the SAAC will be launching a pilot project to provide such invigilation in limited circumstances. It is unclear why it took so long for the SAAC to launch a pilot project and its effectiveness seems limited.
In the memo announcing the launch of a “trial phase” for providing invigilation for online examinations, the SAAC emphasized that this service would only be available to “teachers whose class schedule prevents them from providing extra time for invigilation.” The memo states that teachers who do not have scheduling limitations should invigilate the additional time for students either before or after the class. While this could be considered part of the encadrement that regular, day teachers are expected to provide within their availability, it is important to note that this cannot have the effect of increasing the overall availability provided by a teacher. For teachers with several students registered at the SAAC, the necessity to provide such additional invigilation time would reduce the amount of time available to provide support to the remaining students in the class. It is our position that it would make more sense for the SAAC to provide such supervision, thus freeing teachers to provide more specific, pedagogical support to all their students.
For hourly-paid Continuing Education teachers, encadrement does not form part of their contractual responsibilities. While the memo indicated that the SAAC would provide invigilation for Continuing Education students, we would like to remind Continuing Education teachers that if you are asked to provide additional time for invigilation, this should be remunerated at your usual hourly rate.
The SAAC seems to be relinquishing its responsibility to provide accommodations for students registered with its services, instead deferring such responsibilities to teachers. Clearly, teachers have a role to play in ensuring that students’ rights with regards to accommodations are respected and collaboration between faculty and Student Services is needed. However, teachers also have an important role to play in ensuring the pedagogical suitability and academic integrity of the accommodations. If a teacher feels uncomfortable with specific accommodations or if there is concern over the potential to compromise the assessment of competencies, they should discuss the matter with their sector dean as soon as possible.
Given that many teachers are particularly struggling with work-family balance in the current context, we would like to take this opportunity to inform members of certain clauses in the Collective Agreement that provide measures to help teachers manage their work-family balance.
Parental Leaves (See Clause 5-6.00): All faculty having recently welcomed a child into their family are eligible for parental leaves (maternity or paternity leaves, or adoption leaves). Our Collective Agreement stipulates that both experience and seniority are protected for faculty availing themselves of such leaves, regardless of whether they are permanent, non-permanent, Cont. Ed. or AEC faculty. Furthermore, salary protection is available for the majority of faculty availing themselves of a parental leave. We strongly recommend that teachers communicate with the Union to discuss the specifics if you are considering a parental leave in the near future.
Scheduling (See Clause 8-3.03 c): The Collective Agreement states that the College has an obligation to provide accommodations to a teacher’s schedule to facilitate work-family balance, when resources and organisation allows. Several teachers avail themselves of these accommodations by requesting particular “block-offs” in their schedules to facilitate school drop-offs or pick-ups. The College recently seems to have changed how it is processing these requests, with some sector Deans indicating that these accommodations are only available to parents of children with specific medical issues. The Union contests this and has asked that the College put in place clear policies that all teachers are aware of.
Ransomware attack at Cegep St.-Felicien
Cegep St.-Felicien was victim of a cyberattack on September 17, 2020 and ransomware was employed to shut down its entire network. Because of this, all teaching activities were halted for a period of one week. Teaching activities have now resumed, but you can imagine that in this period when online teaching is prioritized, having no access to the College portal makes things rather impossible. Teachers were also left without access to their online materials. Moreover, computers that are connected to the College serves cannot be used until it has been verified that they are not infected. We wish to remind you that it’s always a good idea to backup your digital files on your own computer and to ensure that your passwords are strong.
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. In particular, before turning down work we encourage you to come and discuss the implications with us. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at email@example.com with any questions.
20th February, 2020 at 3:30pm
Precarity and Continuing Education
Where are we in the négo process?
