Issue No. 552
6 May, 2021

514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal

Mélanie Beck, VP External

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone


Planned Strike Dates:
11th – 13th May

Dawson Teachers’ Union, along with all FNEEQ Unions, will be on strike from noon on May 11th until noon on May 13th. During this time, all teachers at Dawson will be on strike and all work will be suspended. There will be a physical picket line at Dawson on all three of these dates. In order to qualify for picket pay, you need to complete two shifts of picket duty on two of the three strike dates.  

If you have not already done so, sign up for your picket duty shifts using the link that was sent to members via email on May 4 (“DTU Strike 11th-13th May – Important Information”). 

Message For Students

Several members have contacted us to request a short message aimed at students regarding the upcoming strike. We have prepared the message below, which we invite you to share with students in class or via your online classroom platforms. You are, of course, welcome to prepare your own message:

As you may know, all Dawson teachers will be on strike from noon on May 11th until noon on May 13th, along with our colleagues across Quebec. During the 48 hours of the strike, teachers will not hold classes, evaluations, or office hours, nor will they answer emails or MIOs. 

As teachers, we are committed to our students and their learning, so we do not take this decision lightly, but we are left with little option in the face of stalled negotiations and broken promises from the Government. We are demanding better working conditions (especially for Continuing Education teachers!) and better learning conditions for students. 

We encourage you to contact your Sector Dean with any questions or comments you have regarding the impact of the strike – or even just to express your support for your teachers!

If you would like more information to share with your students, there are several documents (in both English and French) collected here

Withholding Final Grades

The deadline for submission of final grades for this semester is Wednesday, 9th June. In the context of stalled negotiations and the upcoming strike, teachers across the FNEEQ Cégep network are being urged to withhold their final grades until the grade deadline. This is intended as an additional tactic to pressure the Government to settle our demands.

Note that this does not prevent you from returning graded work to students and posting grades for final evaluations on Léa or Moodle. However, you should not officially submit final grades to the College until the grade deadline of 9th June.

In-Person Exams and In-Person Teaching in the Fall

As many of you are aware, the College has announced that final exams will be taking place in-person at the College for those courses for which departments had requested them.

As the pedagogical experts in their fields, individual departments took decisions as to which courses required in-person exams. These decisions were based on the pedagogical necessity of in-person exams to evaluate the course competencies and maintain academic integrity. Course Outlines clearly indicated whether in-person exams would take place if public health conditions allowed. The DTU’s position is that such decisions should be taken by teachers and we respect the decisions taken by departments.

You may have heard that the Dawson Student Union is petitioning the College not to hold in-person exams. The College confirmed to us at a recent meeting that all students who must attend in-person exams were aware of the possibility from the beginning of the semester; by registering for these courses, students agreed to attend in-person exams if Public Health allowed. While we understand that many students are anxious about returning to the College, Public Health has deemed it safe.

Indeed, in order to gain approval to hold in-person exams, the College submitted a protocol to Public Health demonstrating how the exams would be carried out in accordance with public health guidelines. Public Health has agreed that this protocol will allow current health requirements to be met. We trust that the College is following all necessary Public Health measures; indeed, they have assured us that in many instances, they have implemented measures beyond those required by Public Health.

As for in-person teaching in the Fall semester: there is still much that is unknown.  Again,  the College’s decision as to when to resume in-person teaching will be based on the directives of Public Health authorities and the Ministry of Higher Education. As in previous semesters, the College has asked departments to assess the “level” of their courses for the Fall semester. The College uses this information to determine what in-person activities to prioritize, based on the public health situation. . Teachers who have particular concerns regarding returning to in-person teaching in the Fall are asked to contact Human Resources.

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

PDF Application
For your application to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund committee, submit it by 8th June to

We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity. The Committee will be meeting to review the applications later that week. 

Master’s Leave
If you intend to apply for a leave to complete a Master’s degree, the deadline is 15th May.

Voluntary Workload Reduction
If you intend to apply for a Voluntary Workload Reduction for either the Fall 2021 semester or for the entire academic year 2021/2022, the deadline is 15th May. The application form can be found on the Dawson website.

Leaves Table
The DTU’s website has a table summarizing all leaves of absence to which teachers have access.

Availability and Vacation Period

For teachers with a day contract, the last day of availability for this academic year is June 14th. The vacation period is from June 15 to August 16, inclusive. Teachers are expected to be available to the College until the vacation period begins. Although the nature of our work alters after classes end, teachers are expected to be available to attend meetings with the College if required. For full-time teachers, availability is 32.5 hours per week. For part-time teachers, availability is proportional to the workload. 

Teachers who wish to be unavailable to the College prior to the beginning of the vacation period can request a transfer of availability. You need to complete the form provided by the College in advance of the period you are transferring. Note that the form asks teachers to indicate what activities you propose to make up for the period of unavailability; you do not have to provide too much detail here. It is sufficient to indicate something along the lines of “course prep” or “departmental work”.  

Seniority, Priority, and ETC

Seniority, priority and ETCs have significant and long-lasting implications for your employment at Dawson. These concepts can be difficult to understand, especially for newer teachers. We have prepared this guide to help, but we encourage you to contact us with questions and concerns. 

