owl Hoot 557

June 2, 2022                                                 Issue 557

Owl Hoots

Inside this issue

Bill 96 Adopted
College Renews Pilot Project
College Policy on Leaves & Gradual Retirement
Professional Development
Faculty Availability and Vacation Period
Dawson College Financial Aid Office 

The DTU Executive
Louisa Hadley, President
President@dtu.qc.ca
Brian Seivewright, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca
Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca
Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca
Emilie Richer, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca
DTU email: dtu@dtu.qc.ca

Bill 96 Adopted Despite Mobilization Efforts 

Over the past month or so, there has been increasing mobilization around Bill 96, with numerous articles in the press as well as recent rallies held at Anglophone Cegeps and a protest on May 14th. Although these efforts were unsuccessful in preventing the Bill from being adopted, they highlighted the commitment of faculty and students to counter the negative impacts of the Bill. 

On Thursday, May 5th, the Dawson Student Union, in collaboration with faculty members, organised a successful rally in opposition to the proposed bill. The rally was very well attended and included engaging speakers from both students and faculty. One faculty member, Adam Bright (English), led the students in a collective activity to send simultaneous messages to local MNAs. Reports about the rally appeared in both Francophone and Anglophone media outlets, such as 24Heures and The Montreal Gazette.

On Saturday May 14th, Dawson teachers and students gathered at Dawson for a protest against Bill 96. The Dawson community was joined by people from across the Montreal community who are concerned about the implications of the proposed bill.

The protest opened with several speeches from organisers of Anglophone community groups, political leaders, and Indigenous representatives. The speeches highlighted the detrimental impacts of the proposed law, both in terms of the impacts for education as well as more broadly for access to health and legal services. Reports on the protest appeared in both Francophone and Anglophone media outlets, such as Le Devoir and The Montreal Gazette.

Although Bill 96 was adopted into law at the National Assembly on May 24th, much remains uncertain about both the process and timeline for implementation. There has been no indication of how the Ministry of Higher Education will implement the Bill’s requirements related to French courses and the French Exit Exam at Anglophone Cegeps. The DTU Executive attended a meeting of FNEEQ at the end of last week, but there remains no information from the Ministry of Higher Education. The Directors of the Anglophone Cegeps will be meeting with the Ministry of Higher Education on June 6th, and we hope that similar discussions will also be taking place with representatives from FNEEQ.  Any information we receive before the end of availability will be posted on our
Bill 96 webpage.

 

College Renews Pilot Project Despite Questions Remaining

In our last Owl Hoots, we reported on the lack of transparency and information regarding the College’s Blended Learning Pilot Project. At that time, we sent an open letter to the Academic Dean and Regular Sector Deans expressing our concerns and again asking for answers to several key questions that we have repeatedly raised. Although the College has indicated its intention to respond to at least some of the Union’s questions, to date, no response has been received.

When the College launched its Blended Learning Pilot Project in the Fall, it clearly indicated that all students and teachers involved in the project would participate in evaluations of the courses. Ideally, these evaluations should have been done so as to allow time for departments to evaluate the impact of the Pilot Project before further pursuing online pedagogy. However, the College has only recently sent the evaluations to the teachers involved in the Pilot Project and has given no indication of whether the results of these evaluations will be made available – to departments, Senate, or the wider community. 

Moreover, we are concerned that the College is being selective in who it is soliciting feedback from. The Academic Dean recently contacted coordinators of departments with at least one teacher participating in the Pilot Project to ask for feedback. The Memo asks those coordinators to provide “comments about blended courses – the process for reviewing them, the criteria or principles the department used to form its opinion on the proposed blended courses, their impact on other courses delivered by your department, their impact on students or other related matters”. These issues are relevant to all departments; it is equally important that the College understand the criteria or principles on which departments decided not to offer blended courses. Furthermore, we have heard from many teachers this semester about the impact that the Pilot Project has had on their students’ (in)ability to attend and participate in their in-person classes; these impacts are not limited to other courses in the same department but have been felt across the College. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the College has not yet indicated whether it will solicit data from non-participating departments.

As we have repeatedly made clear to the College, if departments are to participate in meaningful discussions about online pedagogy, the process of evaluation and feedback needs to be more transparent. The College, however, has pushed full-steam ahead and launched another round of the Pilot Project for Fall 2022. Once again, it seems that the College is drawing conclusions about Blended Learning without concrete evidence. As the College moves forward with yet another Pilot Project and, presumably, the development of a policy related to online teaching and learning, it is imperative that it solicit feedback from all teachers. Whether or not members of your department participated in the project, feel free to email the Academic Dean directly if you have comments about it, and please copy the DTU. 



College Policy on Leaves and Gradual Retirement 

At the end of last semester, we learned that the College was being more restrictive in granting leaves, both Voluntary Workload Reductions and anticipated sabbaticals. At the time, we managed to convince the College to reconsider its position on anticipated sabbatical requests for the Winter 2022 semester; however, the College was only willing to grant these over a period of two years. Unfortunately, we were not able to dissuade the College from its position of granting only the minimum number of VWRs required by the Collective Agreement (and even granting none in Nursing despite the requirement that at least one per discipline be granted).