Recall that we decided, in early Fall, to provide the government with general themes for our demands at the sectoral table and that the specifics of our demands would follow in ‘waves’. Following the government’s refusal to participate in an innovative simultaneous deposition of both parties’ demands, the themes were submitted to the government on October 31st. Our negotiating team then met with the government on December 16th to discuss the government’s counter proposal. We translated and annotated the government’s demands, see here.
Within FNEEQ, we are currently in the process of developing and consulting on the demands to be presented to the government. The first wave of demands, which were addressed at a GA last semester, dealt with two themes: professional autonomy; and employment, work organization, and labour relations. The current, second wave, concerns remuneration, precarity, and cont-ed issues.
Local unions are currently consulting their membership on this second wave of demands. Because of time constraints and an imposed deadline of Jan 31st for feedback, we opted to consult our membership on the topic of remuneration via a survey. The results of the survey were presented to the Executive Council, who passed a motion recommending the adoption of all demands related to remuneration that were submitted by FNEEQ. The results will be discussed at the upcoming General Assembly on Feb. 20th. We will also be consulting you on the other two topics of the second wave, namely precarity and cont-ed, at this GA.
Central and Sectoral Tables
Negotiations for our working conditions are divided into two tables: the central table and the sectoral table. The central table regroups several union federations under the CSN banner; these include, public school teachers’ unions, nurses’ unions, as well as our federation, the FNEEQ. Issues relating to salary increases, retirement, and parental leaves are discussed at this table. The sectoral table addresses specific issues covered by our collective agreement, such as pay structure (e.g.: number of pay echelons), as well as provisions for regular sector and cont-ed sector teachers.
Survey Results: Remuneration
The following graph highlights how our members prioritized the demands relating to remuneration: each part of the chart below represents the percentage of members who chose each demand as their top priority.
Pay Equity for Cont Ed: Clarifications
A majority of the FNEEQ unions agree that the disparity in the working conditions between cont-ed and regular day must be addressed in this round of negotiations. One of our priorities is to address the lack of pay equity between day sector and cont-ed teachers by having cont-ed work remunerated according to CI. The estimated cost of this demand for the entire network is $33 million/year – a reasonable amount when compared to our other demands.
Second Wave of Demands: General Assembly (20th Feb)
- Improve provisions for the hiring and contracting of non-tenured teachers.
- Reduce the number of years of seniority giving a non-tenured teacher from the college priority on poste or a charge such that it is equal to that of a MED from another college.
- Facilitate access to Employment Insurance for non-tenured teachers.
- Lower the minimum CI required for full-time work and add the necessary resources.
- Introduce provisions for income security for non-tenured teachers.
- Improve the conditions for acquiring tenure for teachers who have benefited from parental leaves or who have been absent due to a disability.
- Specify that all courses serve to create postes.
- Allow non-tenured teachers with a full-time semester workload to have access to voluntary workload reductions and those with a full-time annual workload to have access to deferred salary sabbatical leaves.
- Remunerate continuing education equitably by calculating individual work loads (CI) and providing teachers with associated benefits. (Estimated cost: $33 million/year)
- That a single hiring committee make hiring recommendations for both Regular and Continuing Education. When the discipline is not offered in the Regular sector, stipulate that the selection committee consists nonetheless of a majority of teachers.
Dawson Mobilization Activities Under Way!
Dawson has launched its mobilization activities related to négo. There are currently two campaigns on Continuing Education, which is one of the themes in the upcoming round of consultations.
Dawson’s own Cont Ed Mobilization Committee have developed a “Night and Day” campaign to highlight the inequities between Cont Ed and Day teachers. The campaign was launched with a postering initiative last week, which was met by the College taking down posters. As we stated in our memo, the Union does not need the College’s approval to put up such posters. We encourage you to show your support for our Cont Ed teachers by displaying the poster on your bulletin board and/or office door. We have colour copies available in our office (8A.11). Join us in showing the College that we won’t be silenced in our fight for equity for our Continuing Education colleagues!
