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.

The Owl Hoots No 549

Issue 549
October 14, 2020

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
Émilie Richer, President
President@dtu.qc.ca

Brian Seivewright, VP Internal
VPInternal@dtu.qc.ca

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

Diana Glennie, Secretary-Treasurer
Secretary_Treasurer@dtu.qc.ca

Louisa Hadley, Grievance Officer
grievanceofficer@dtu.qc.ca

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone
Elisabeth@dtu.qc.ca

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.

Upcoming Deadlines

Personal Leave Requests: October 15th
If you wish to apply for a personal leave for Winter 2020, the deadline is 15th October. The application form is available on the College website

Voluntary Workload Reduction Requests: November 15th
If you wish to apply for a Voluntary Workload Reduction for Winter 2020, the deadline is 15th November. You should email Cristina Stanciu in Human Resources at 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 be made by 15th October. The application form is available on the College website

Professional Development Fund Requests
The Professional Development Fund Committee have resumed its meetings and are currently reviewing applications. For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the PDF Committee, submit it by email to pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.

As a reminder, the Professional Development Fund is for activities related to professional training and development, such as courses and conferences; this fund cannot be used to reimburse expenses for software, office equipment, or office supplies. The DTU believes that the College has a responsibility to ensure that teachers have the necessary equipment to fulfil their duties and will continue to advocate for this. 

Pay Implications of 14-week Semester

As you know, the College took the decision to reduce the semester from 15 weeks to 14 weeks; however, the total number of hours for courses have not been reduced, but rather are to be spread over 14 weeks.

For Continuing Education teachers, the contracts have not been modified, so the total remuneration, experience and seniority will remain as expected. Note that the total remuneration you receive will be the same, but it will be spread over 14 weeks instead of 15. For example, for a 60-hour course, instead of receiving 8 hours of pay per pay statement, you will receive 8.57 hours of pay.

This change also has an impact on substitutions. Every hour of substitution is now computed as a larger proportion of the course (1.0714-hours). This may have a significant impact in terms of pay for those of you that do several hours of substitution. We encourage you to check your pay statement and contact us if you have any questions. 

DTU Elections

On October 1st, the DTU sent a Memo to all members regarding the DTU Elections for 2020-21. As explained there, the unexpected closure of the College due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from holding in-person elections at the usual time. Initially, we had hoped to hold in-person elections this semester, but the current public health situation has made this impossible. The DTU has, therefore, decided to hold the elections electronically, using the online platform Balotilo that has been recommended by the FNEEQ-CSN. 

The nomination and election periods for DTU positions will be announced in the coming weeks. However, in order to be able to vote, you must register by completing the DTU’s Voter Registration Form

Serious Concerns regarding non-opening of Postes in Several Disciplines

As per our Collective Agreement, the College must declare postes (permanent positions) to the Ministry by prescribed dates, the last of which was September 30th. By this date, the College is required to make final predictions regarding  the number of full-time teachers required in each discipline.

This year, when declaring the final number of postes, the College omitted to take into consideration most of the additional resources added to the Winter semester, despite knowing that they would be necessary. The College also failed to present the Union with staffing estimates by September 25th, as is required by the contract. 

We were informed on the afternoon of September 30th that the College would only be declaring 2 additional postes to the ministry, despite a huge number of ETCs being added to staffing estimates. No explanation was provided, nor were we provided with the numbers on which they were basing their assessment. Since then, it has become apparent that the College did not take the time to determine whether or not postes should be opened, in particular in the General Education disciplines where we believe additional postes should have been declared in English, Humanities and Physical Education. 

Transparency in the staffing process has been consistently problematic, although the DTU has made certain strides in recent years. The College often refuses to provide us with the documents required to verify their numbers. In recent years we have developed our own tools to help us make staffing assessments. This has led us to be more confident in our own numbers.

We are currently evaluating what options, legal or otherwise, may be the best for those teachers who may have been affected. Needless to say we are extremely disappointed with the College, whose actions suggest a disregard for those teachers who, after almost a decade, continue to await their permanence.  