Since then, the College has continued to be conservative in its approach to granting leaves. Although the College has not officially declared a change in its policies concerning anticipated sabbatical leaves and gradual retirement, there has been a clear change in practice. In all recent cases, teachers asking for an anticipated sabbatical or gradual retirement plan to take place over a period of five years have been declined, and only requests taking place over a shorter period have been approved. 

The College is acting within the parameters of the Collective Agreement since these types of leaves require “agreement between the parties”; however, the DTU has raised several concerns about this change of practice with the College. In particular, the DTU has asked the College to clearly communicate its current policies to all teachers as it is important teachers know what options are available to them for planning purposes. The College, however, seems reluctant to send a message to all faculty as it claims to deal with requests on a case-by-case basis. Despite this statement, faculty should be aware that the College’s position seems to be to deny requests for anticipated sabbaticals and gradual retirements that exceed more than two years. 

Professional Development

All Dawson teachers (whether they teach in the Day or Continuing Education sector) have access to Professional Development Funds to cover professional development activities such as courses, workshops, and conferences.

The PDF committee meets regularly to assess applications, though it does not meet during the Summer. Send your application in advance of the proposed activity to: pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca 

Faculty Availability and Vacation Period

For teachers with a day contract, the last day of availability for this academic year is June 13. The vacation period is from June 14 to August 15, inclusive. Teachers are expected to be available to the College until the vacation period begins. Although the nature of our work changes 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 either prior to the beginning of the vacation period or after the availability period resumes in the Fall can request a transfer of availability. You need to complete the form provided by the College at least one month in advance of the period you are transferring, with your Department Coordinator’s support. 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”.

Dawson College Financial Aid Office Food Bank & Snack Centre

Stocked through the generosity of the Dawson College community, a small food bank is available for students whose monthly income does not cover all their needs.

Please consider dropping off some items at the Financial Aid Office (Room 4E.2-8). They’re often in need of the following items:

  • canned proteins (salmon, tuna, sardines, turkey, chicken, ham, beef, etc)
  • vegetables (corn, peas, string beans, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, etc)
  • fruits (cocktail, pears, peaches, applesauce, mandarin, etc)
  • rice (long grain, basmati, Uncle Ben’s, Dainty, Minute Rice, etc)
  • pasta sauces
  • prepared soups, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Kraft dinner, chili, 
  • personal hygiene items (soap, shampoo, pads, tampons, deodorant, toothpaste/brushes/mouthwash, etc)
  •  cereal, crackers, nuts, treats of all kinds
  • vegan/gluten free items

Dawson Teachers Union
3040 Sherbrooke, Westmount, Suite 8A.11
514-931-8731 ext 1799
dtu@dtu.qc.ca

 

Owl556

THE OWL HOOTS No. 556
Issue No. 556
14 April, 2022

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

College Refuses Conversion For Continuing Education Teacher 

The DTU is both disappointed and disheartened by the College’s recent position to refuse that a teacher in the History department be allocated a replacement workload that would allow them to convert their Continuing Education courses into Regular paid courses.

For context, a replacement workload recently became available in History. All available teachers in the department, apart from one, are currently either fully employed or not interested in taking on the replacement this late in the semester. Nevertheless, the College authorized the department to proceed with double employment.

Although a teacher is available and willing to take on the workload, the College is refusing that they take it on as they consider it too costly. We’re troubled by this position for the following reasons:

  • The College prefers that someone with a full annual salary be double employed and receive “extra” remuneration over a part-time teacher.
  • The College is refusing access to the replacement to the part-time teacher, which would give them access to an annual salary, despite the fact that they will have taught more courses than many of their regular day colleagues. Moreover, this part-time teacher does not qualify as double employed.
  • The College is making a decision based purely on financial motivations, rather than considering what is best for their employees and students.
  • Although conversions are costly, the DTU is of the opinion that the costs are warranted in situations like these if it allows teachers with full workloads to obtain an annual salary and better working conditions.
  • The College has now directed the History department to proceed with hiring a new teacher for the replacement workload. This makes absolutely no sense, because the new teacher has no prospect of working in the department for the foreseeable future. It will generate significant work for the department: both in terms of hiring and mentorship, which will be futile since the candidate will likely leave. Furthermore, the new teacher will enter the classroom late in the semester, with no knowledge of departmental policies, the students’ abilities, or the appropriate expectations for students. Classes are currently being canceled until a new hire can be found. All of this is detrimental to the students and will continue to be so.

We asked that the College reconsider its position, both for pedagogical reasons and the impact it will have on the teacher’s working conditions. The department is already facing the prospect of very difficult semesters ahead, as was outlined in the Memo on the Redistribution of Social Science Methods Courses sent at the end of last semester. Within this context, it is disheartening that the College is preventing a teacher from acquiring an annual salary on the basis of cost savings. We are still awaiting a response. Despite the coordinator having already done the call-out and verifications, the administration is bypassing the departmental coordination and contacting individual teachers to ask that they step into the classroom.

Upcoming Deadlines

Professional Development Leave Requests
Although there is no contractual deadline for applications for a professional development leave, the College requests that applications for the Fall semester be submitted by April 15th. The application form is available on the College website.

Sabbatical Leave with Anticipated Salary
The Collective Agreement does not specify a deadline for requesting a sabbatical leave. However, the College requests that teachers apply for a sabbatical leave during the Fall semester by April 15th. The application form is available on the College website.