Seniority is accumulated based on the amount of work completed at the College. Each year of full-time work at Dawson corresponds to 1.0 seniority. For a given semester, a teacher cannot gain more than 0.5 seniority from day contracts; however, it is possible to accumulate additional seniority in the semester from Cont. Ed. contracts. A teacher can never gain more than 1.0 seniority in an academic year.

For part-time work, seniority is calculated proportionally, based on the ETC. For Cont. Ed. courses, seniority is calculated by dividing the number of contract hours by 450; for example, a 60-hour Cont. Ed. course generates 0.1333 seniority points. 

Note: most of the leaves provided in the Collective Agreement (e.g. parental leaves, professional development leaves etc) protect teachers’ seniority for day work. This means that any day work that the teacher would have been assigned had they not been on a leave would be credited to them for seniority purposes. For Continuing Education courses, seniority is only protected during parental leaves. 

On October 15th of every year, the College publishes the newest Seniority List, updated to include seniority accrued in the previous three semesters (Fall, Winter, and Summer). There is a period of 20 days in which corrections can be made, after which the list becomes official and is used as the basis for assigning work until the next seniority list is published. It is important to verify your seniority when the list is published; if you think your seniority has not been correctly credited, you should contact the DTU.

Priority indicates the order in which teachers will be assigned work by the College. For teachers with the same priority, work is then distributed by seniority (if there is a seniority tie, the amount of experience is the next factor). 

Once a teacher has been hired for a workload, they have priority for future workloads. However, this priority must be exercised by completing a G.O.S (General Offer of Service) every year or applying to each posting in their discipline. If a teacher does not receive a workload, they maintain hiring priority for three years after the end of their last contract. 

Significantly, there is a separate priority ranking for a day workload; once a teacher is assigned a workload in the day (whether a full semester workload or a replacement workload), they acquire day priority. Since courses are distributed first according to priority and then seniority, a teacher who has day priority but less seniority would be assigned day work before a teacher with more seniority who does not have day priority. We encourage all teachers to contact the DTU before turning down day work. 

ETC is the acronym for équivalent temps complet, or “full-time equivalent”. For full-time workloads, the ETC is 1; for part-time workloads, the ETC is proportional to the workload which is calculated by dividing the CI (charge individuelle) of the workload by 80. (You can use the DTU’s handy CI calculator to estimate the CI of your workload) 

For day contracts, the ETC value is indicated on the contract. This ETC value is provisional as it is based on the projected number of students in the course(s). Note that the actual ETC value could increase (in which case pay adjustments would be made) but it cannot decrease.

For hourly-paid Continuing Education courses, the ETC value is calculated by dividing the number of contract hours by 525; for example a 60-hour Cont. Ed. course would be 0.114 ETC. 

The maximum amount of work a teacher can be assigned by Dawson in a given academic year is 1 ETC. Once a teacher reaches 1 ETC, they can no longer exercise their priority on courses until the next academic year. 

A teacher who has not reached 1 ETC for the year can continue to exercise their priority on available workloads, but would only be eligible to receive the smallest possible workload necessary to reach 1 ETC. 

The Owl Hoots No. 551

Issue No. 551
12 March, 2021


514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal

Mélanie Beck, VP External

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

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 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 ( and the Director General ( 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


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 —, 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.

SemesterStart DateEnd DateStatutory HolidaysTotal # Days
Winter 202016 March 2020(1st day working from home)17 June 20203 Days65
Fall 202019 August 202031 December 20203 Days94

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 ( 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.

The Owl Hoots No. 550

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

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

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 with any questions. 

Négo Updates

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 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

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:


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

Confucius Institute

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.

The Owl Hoots No 549

Issue 549
October 14, 2020

514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Émilie Richer, President

Brian Seivewright, VP Internal

Mélanie Beck, VP External

Diana Glennie, Secretary-Treasurer

Louisa Hadley, Grievance Officer

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

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 with any questions.

Upcoming Deadlines

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 We suggest that you copy the DTU on this email at

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 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. 

DTU Elections

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.

Work-Family Balance

Family Time
“Family Time” by Ennev is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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

The Nego Owl: No 548

Issue 548
February 11, 2020

514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

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 with any questions.

General Assembly
20th February, 2020 at 3:30pm
Boardroom (5B.13)

Négo Consultation
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)


  1. Improve provisions for the hiring and contracting of non-tenured teachers.
  2. 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.
  3. Facilitate access to Employment Insurance for non-tenured teachers.
  4. Lower the minimum CI required for full-time work and add the necessary resources.
  5. Introduce provisions for income security for non-tenured teachers.
  6. Improve the conditions for acquiring tenure for teachers who have benefited from parental leaves or who have been absent due to a disability.
  7. Specify that all courses serve to create postes.
  8. 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.

Continuing Education

  1. Remunerate continuing education equitably by calculating individual work loads (CI) and providing teachers with associated benefits. (Estimated cost: $33 million/year)
  2. 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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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). 
  3. 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? 
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
We have evaluated the CPNC’s demands. If you’d like to provide your own assessment, we have extra ungraded copies in the office.

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 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”.