Concerns about Student AccessAbility Centre Services and Support

We have received a number of reports from teachers indicating a disturbing trend in terms of the support provided by the Student AccessAbility Centre (SAAC). The role of the SAAC has been a long-standing issue and the DTU has consistently expressed teachers’ concerns to the College. in 2017, the DTU Executive Council passed the motion: “That the DTU Executive Council, in accordance with the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, upholds the right of a teacher to deliberate, with the appropriate College personnel, on the accommodations provided to their own students. Furthermore, the Council mandates the Executive to make representations to the College on this issue.

We understand that everyone is doing their best in these unusual circumstances and that there may be limitations on normal practices as a result of the current conditions of online teaching. However, we believe that the SAAC is failing to adequately support teachers in providing accommodations and, in some cases, are overstepping the boundaries of its tole by attempting to dictate elements of pedagogy and student evaluations to teachers.

Last spring, teachers raised the issue of the need for assistance in providing accommodations to students in the current context of remote learning. In the intervening months, there was a lack of collaboration and openness from Student Services with regards to addressing teachers’ needs, particularly in sectors that rely on formal examinations for assessment. At the beginning of the semester, the SAAC sent a memo (30 August, 2020) indicating that it would not be providing invigilation services for students requiring additional time. In a more recent memo (24 September, 2020), the College announced that the SAAC will be launching a pilot project to provide such invigilation in limited circumstances. It is unclear why it took so long for the SAAC to launch a pilot project and its effectiveness seems limited.

In the memo announcing the launch of a “trial phase” for providing invigilation for online examinations, the SAAC emphasized that this service would only be available to “teachers whose class schedule prevents them from providing extra time for invigilation.” The memo states that teachers who do not have scheduling limitations should invigilate the additional time for students either before or after the class. While this could be considered part of the encadrement that regular, day teachers are expected to provide within their availability, it is important to note that this cannot have the effect of increasing the overall availability provided by a teacher. For teachers with several students registered at the SAAC, the necessity to provide such additional invigilation time would reduce the amount of time available to provide support to the remaining students in the class. It is our position that it would make more sense for the SAAC to provide such supervision, thus freeing teachers to provide more specific, pedagogical support to all their students.

For hourly-paid Continuing Education teachers, encadrement does not form part of their contractual responsibilities. While the memo indicated that the SAAC would provide invigilation for Continuing Education students, we would like to remind Continuing Education teachers that if you are asked to provide additional time for invigilation, this should be remunerated at your usual hourly rate.

The SAAC seems to be relinquishing its responsibility to provide accommodations for students registered with its services, instead deferring such responsibilities to teachers. Clearly, teachers have a role to play in ensuring that students’ rights with regards to accommodations are respected and collaboration between faculty and Student Services is needed. However, teachers also have an important role to play in ensuring the pedagogical suitability and academic integrity of the accommodations. If a teacher feels uncomfortable with specific accommodations or if there is concern over the potential to compromise the assessment of competencies, they should discuss the matter with their sector dean as soon as possible.

Work-Family Balance

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

Given that many teachers are particularly struggling with work-family balance in the current context, we would like to take this opportunity to inform members of certain clauses in the Collective Agreement that provide measures to help teachers manage their work-family balance.

Parental Leaves (See Clause 5-6.00): All faculty having recently welcomed a child into their family are eligible for parental leaves (maternity or paternity leaves, or adoption leaves). Our Collective Agreement stipulates that both experience and seniority are protected for faculty availing themselves of such leaves, regardless of whether they are permanent, non-permanent, Cont. Ed. or AEC faculty. Furthermore, salary protection is available for the majority of faculty availing themselves of a parental leave. We strongly recommend that teachers communicate with the Union to discuss the specifics if you are considering a parental leave in the near future.

Scheduling (See Clause 8-3.03 c): The Collective Agreement states that the College has an obligation to provide accommodations to a teacher’s schedule to facilitate work-family balance, when resources and organisation allows. Several teachers avail themselves of these accommodations by requesting particular “block-offs” in their schedules to facilitate school drop-offs or pick-ups. The College recently seems to have changed how it is processing these requests, with some sector Deans indicating that these accommodations are only available to parents of children with specific medical issues. The Union contests this and has asked that the College put in place clear policies that all teachers are aware of.