***Note that since these deadlines fall during the long weekend, the deadline will be the first working day after that i.e. Tuesday, 19th April ***

Voluntary Workload Reduction
The deadline for applications for a VWR for the Fall semester is May 15th. The application form is available on the College website.

Professional Development Fund Applications
Professional Development Funds are available to all faculty (whether in the Regular or Cont. Ed. sector) 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 pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca for consideration at the next meeting.

Retro Pay

The College processed all the retroactive pay, both the lump sum amounts and the salary increases, on the pay of March 31st for teachers currently employed at the College. You should have received several pay statements with the various retroactive payments separated. Don’t hesitate to come see us with your pay statements if you are unsure of the amounts.

Anyone who taught at Dawson after April 1st 2019 but who is not currently employed by the College should have received an email from us asking them to communicate with payroll to request their retroactive pay. The College has 120 days to process the retroactive pay from the point at which you contact them; however, it seems that the College is moving more quickly in processing the payment.

***Note: If you have full-time employment elsewhere for any of the semesters in the 2022-2023 Academic year, you must indicate on your GOS that you will be “double employment”. Once the GOS has been submitted, teachers have an obligation to inform the College as soon as there is any change in their Double Employment status. For more information on double Employment, see here.

Obituary for Patrick Powers

Over many years, Patrick Powers, who died on March 13, 2022, contributed a great deal to Dawson College. He was a gifted and inspiring educator who taught Humanities at the New School and later in ‘regular Dawson’ from 1973 until his retirement. He served as Chair of the Humanities Department and spent years as an active member of the DTU, serving as its president for a time. He was a staunch supporter of human rights, active in the struggle against racism and sexism and for gay rights in Montreal and further.  Somehow, all of the above facts do not truly summon Patrick’s presence at his best.  He was very good natured, humorous, and empathic, appreciative of others, glad to lend a hand when needed, and always open to considering change.  Among others, he leaves in mourning his son Jason and his partner, Vincent. (Submitted by Greta Hofmann Nemiroff)

Patrick Powers was a wonderful friend, colleague, and mentor when I started teaching at New School in the early 80’s. He was a compassionate facilitator to his students at New School. Pat’s smile lit up the halls. He dedicated a great deal of time communicating with his students and through his guidance, he helped them to develop their self-actualization despite some extremely challenging situations. Our amazing friendship lasted right until the end. He will be dearly missed. (Submitted by Jacinta Luis, Music department)

For further details please see the attached link:

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/fr-ca/obituaries/montreal-qc/patrick-powers-10630409

Online Pilot Project

As you may recall, the Academic Dean sent a memo to all faculty at the beginning of March to provide more information about the Blended Learning Pilot Project. We believe that this memo fails to address many of the pressing questions that faculty, and the Union, have raised about the Pilot Project since it was first announced last semester.

We have written an open letter to the Academic Dean and the Regular Sector Deans expressing our concerns about the lack of transparency and reiterating key issues that remain unanswered. We invite you to read the full text of the letter and to continue these discussions within your department as you consider what role online pedagogy has in your discipline.

Nego 2023: Consultation Round-Up

As you know, consultations have already begun regarding the next round of negotiations. As part of this process, the DTU has consulted its membership both via a survey and at a recent meeting with two representatives from the FNEEQ negotiating team. There will be more opportunities for consultation and discussion in the coming months; for now, though, we wanted to provide a brief summary of the consultation process so far.

In early February, the DTU distributed a survey to all members soliciting their input on several aspects of our negotiations strategy, from alliances to priorities. We received a reasonable amount of responses to the survey, which informed discussions the DTU Executive participated in at both the FNEEQ and CSN level.

The question of alliances between various unions is a key aspect of any negotiation strategy, and often has to be addressed quite early on in the process. As such, there were several questions in our survey asking whether members believed we should seek an alliance with other public sector unions and, if so, with which unions specifically.

In response to the question “in your opinion, would an alliance with other public sectors bring us better gains in this round?” Almost half of those who responded were unsure. Of those who expressed an opinion, 77% answered “Yes – a common front with as many public sector federations as possible”. In particular, there was a particular preference to ally with other workers in education as well as in health care. More specifically, we also asked “in your opinion, would an alliance with the other cégep teachers federation (FEC-CSQ) bring us better gains this round?” Similarly, almost half of respondents were unsure, but this time 93% of those who expressed an opinion were in favour of an alliance with FEC-CSQ.

The DTU Executive represented these positions at Regroupement, which brings together the Cégep Unions in FNEEQ, and at a meeting of the four federations represented by CSN. Following these discussions, the CSN and FNEEQ have been working to establish the largest possible alliances. A “Common Front” comprised of CSN, CSQ, at FTQ was announced on 3rd April. For more information on the Common Front, see the latest info-négo(in French). At the sectoral level, FNEEQ is in discussions regarding a possible alliance with FEQ-CSQ.

Another key aspect of the negotiation that we consulted members on was the strategy that was adopted in 2020 and what elements should be kept for the upcoming Nego 2023. The Nego 2020 introduced some new approaches to the negotiation strategy; specifically, FNEEQ submitted an initial list of principles that needed to be addressed, and only submitted a list of specific demands after it had received the government’s demands. The FNEEQ also adopted a strategy of consulting its members on demands by a series of “waves”.