The FNEEQ have also launched a campaign around Continuing Education – they have released a short video, which we have posted on our Facebook page, as well as a series of posters. If you would like a copy of the posters (available in English and French) come by the office!
Highlights (or, low-lights) from the government proposal
A few notable points from the government’s offer — for the full, detailed annotation of the government’s offer, see here.
- The government wishes to increase the max CI from 85, which would reverse the gains of the last round of negotiations, in 2015-16 (section 4.1, p. 12).
- Another gain from the last negotiations was the creation of cont-ed charges, which at Dawson (at the DTU’s insistence) have been solely allocated for the creation of charges in Cont-Ed. The government proposal would redirect these funds to serve purposes other than the equitable remuneration of Cont-Ed work (section 1.1, p. 5).
- Currently, a grade review committee must include, among other members, the teacher whose grade is under review. The government proposes that this should no longer be the case (section 6.5, p. 17). The government claims this fits better within the principle of natural justice, but how can that be when the teacher in question is excluded from the process?
- The government proposal’s emphasis on program committees is neither trivial nor innocent: it would shift professional and disciplinary authority away from departments (i.e., teachers) and transfer it towards a body in which teachers may not have a majority (section 2, p. 7). On a related note, the government is asking that teachers no longer have decisional roles on professional development committees but instead have a “strictly consulting role” (section 3.5, p. 11).
- Finally, a concern with misleading language in the document, especially the terms “flexibility” and “innovation” (see annotation to section 1, p. 4): what this amounts to, in practical terms, is primarily that colleges would have greater control over hiring and firing of teaching faculty (see, for example, section 3.2, p. 10) as well as more freedom in the allocation of resources.
Continuing Education Mobilization Committee
On Monday, February 3rd, the Continuing Education Mobilization (Mob) Committee held their first meeting of the winter semester. On Wednesday, we launched a poster campaign to raise awareness about the disparity between the day and cont-ed sectors. Although these beautiful posters (featured above) received a lot of attention, they were swiftly removed by the College. Want to show your support for Cont Ed teachers? Come get a poster from the DTU office (8A.11). Look out for more mobilization actions in the coming weeks. If you are a Continuing Education teacher and you’d like to get involved, you can send an email to Isabelle Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org or just come to our next meeting in the Rose Lounge on March 3 at 4pm. We hope to see you there!
Why the CSN rejects the government’s proposed “Consultation Forums”
One of the government’s proposals for these negotiations is to create three “discussion forums” addressing issues of (1) employee health and wellness, (2) academic success (a forum from which cegep teachers were excluded), and (3) accessibility of long-term care at home.
Crucially, while these forums are in session, collective agreement negotiations would be suspended. This effectively creates a parallel, less transparent process during our negotiation period.
The CSN, with the majority of the other centrals, has opted to boycott these forums, not only because they effectively circumvent, disempower and delay our legislated negotiation process, but also because we already have proposed solutions to the problems that the forums are supposed to tackle: they are in our bargaining demands, which the CSN gave to the government on Oct. 30th.
The CSN maintains that the only appropriate place to negotiate solutions to the structural problems in our public services is at the negotiation table.
A concern about the push to create new CECs
There is a topic in the government’s offer that raises significant concerns and which we would like to bring to the attention of DTU members: the establishment of Centres d’études collégiales (CECs), which are in effect extensions of existing cegeps to a new campus, sometimes very far from the main campus.
The official purpose for creating CECs is to make post-secondary education more accessible in remote and rural areas, which is supposedly the reason why new CECs are allowed greater flexibility in hiring. However, in practice many CECs compete with existing CEGEPs in those same areas, which are struggling with decreasing student numbers and small cohorts. Furthermore, disciplines have seen their priority lists divided, a separate one for each campus. Moreover, the creation of CECs has the potential to create difficulty for teachers who may be asked to teach at both campuses. This topic will certainly be a point of contention between the unions and the government which is asking for more “flexibility”.