Ransomware attack at Cegep St.-Felicien

Cegep St.-Felicien was victim of a cyberattack on September 17, 2020 and ransomware was employed to shut down its entire network. Because of this, all teaching activities were halted for a period of one week. Teaching activities have now resumed, but you can imagine that in this period when online teaching is prioritized, having no access to the College portal makes things rather impossible. Teachers were also left without access to their online materials. Moreover, computers that are connected to the College serves cannot be used until it has been verified that they are not infected. We wish to remind you that it’s always a good idea to backup your digital files on your own computer and to ensure that your passwords are strong

The Nego Owl: No 548

Issue 548
February 11, 2020

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

We invite you to drop by our office in 8A.11. We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work we encourage you to come and discuss the implications with us. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at dtu@dtu.qc.ca with any questions.

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

Négo Consultation
Precarity and Continuing Education

Where are we in the négo process?

Recall that we decided, in early Fall, to provide the government with general themes for our demands at the sectoral table and that the specifics of our demands would follow in ‘waves’. Following the government’s refusal to participate in an innovative simultaneous deposition of both parties’ demands, the themes were submitted to the government on October 31st. Our negotiating team then met with the government on December 16th to discuss the government’s counter proposal. We translated and annotated the government’s demands, see here.

Within FNEEQ, we are currently in the process of developing and consulting on the demands to be presented to the government. The first wave of demands, which were addressed at a GA last semester, dealt with two themes: professional autonomy; and employment, work organization, and labour relations. The current, second wave, concerns remuneration, precarity, and cont-ed issues.

Local unions are currently consulting their membership on this second wave of demands. Because of time constraints and an imposed deadline of Jan 31st for feedback, we opted to consult our membership on the topic of remuneration via a survey. The results of the survey were presented to the Executive Council, who passed a motion recommending the adoption of all demands related to remuneration that were submitted by FNEEQ. The results will be discussed at the upcoming General Assembly on Feb. 20th. We will also be consulting you on the other two topics of the second wave, namely precarity and cont-ed, at this GA.

Central and Sectoral Tables

Negotiations for our working conditions are divided into two tables: the central table and the sectoral table. The central table regroups several union federations under the CSN banner; these include, public school teachers’ unions, nurses’ unions, as well as our federation, the FNEEQ. Issues relating to salary increases, retirement, and parental leaves are discussed at this table. The sectoral table addresses specific issues covered by our collective agreement, such as pay structure (e.g.: number of pay echelons), as well as provisions for regular sector and cont-ed sector teachers.

Survey Results: Remuneration

The following graph highlights how our members prioritized the demands relating to remuneration: each part of the chart below represents the percentage of members who chose each demand as their top priority.  

Pay Equity for Cont Ed: Clarifications

A majority of the FNEEQ unions agree that the disparity in the working conditions between cont-ed and regular day must be addressed in this round of negotiations. One of our priorities is to address the lack of pay equity between day sector and cont-ed teachers by having cont-ed work remunerated according to CI. The estimated cost of this demand for the entire network is $33 million/year – a reasonable amount when compared to our other demands.

Second Wave of Demands: General Assembly (20th Feb)

Precarity

  1. Improve provisions for the hiring and contracting of non-tenured teachers.
  2. Reduce the number of years of seniority giving a non-tenured teacher from the college priority on poste or a charge such that it is equal to that of a MED from another college.
  3. Facilitate access to Employment Insurance for non-tenured teachers.
  4. Lower the minimum CI required for full-time work and add the necessary resources.
  5. Introduce provisions for income security for non-tenured teachers.
  6. Improve the conditions for acquiring tenure for teachers who have benefited from parental leaves or who have been absent due to a disability.
  7. Specify that all courses serve to create postes.
  8. Allow non-tenured teachers with a full-time semester workload to have access to voluntary workload reductions and those with a full-time annual workload to have access to deferred salary sabbatical leaves.

Continuing Education

  1. Remunerate continuing education equitably by calculating individual work loads (CI) and providing teachers with associated benefits. (Estimated cost: $33 million/year)
  2. That a single hiring committee make hiring recommendations for both Regular and Continuing Education. When the discipline is not offered in the Regular sector, stipulate that the selection committee consists nonetheless of a majority of teachers.

Dawson Mobilization Activities Under Way!

Dawson has launched its mobilization activities related to négo. There are currently two campaigns on Continuing Education, which is one of the themes in the upcoming round of consultations.