The responses to questions on these strategies indicate that many of our members are unsure of the efficacy of these approaches. Of those who expressed an opinion, 75% felt that submitting an initial list of principles was either “very effective” or “somewhat effective”; 66% felt that it was either “very effective” or “somewhat effective” to submit specific demands after receiving the government’s demands; and 77% felt that it was either “very effective” or “somewhat effective” to consult members on waves by a series of demands. However, one of the recommendations that came out of the bilan de la negotiation 2020 at Regroupement was to limit the number of stages in the process of adopting the demands to allow for more focused mobilisation efforts.

Obviously, a key aspect of negotiations is our demands. Although we are not yet at the stage of preparing our specific demands, we did consult members on their priorities for the next round of negotiations. Specifically, we asked respondents to indicate their position on prioritizing salary of working conditions for Nego 2023:

Salary should be prioritized over working conditions 32%
Working conditions should be prioritized over salary 21%
Salary and working conditions should be given equal weight 48%

Clearly, there is concern about both salary and working conditions and, indeed, these concerns were reflected in members’ responses when asked to indicate their top three priorities for the next round of negotiations. The majority of respondents (approx. 66%) indicated either salary or Continuing Education equity as their top priority. The remaining responses highlighted issues to do with working conditions, such as precarity, CI calculations in technical programs, and benefits.

Along with consulting members about the strategies and priorities for negotiations, we also asked about participation in local discussions and the level of information provided by the DTU. Of those that attended General Assemblies, whether frequently or not, 82.3% either agreed or strongly agreed that General Assemblies were informative and 74% either agreed or strongly agreed that General Assemblies allowed for meaningful consultation of members. While we understand the difficulties of attending General Assemblies, especially in the absence of a common non-teaching block for teachers, we encourage you to attend wherever possible to allow for the most meaningful consultation possible.

In addition to the survey, on March 30, we held a consultation meeting with representatives from the FNEEQ negotiating team. All members were encouraged to attend to share their concerns and priorities directly with the negotiating team. Two recurring themes came out of these discussions: the need to build on the gains secured in the last round of negotiations for Continuing Education teachers and the need to address challenges that are specific to the technical programs.

This meeting was part of a “tour” of local unions that the FNEEQ negotiating team undertook in March. The information gathered from these meetings will inform the team as they develop a proposed list of demands. This list will be initially presented to representatives of the various unions at Regroupement next week; these discussions will inform the preparation of the proposed demands which will go to local General Assemblies for consultation in Fall 2022.

Below is the proposed timeline for the next stages of the consultation process:

COVID-19 Testing Protocols

With the ongoing pandemic entering its 6th wave, clear protocols regarding how to handle COVID-19 absences remain necessary. Although the College sent an updated FAQ at the end of March, there remain many inconsistencies in the College’s procedures. We raised these issues at a CRT meeting on 31st March and were told that the College would send an updated document; as yet, we have received no such update.

To highlight just a few of the issues and inconsistencies:

  • The “Updated COVID-19 Absence Procedures” document indicates that employees with symptoms have priority for PCR tests, yet the next line of the document stipulates that a PCR test is mandatory regardless of whether they have symptoms
  • Indeed, the College has been insisting on PCR tests even after teachers have tested positive with multiple rapid tests and are symptomatic. Requiring COVID-positive teachers to get a PCR test is contrary to public health guidelines and jeopardizes teachers’ recovery
  • The College stipulates that the period of isolation is 5 days; however, public health indicates that this is a minimum and that people remain contagious beyond this point. Moreover, the College does not seem to be taking into account that symptoms may continue beyond this timeframe

The College’s treatment of teachers with respect to COVID-19 absences is particularly galling in the context of a semester in which we are being asked to provide accommodations for students with no documentation. Between the start of semester and the beginning of March break, almost 700 students had been granted COVID accommodations. In the three weeks after the return from March break, there have been almost 600 cases of students testing positive for COVID; there has undoubtedly been a similarly exponential increase in the number of accommodations teachers have been required to provide. We urge you to get in touch with us if you contract COVID and would like to discuss your options.

Owl 555

THE OWL HOOTS No. 555
Issue No. 555
25 February, 2022

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

Confusing COVID Protocols

Disappointingly, as we approach the midpoint of our second in-person semester during a pandemic, there still remain uncertainties and inconsistencies around the College’s COVID protocols. 

We have recently heard from several teachers that the College is insisting that they get a PCR test in order to be given permission to teach remotely during a period of COVID-isolation, even in cases where teachers have tested positive on multiple rapid tests. However, we have equally heard from other teachers that they were not required to provide PCR test results. The inconsistency in the College’s protocols is concerning. Requiring a PCR test from those who have already tested positive and/or are symptomatic not only adds to the pressures felt by teachers who are trying to figure out how to manage their absence, but also places unnecessary strain on the health system. Indeed, the government recommends that people who test positive via a rapid test should isolate to avoid spreading the virus; requiring teachers to go to a testing centre to get a PCR test goes against this recommendation.

We would understand the need for such official documented proof of COVID if the College were applying the quarantine leave that is provided for in our Collective Agreement. To date, though, we are unaware of any teacher who has been granted this leave. The College continues to reiterate its position that teachers who feel well enough can teach remotely and so do not need a quarantine leave. The PCR test seems to be required solely for administrative purposes and seems to imply a lack of trust in teachers. Moreover, it is particularly frustrating given that teachers are continuing to work while sick and that such documentation is not required for students, for whom teachers are being asked to provide accommodations. 

With regards to accommodations for students, we have heard from some teachers that there is a delay in receiving the notification of an accommodation and concerns about students returning to class prior to the end of their COVID accommodation period. We have confirmed with the College that no student should return to class before the date indicated on the COVID accommodation email sent to teachers. If a student presents themselves to your class prior to this date, you should ask them to leave and should email Student Services to inform them of the situation (studentbehaviour@dawsoncollege.qc.ca). 

Crowded Classes and College Resources

At the start of this discombobulated semester, we received several emails from members concerned about student numbers in their classrooms. While there are no requirements for social distancing in classrooms, the large number of students raises concerns not only in the context of COVID, but also in terms of room capacity and the impact on teacher workloads. 

Although the College did not seem to be exceeding official room capacities, it was clear that there had been no attempt to reduce the number of students per section and that the College returned to the “normal” practice of allowing more students to register on the assumption that some would drop. In the context of an ongoing pandemic, it is disappointing that the College did not attempt to inject additional resources to reduce the number of students per section, which would have had the added benefit of opening more sections and thus creating more work. 

When we reviewed updated numbers from the College for the 2020-2021 academic year, we discovered that the College had not used all of the resources it had been allocated. At the end of the Fall semester, it became apparent that there were 17 ETCs worth of resources which the College had not allocated. The College could have chosen to use these to reduce student numbers by opening more sections for the Winter 2022 semester, which would have had the effect of improving both working conditions for teachers and learning conditions for students. Instead, the College decided to maintain this “surplus”. 

At a recent meeting with the College, it claimed that most of these resources had already been used to cover the higher-than-usual drop rates in the Fall semester. The College also said that it anticipated that the remaining “reserve” would be used to cover higher-than-anticipated substitution costs – this despite the fact that most teachers are opting to work remotely when isolating due to COVID, even when they are unwell!

It’s no wonder that in the midst of a pandemic, with large class sizes and ongoing emergency online teaching, so many of us feel burnt out. If anything, the College should have used resources to support both teachers and students by reducing group sizes.

Nego 2023: Consultations

Although the new Collective Agreement is not yet signed, it will expire at the end of March 2023. So, preparations and consultations have already begun for the next round of negotiations. In early February, we sent a survey to all members to get some feedback on the last round of negotiations as well as some preliminary thoughts about possible orientations and alliances for the next round. 

As part of the consultation process, the negotiation team is visiting all local unions to hear from the membership. Our liaison on the negotiation team, Josée Delziel, will be visiting Dawson on Wednesday, March 30th at 1pm. While all members are welcome to attend, we are  also encouraging each department to nominate a representative to ensure a diversity of representation and voices at the meeting. We will be contacting coordinators shortly after the March break regarding the representatives. 

Online Pilot Project

As you are no doubt aware, the College launched an Online Pilot Project this semester. Almost  80 proposals have been accepted and are currently being implemented.

As we explained in our Welcome Back Memo (18 Jan, 2022), since we were first informed of the College’s intention to launch this project, we have repeatedly raised our concerns regarding the timing of the project, the approval process, and the involvement of departments. As of yet, the College has failed to respond in any meaningful way to specific concerns and questions that we have raised, despite guidelines in the Collective Agreement. Most surprisingly, we have been unable to get the College to provide any concrete examples of the types of pedagogy that are being used in online teaching as part of the Pilot Project. The College has recently indicated that it intends to send a memo to all faculty about the Pilot Project, but in the absence of the memo and based on previous discussions, we are not convinced that the information provided will be sufficiently detailed.

While we are aware that some departments were able to engage in a vetting and approval process for proposals last semester, many others felt that there was insufficient time to fully engage with questions of whether online pedagogy is appropriate for their discipline. Indeed, some departments passed motions refusing to participate in the project before further discussion could be held. Whatever position your department took, we anticipate that there need to be ongoing departmental discussions and decisions related to online teaching.

We believe that these discussions will be most productive if they are undertaken in a context of transparency. To that end, we contacted coordinators last week and invited them to consider adopting a motion at a department meeting requesting specific information from the College with regards to the Online Pilot Project. We encourage you to participate in discussions about whether online teaching is appropriate for your discipline and, if so, how it should be implemented. 

Know Your Rights: Union Representation at Meetings

As per the Collective Agreement, teachers always have the right to be accompanied by a Union representative to any meeting with the College. In recent years, the College has increasingly engaged external firms, such as Relais Expert, to conduct investigations under various policies. To clarify, teachers’ right to Union representation extends to such meetings with external firms.

Moreover, the College has an obligation to inform the Union whenever teachers are convened to a meeting that could lead to disciplinary measures. In discussions with the College, it had not been clear whether it would inform the Union when teachers are convened to meetings with external firms. 

Although the College has recently confirmed that it would inform the Union when teachers are convened to such meetings, we always encourage teachers to contact the Union immediately if convened to a meeting with either the administration or an external investigation firm. We can talk you through the usual process and accompany you to the meeting itself to ensure that your rights are respected. 