Dawson’s own Cont Ed Mobilization Committee have developed a “Night and Day” campaign to highlight the inequities between Cont Ed and Day teachers. The campaign was launched with a postering initiative last week, which was met by the College taking down posters. As we stated in our memo, the Union does not need the College’s approval to put up such posters. We encourage you to show your support for our Cont Ed teachers by displaying the poster on your bulletin board and/or office door. We have colour copies available in our office (8A.11). Join us in showing the College that we won’t be silenced in our fight for equity for our Continuing Education colleagues!

The FNEEQ have also launched a campaign around Continuing Education – they have released a short video, which we have posted on our Facebook page, as well as a series of posters. If you would like a copy of the posters (available in English and French) come by the office!

Highlights (or, low-lights) from the government proposal

A few notable points from the government’s offer — for the full, detailed annotation of the government’s offer, see here.

  1. The government wishes to increase the max CI from 85, which would  reverse the gains of the last round of negotiations, in 2015-16 (section 4.1, p. 12).
  2. Another gain from the last negotiations was the creation of cont-ed charges, which at Dawson (at the DTU’s insistence) have been solely allocated for the creation of charges in Cont-Ed. The government proposal would redirect these funds to serve purposes other than the equitable remuneration of Cont-Ed work (section 1.1, p. 5). 
  3. Currently, a grade review committee must include, among other members, the teacher whose grade is under review. The government proposes that this should no longer be the case (section 6.5, p. 17). The government claims this fits better within the principle of natural justice, but how can that be when the teacher in question is excluded from the process? 
  4. The government proposal’s emphasis on program committees is neither trivial nor innocent: it would shift professional and disciplinary authority away from departments (i.e., teachers) and transfer it towards a body in which teachers may not have a majority (section 2, p. 7). On a related note, the government is asking that teachers no longer have decisional roles on professional development committees but instead have a “strictly consulting role” (section 3.5, p. 11).
  5. Finally, a concern with misleading language in the document, especially the terms “flexibility” and “innovation” (see annotation to section 1, p. 4): what this amounts to, in practical terms, is primarily that colleges would have greater control over hiring and firing of teaching faculty (see, for example, section 3.2, p. 10) as well as more freedom in the allocation of resources.
We have evaluated the CPNC’s demands. If you’d like to provide your own assessment, we have extra ungraded copies in the office.

Continuing Education Mobilization Committee

On Monday, February 3rd, the Continuing Education Mobilization (Mob) Committee held their first meeting of the winter semester. On Wednesday, we launched a poster campaign to raise awareness about the disparity between the day and cont-ed sectors. Although these beautiful posters (featured above) received a lot of attention, they were swiftly removed by the College. Want to show your support for Cont Ed teachers? Come get a poster from the DTU office (8A.11).  Look out for more mobilization actions in the coming weeks. If you are a Continuing Education teacher and you’d like to get involved, you can send an email to Isabelle Johnston at dtuconted@gmail.com or just come to our next meeting in the Rose Lounge on March 3 at 4pm. We hope to see you there!

Why the CSN rejects the government’s proposed “Consultation Forums”

One of the government’s proposals for these negotiations is to create three “discussion forums” addressing issues of (1) employee health and wellness, (2) academic success (a forum from which cegep teachers were excluded), and (3) accessibility of long-term care at home.

Crucially, while these forums are in session, collective agreement negotiations would be suspended. This effectively creates a parallel, less transparent process during our negotiation period. 

The CSN, with the majority of the other centrals, has opted to boycott these forums, not only because they effectively circumvent, disempower and delay our legislated negotiation process, but also because we already have proposed solutions to the problems that the forums are supposed to tackle: they are in our bargaining demands, which the CSN gave to the government on Oct. 30th.

The CSN maintains that the only appropriate place to negotiate solutions to the structural problems in our public services is at the negotiation table. 

A concern about the push to create new CECs

There is a topic in the government’s offer that raises significant concerns and which we would like to bring to the attention of DTU members: the establishment of Centres d’études collégiales (CECs), which are in effect extensions of existing cegeps to a new campus, sometimes very far from the main campus. 

The official purpose for creating CECs is to make post-secondary education more accessible in remote and rural areas, which is supposedly the reason why new CECs are allowed greater flexibility in hiring. However, in practice many CECs compete with existing CEGEPs in those same areas, which are struggling with decreasing student numbers and small cohorts. Furthermore, disciplines have seen their priority lists divided, a separate one for each campus. Moreover, the creation of CECs has the potential to create difficulty for teachers who may be asked to teach at both campuses. This topic will certainly be a point of contention between the unions and the government which is asking for more “flexibility”.