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Challenging the College on its “Wellness Challenge”

Once again, the College has launched a “Dawson Wellness Challenge”. This year’s challenge is even bigger – running for 8 weeks with various activities and challenges – but not better! It still fails to address the real issues that impact teacher wellness.

In the midst of yet another pandemic semester, the College is still not recognising the quarantine leave in our Collective Agreement, and many faculty are reporting feeling pressured to teach remotely while sick or even return to work before they have fully recovered. Moreover, the College seems to be refusing requests from teachers who need to take a leave for family reasons to take care of their children during the March break. This is on top of the long-standing issues that Continuing Education teachers do not have access to adequately paid sick days, nor do they have access to the Employee Assistance Program. 

Last year, we organized a campaign to call out the College’s lack of concrete initiatives to address these issues for teachers. Shortly after we launched the campaign, the Yammer page used for the Wellness Initiative was made private.

We are hoping to organise a short campaign in conjunction with the “mid-term” and “Final Week” activities of the Wellness campaign – stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, we encourage you to share your thoughts on the College’s Wellness initiative, including what the College could do to meaningfully support your wellness, by writing to the organisers: sustainability@dawsoncollege.qc.ca and pscott@dawsoncollege.qc.ca, and copying in the DTU (dtu@dtu.qc.ca).

International Women’s Day

The DTU will once again join the Dawson Support Staff Union and the Association of Dawson Professionals in marking International Women’s Day on March 8th – a day to recognise the achievements of women as well as the importance of the continued struggle for gender equality. 

Please join us in the Rose Lounge (7C.5) any time between 2:30 and 4 pm. 

There will be a book sale with proceeds going to support Chez Doris, and a take-away snack while supplies last! We also invite you to visit the DTU office (8A.11) at your convenience to pick up CSN posters, stickers, and pins celebrating this year’s theme: “L’Avenir est Féministe”.

Know Your Rights: Double Employment – Remuneration

Many of our members often bring questions to us about Double Employment. For more details on the definition of Double Employment and how the Double Employment clause works in practice, see our previous article.

One type of Double Employment the DTU is often asked about is when a teacher who is already employed full-time at the College is offered an additional portion of a workload, such as a course or replacement for part of a course. In such cases, there is a question concerning how a teacher would be paid. 

According to our Collective Agreement, teaching tasks in the Regular sector must be remunerated by CI. However, in some cases, it might be more beneficial for a teacher to be paid for the additional work at an hourly rate instead of by CI. The College may do so only with the Union’s agreement (Clause 5-1.16), and the Union must consider both the interests of the individual teacher and the impact it would have on the overall resources available for staffing.

What is the difference between CI and hourly-pay in this context?

Generally, CI pay is better than hourly-rate pay as our CI takes into account not only contact hours, but also preparation, grading and student numbers. A full-time CI is typically between 80 and 85 for the year; if a teacher’s CI is above 85 for the year, the College must pay a “CI Violation” compensation (Clause 8-6.01 d)). The following formula is used to calculate the number of hours that need to be paid at the hourly rate: (CI-85)*5

As a consequence, it is possible that a teacher who takes on an additional workload may receive little or no additional remuneration if paid by CI.

How does the Union make the decision?

Since we work in a Unionized environment, the College must get the Union’s approval before proceeding to pay any regular sector work at the hourly rate. The Union has a responsibility to both the individual teacher and to the faculty as a whole; part of the Union’s role is to oversee the College’s management of the masse (the collective budget from which all regular sector teachers’ salaries are paid). 

Before it can determine whether or not it can agree to the College remunerating a teacher at the hourly rate, the Union needs to compare the remuneration the teacher would receive if paid hourly with the remuneration they would receive if it is paid in CI. The Union cannot do the necessary analysis until the annual CI values are confirmed by the College, which only happens at the end of February.  

Consequently, there can often be delays in determining how a teacher can be paid. In cases where the work was completed in the Fall semester, the analysis can only happen once the annual CI is confirmed by the College. If the work is completed in the Winter semester, it may not be possible to complete the necessary analysis prior to the end of the semester. 

FNEEQ-CSN Anti-Racism Survey

The Observatory of Racial Inequalities in Quebec(OIRQ) has created a questionnaire “aimed at probing the experiences and perceptions of people […] who have been victims of employment discrimination. The purpose of the study is to raise public authorities’ awareness of the experiences of discrimination of immigrant and racialized populations in Quebec and to help find appropriate solutions.“ We invite you to complete their questionnaire if you are an immigrant or racialized person who has been the subject of employment discrimination in Quebec.

Work From Home 2021 – Calculating Days

Several members have been asking how many days of remote work we did in 2021 for tax purposes. In 2021, we worked remotely for the Winter semester only. Between 1st January 2021 and 14 June 2021, full-time, Regular sector teachers worked 111 days remotely (excluding strike days and statutory holidays).

Owl Hoots 554

THE OWL HOOTS No. 554
Issue No. 554
9 December, 2021

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

Approval of Agreements in Principle

The proposed Agreements in Principle for both the Central and Sectoral tables have been accepted by a majority of General Assemblies of the local unions. What comes next is a process of writing out the clauses, after which the new agreement will be signed and then come into force. The time-frame for this process is not yet known. 

Since there have been increases to remuneration for both Day and Cont. Ed. teachers, you will receive retroactive pay. Again, we are not yet sure about the exact timeline for this; however, it will take some time after the agreement is signed for the payments to be processed. 

One of the key gains that was made in the agreement is a new salary scale for Continuing Education teachers that will include recognition of experience. Although the steps for experience will be phased in gradually, the first few levels will become available as soon as the agreement is signed. If you are teaching in Continuing Education and have not yet submitted your work experience documentation to the College, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. You should submit all documentation to hrfaculty@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.  

You can read the FNEEQ statement about the agreement in principle (in French) here

Reminder: Period of Availability

For day teachers and those teaching a Continuing Education charge course, the period of availability continues between semesters, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Since those fall on  Saturdays this year, the statutory holidays have been moved to Monday, December 27th and Monday, January 3rd. With the exception of submitting final grades, hourly-paid Continuing Education teachers do not owe any availability to the College after the last day of their contract. The final grade deadline for all teachers is December 31st.

Know Your Rights: Union Representation 

Teachers always have the right to be accompanied by a Union representative to any meeting with the College. If you are convened to a meeting with anyone from the College administration (e.g. Sector Dean or HR), we encourage you to reach out to us. We routinely attend such meetings with teachers to  ensure  that their rights are protected. For the same reason, we also encourage members to copy us in on communications with HR or administration whenever they are comfortable doing so.

Know Your Rights:

Leave for Family Reasons

CNESST Preventative Leave

In the context of the pandemic, CNESST has modified its rules relating to preventative leaves for teachers who are pregnant. If you are in this situation, we encourage you to contact CNESST to understand your rights.

Owl Hoots 553

THE OWL HOOTS No. 553
Issue No. 553
5 October, 2021

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

The DTU Executive invites 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. We always recommend copying us into communications with the College so that we can help to make sure that your rights are protected. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at dtu@dtu.qc.ca with any questions.

Upcoming General Assembly

Upcoming Deadlines

Personal Leave Requests: October 15th 
If you wish to apply for a personal leave for Winter 2021, the deadline is October 15th. The application form is available on the College website

Voluntary Workload Reduction Requests: November 15th
If you wish to apply for a partial Voluntary Workload Reduction for Winter 2022, the deadline is  November 15th. Note that you can apply for a reduction of your workload. You should complete the form on the College’s website, and email it to hrfaculty@dawsoncollege.qc.ca. We suggest that you copy the DTU on this email at dtu@dtu.qc.ca.

Professional Development Leave Requests
Although there is no contractual deadline for applications for a professional development leave, the College requests that applications for the Winter semester be submitted by October 15th. The application form is available on the College website.

Professional Development Funds
Professional Development Funds are available to all faculty and can be used to fund professional 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 a few times each semester to review applications. Applications should be submitted to pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca for consideration at the next meeting. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.

Surveys

Sexual Violence Policy survey
You may have noticed in your Omnivox that the College has distributed a survey regarding the Policy on Sexual Violence. As per its legal obligations under Bill 151, the College has to review the policy and is seeking feedback from the community as part of this process. 

During the development of the policy and since it was first implemented, the DTU has raised several concerns to the College. In particular, we disagree with the College’s decision to designate a Human Resources employee as the Primary Contact Person for employees to report instances of sexual violence. Given the sensitive nature of these types of instances, we do not believe it is appropriate for someone in a managerial position to be the initial point of contact. The College has designated Counselling services as the Primary Contact Person for students; employees should similarly have the opportunity to disclose to someone who is specifically trained to deal with these issues. Another concern we have is that the mandatory training module primarily presents teachers in the position of aggressor; it is important that the training module accurately reflects the various forms of sexual violence that may be encountered and does not create misconceptions.

If you share these concerns, we encourage you to add these to your own feedback when you complete the survey. Please note that the survey is available until October 13th 2021.

The DTU invites New Teachers to an information session on Thursday 21st October at 2:30 (room to be determined). 

Come out to meet your Union representatives and get information on your contracts, workload and anything else you might be interested in.

Please RSVP at dtu@dtu.qc.ca

Update on Covid Protocols

Upon the return to in-person teaching this semester, the College gave a directive to teachers and students to stay home if they are displaying symptoms associated with Covid. Teachers have been asked to make accommodations for students in this situation, as discussed below. Similarly, the College has a responsibility to provide clear and consistent accommodations for teachers in this situation, but these have so far been lacking.

Missing a Class due to Symptoms

Initially, the College insisted that when a teacher misses a class for any reason, the class would be either cancelled or substituted – that there was no possibility of remote teaching. We then heard reports that certain sectors were allowing remote teaching in some circumstances when approved by their Sector Dean. There has yet to be a clear and consistent directive from the College about this situation.

Since mid-August, we have continually reminded the College that because Continuing Education teachers have only 2 sick days per year, these teachers may find themselves in the position of deciding between sacrificing their salary or jeopardizing our collective public health. We asked the College whether they had made any plans to allocate special provisions for these teachers’ sick days. They responded that they had not, nor had they analyzed the financial implications of such an allocation. The College consistently refuses to provide additional sick days despite the large surplus generated by Continuing Education teachers each year. This situation is unacceptable under any circumstances, and especially irresponsible during a pandemic.