The Owl Hoots: No 547

Dawson Contingent heading to the Climate Strike!

Issue No 547
October 22nd, 2019

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

We invite you to drop by our office in 8A.11. We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work we encourage you to come and discuss the implications with us. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at dtu@dtu.qc.ca with any questions.

DTU Executive
Émilie Richer
(president)
Brian Seivewright
(vp-internal)
Mélanie Beck
(vp-external)
Diana Glennie
(secretary-treasurer)
Louisa Hadley
(grievance-officer)

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

Upcoming Dates

25 Oct: Pub Night
6 Nov: PDF Application Deadline
7 Nov: Retirement Information Session
15 Nov VWR Application Deadline (Winter 2020)

26 Nov: General Assembly at 4pm in 5B.13

Earth Action Day

It was great to see so many members of the Dawson Community united for a common purpose on September 27th. The DTU Executive would like to extend a special thanks to those teachers who animated workshops on climate-related topics: Anna-Liisa Aunio (Sociology), Gina Granter (English), Fiona Hanley (Nursing), Yann Lamontagne (Mathematics), Émilie Richer (Mathematics), Brian Seivewright (Chemistry), and Wendy Thatcher (English).

Come and join your fellow teachers at Pub Night! In the spirit of the recent Earth Action day, we encourage you to bring your own glass or mug.

Check your Seniority!

We recently sent a Memo (email dated Oct 15th) explaining how to check that your seniority has been correctly calculated in the ‘Seniority List, 2018-2019’ that the College published on 15th October.

It has been brought to our attention that some Continuing Education teachers who missed classes due to sick days have not received seniority for those classes. If you are a Continuing Education teacher and you took a sick day in 2018-2019, you should verify that you have been credited with these hours in your seniority. You should also note that short-term substitution (occurring in the first 10 days of a teacher’s absence) does not count towards seniority.

If you are having difficulties calculating your seniority or you think there has been an error, please contact the DTU as soon as possible. Teachers have 20 working days to request a modification to the Seniority List before it becomes official.

PDF Application

For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 6th November at room 8A.11 or by email (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 applications the following week.

Voluntary Workload Reduction – Winter 2020

The deadline to apply for a Voluntary Workload Reduction for Winter 2020 is November 15th. As you may know, a new process for VWR was implemented this year. If you have participated in the program before, the new process may mean that you are paid differently than you had been in the past for a similar workload – this is why we strongly recommend that you come and see the DTU if you have any questions about the process.

Nego 2020 Update – General Assembly 26 November

The Bargaining Projects for both the Central and Sector tables have been adopted and will be deposited to the government on 31st October.

The “List of Issues” that was developed to guide the sectoral negotiations was also adopted at the Regroupement Cégep. Now begins the important process of prioritising the demands. The local unions are being asked to determine the priorities for each theme, with consultations being done on two or three themes at a time

We will be holding several General Assemblies in the upcoming months, the first of which will be on November 26th at 4pm in the Boardroom (5B.13). Attendance at General Assemblies is particularly important during negotiations as members play a crucial role in determining the DTU’s negotiation priorities, which are then communicated to FNEEQ. Come on out and have your voice heard!

Cont Ed Mob Committee

The Continuing Education Mobilization Committee meets monthly to provide an opportunity for Cont Ed teachers to discuss issues and share possible solutions. As we move forward in the negotiations, these meetings provide an important space for you to share your thoughts on Cont Ed issues. The next Mob Committee meeting will be held on Monday 4th Nov at 4pm in 3F.43. An email invite will go out to all Continuing Education teachers nearer the time – it would be great to see you there

If you are interested in getting involved in Cont Ed issues beyond Dawson, GRASPP is a reseau-wide network of precarious teachers, with an active Facebook page. A recent meeting was held at Ahuntsic College to discuss the FNEEQ’s list of problematics related to precarity and continuing education.