Missing a Class due to Quarantine

Our Collective Agreement includes a clause (5-9.01 h) which allows a teacher to take a paid leave, not deducted from a sick bank, when ordered to quarantine by public health. It applies to both Day and Continuing Education sectors. For more detail, see the  email titled ‘Quarantine Leave’ that we sent on September 23rd.

Incomprehensibly, the College maintains that this leave does not apply and that a teacher should work remotely if they are well enough. If they are not able to teach remotely, the College considers them to be on a sick leave, and days will be deducted from their sick bank, if available. Teachers who do not have access to sick days will not be paid for their absences. We strongly disagree with the College’s position. 

If Santé Publique directs you to isolate, we urge you to communicate with the DTU as soon as possible so that you can avail yourself of a solution that is best for both you and your students.

Covid Protocols Applied to Students

The College has asked teachers to monitor students’ health and to require them to leave class if they display “unusual” symptoms. We asked for clarity about this and pointed out that this is not an effective health policy since teachers are not medical professionals. In addition, teachers have a responsibility to ensure that students are following the rules regarding masking within the classroom. If a student in your class repeatedly refuses to wear their mask properly, you should report them to Student Services, who should be keeping track of violations and issuing warnings. If you ask a student to leave the classroom and they refuse to do so, you should call security at 1500.

When your students miss class because they are isolating or feeling unwell, remember to ask them to contact dawsonhealthservices@dawsoncollege.qc.ca and also to do so yourself. Accommodations must be made for students in this situation, within reason and within your department’s policies. We recommend making this accommodation as simple as possible for yourself. Keep in mind that students who are unable to catch up due to their health situation can apply for an authorized absence.

The College has made it clear that if a student has shared medical information with you, you should not divulge it to the rest of the class. We understand that it is important for students to be aware of the situation, but teachers must respect students’ privacy here. Dawson Health Services now has access to class lists and contact information and has updated their procedure for Covid-positive students so that teachers and students should be informed simultaneously about a potential contact. This will now take place before Dawson Health Services receives further instruction from Santé Publique

Teacher Evaluations

We have heard from several teachers who have been contacted by OAD for teacher evaluations this semester. We were somewhat surprised to hear that teacher evaluations have resumed; while we are back in person this semester, the context in which we are teaching is still far from normal. If you have concerns about the teacher evaluations, we encourage you to share them with the Dean of Academic Development (clebel@dawsoncollege.qc.ca) and your sector Dean, copying in the DTU if you would like.

College Readiness

Since coming back to in-person work in August, many teachers have raised concerns about the lack of readiness of College facilities for both teachers and students. This includes such issues as cleanliness (both classrooms and bathrooms), classroom equipment, the availability of masks and hand-sanitizers, and ventilation, particularly in the G wing. 

The DTU has been raising these concerns with the College, who in turn has acknowledged the problems and expressed a commitment to addressing them. Teachers who encounter ongoing problems of this nature are encouraged to write to their Sector Dean and/or to Facilities Management, as appropriate, and to copy the DTU.

Know Your Rights:

Leave for Family Reasons

The Collective Agreement includes a leave for family reasons (see Clause 5-9.06). Teachers can take a leave of up to 10 days a year to take care of their child or for the health of their spouse, parent, sibling, or grand-parent. The first 6 days of this leave are deducted from the teacher’s sick bank, if available; the remaining 4 days are unpaid. 

DTU and Senate Elections

The nomination and election periods for the following positions will be announced in the coming weeks:

  • Senate representative – Social Science / ALC (1 position)
  • Executive Council representatives – ALC, Social Science & Business Technologies, Arts Technologies, All Technologies, Retirement Committee Coordinator
  • PDF Committee (1 position)
  • Audit Committee (3 positions)

The Senate and Executive Council are important bodies at the College where teachers’ voices can be heard on various issues related to our teaching and working conditions. If you are looking for a way to get more involved and have an impact, we encourage you to consider running for one of the open positions. 

Please note that in order to be able to vote, you must be a registered member of the DTU. You can register by completing the DTU’s membership form, which you can pick up at the DTU office (room 8A.11).

FNEEQ’s Position on Bill 96

In the context of discussions around bill 96, FNEEQ has taken a position, which can be consulted here. FNEEQ representatives have asked to present its position during the debate. The English College steering committee has prepared a brief on Bill 96. As more information is available about the proposed bill and its implications, we will communicate them to members. 

The OWL HOOTS 552

THE OWL HOOTS No. 552
Issue No. 552
7 May, 2021

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

 


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

  pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca

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

 

Contact
dtu@dtu.qc.ca
514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761
www.dtu.qc.ca
Dawson College, Room 8A.11
3040 Sherbrooke West
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

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 dtu@dtu.qc.ca 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 (pscott@dawsoncollege.qc.ca) and the Director General (dgauvin@dawsoncollege.qc.ca) 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 dtu@dtu.qc.ca

 

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 — dtu@dtu.qc.ca, 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 (ctd@dawsoncollege.qc.ca) 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
President@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

Mélanie Beck, VP External
VPExternal@dtu.qc.ca

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

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 dtu@dtu.qc.ca 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 pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca 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 covidexpensereport@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.

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: helpdesk@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.

 

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 payroll@dawsoncollege.qc.ca.

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.