Cont. Ed. Sick Days

Following the changes to the Loi sur les normes du travail (LNT) earlier this year, Cont. Ed. teachers are now eligible to two (2) paid days of absence for medical or family reasons, per academic year. These days are paid at 1/20th of the continuing education income earned in the previous four weeks

Obviously this remuneration scheme is not ideal and forces Continuing Education teachers to choose either to take a sick day and receive a significantly reduced pay or to teach while unwell. Moreover, the amount of pay a teacher receives is variable depending on what point in the semester they are off sick. The DTU has asked the College to consider implementing a more equitable remuneration scheme, but as yet the College is not prepared to go beyond the amounts stipulated in the LNT.

If the College does not get a replacement for your missed class, they may ask you to reschedule the class at the end of semester. You have no obligation to do this as it is additional work above and beyond your contract. However, if you choose to reschedule the class, you will be paid for the additional hours (at your regular hourly Cont Ed rate) but will not receive any additional seniority.

November is Insurance Month

During the month of November, you have the opportunity to make changes to your insurance coverage. Changes will take effect on January 1st, 2020. Note that there have been some recent modifications to the insurance policy which will affect both your coverage and your premiums. You can check out more details here. If you wish to alter your plan, you should contact Allison Freund in Human Resources.

The Owl Hoots: No 546

Issue 546
September 9th, 2019

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

Welcome back! We hope that the new semester is off to a great start. As always, we invite you to drop by our office in 8A.11. We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work we encourage you to come and discuss the implications with us. You can also call us at local 1799, or email us at dtu@dtu.qc.ca with any questions.

DTU Executive
Émilie Richer
(president)
Brian Seivewright
(vp-internal)
Mélanie Beck
(vp-external)
Diana Glennie
(secretary-treasurer)
Louisa Hadley
(grievance-officer)

Upcoming Dates

18 Sept: General Assembly
19 Sept: Cont Ed Cafe
26 Sept: Pub Night
27 Sept: Earth Strike Day

2 Oct: PDF Application
15 Oct: Deadline to apply for Personal Leave for Winter 2020

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

General Assembly @ Noon on 18 September

Our first General Assembly of the year will be held on 18th September at noon in 5B.13; lunch will be served at 11:30am. This is an important opportunity for you to provide your feedback on the priorities for the upcoming negotiations as well as on the “Bargaining Projects” documents prepared by the FNEEQ and CSN negotiating teams. The documents are available in English and French on the Négo 2020 section of our website.

Earth Action Day

As indicated in the Academic Calendar, the College has cancelled classes on 27th September to allow students and staff to participate in the “Strike for the Planet” event. In collaboration with the other unions and the College, we are hoping to organize workshops in the morning addressing issues related to climate change. Proposed topics include health, transport, diet, gardening, sign-making and waste, but we would love to hear your ideas! If you have a suggestion for a topic or are interested in animating a workshop, please fill in this form.

After the morning’s activities, we will depart from Dawson to join the march at Mont-Royal.

“You should know” – Cont. Ed.

  • Cont’ Ed teachers continue to accumulate seniority while on parental leave, and may be entitled to a partial paid leave.
  • Cont’ Ed teachers are only remunerated for course prep, grading, and contact time. They are not obligated to hold office hours or respond to emails/MIOs.
  • Cont’ Ed teachers are entitled to two (2) sick days per academic year (due to provincial legislation). These days are remunerated at the minimum standard of one-twentieth of the total Cont’Ed pay earned over the previous four weeks.
  • Cont’ Ed teachers at Dawson are eligible to be reimbursed for professional development activities.
  • Cont’ Ed teachers are eligible for Employment Insurance (“unemployment pay”) for the weeks between semesters/contracts.

Cont Ed “Cafe”

The DTU office will remain open late a couple of times this semester to meet and answer questions from Cont. Ed. faculty. Our first Cont Ed evening hours will be held on 19 September until 6pm. Members of the executive will be available to answer questions concerning your rights, sick leaves, contracts, priority, or any other topic you may have wondered about. More importantly, we’ll have a hot pot of coffee ready and some ice cream bars – a little sustenance for your evening class! Come and pay us a visit in room 8A.11.

Pub Night, 26 September

BEER & Wine in Oliver’s
Come and join your fellow teachers at the DTU Pub Night! Since earth day is the following day, this will be a cup-free pub night. We ask that you bring your own glass or mug.

PDF Application

For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by 2nd October. You can drop your application off at 8A.11 or email it pdfsecretary@dawsoncollege.qc.ca. We ask that applications be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.