The Owl Hoots: No 541

Issue 541
September 6th, 2018

514.931.8731 x 1799
fax 514.931.0761

3040 Sherbrooke W.
room 8A.11
Westmount, QC.
H3Z 1A4

DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright
Emilie Richer
Mélanie Beck
Phil Lagogiannis

Louisa Hadley

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone


Welcome back!

The DTU Executive invites you to drop by room 8A.11 for questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience, or anything else related to life at Dawson. You can also call us (x1799), or email us (

Important dates

Sep 21 – PDF requests

For your request to be considered at the next meeting of the Professional Development Fund Committee, submit it by the 21st of September. You can drop your application off in room 8A.11 or email it to Applications must be submitted prior to the date of the proposed activity.

Oct 3 – General Assembly: Unite for Cont’Ed

Given Dawson’s failure to address the precarious working conditions in Cont’Ed, we will be holding a General Assembly to mobilize for change. All teachers are encouraged to attend.  Join us at 3pm in the board room (5B.13).

Important message for non-permanent teachers

We encourage you to consult the DTU before you refuse any workload you have been offered. Refusals can have a substantial impact on your future hiring priority. Teachers who would like to learn more about seniority, priority, and workload distribution are welcome to stop by the DTU office in room 8A.11, or to send us an email at

Long-term disability insurance

You can opt in to our long-term disability insurance policy, without proof of insurability, at the beginning of each of your first three Regular sector contracts with a minimum value of 0.167 ETCs. Your request must be made within the first 30 days of your contract. You can send an email to to begin the process. (We suggest that you copy us on this email at

Note that long-term disability insurance enrollment is automatic once you acquire permanence or at the beginning of your fourth full-time contract, whichever comes first.

Check your pay stub

We strongly encourage you to check your pay stub and to contact us with any questions you might have about it, especially if you think you’ve noticed a discrepancy.

Your Rights, Explained

The Selection Committee

The collective agreement tasks each department with selecting its future members. The department selection committee recommends candidates to the College for hire. Each selection committee must consist of three faculty members from the department and two College representatives.

Recommendations to the College must be based on professional competencies and on pedagogical aptitude. In the event that the committee recommends multiple candidates, it is essential to rank the candidates. This ranking determines their initial hiring priority.

If the committee unanimously recommends a candidate, the College must hire them. A majority recommendation from the committee does not bind the College to hire the candidate. Finally, the College cannot hire a candidate without at least a majority recommendation from the selection committee.

We ask teachers to inform the DTU if any member of a selection committee invokes affirmative action or access to employment in the ranking of candidates. While selection committees are bound by the recommendations of the affirmative action committee, the College has neglected to convene this committee for a very long time.

We also ask teachers to inform the DTU if a selection committee is improperly constituted, or if a College representative attempts to veto a majority decision.

Special Leaves and Family Days

Both Regular and Continuing Education faculty are eligible for special leaves without loss of pay under clause 5-9.01 of the collective agreement. These include short-term leaves for the death of your spouse or a family member; for your wedding or a wedding in your immediate family; for moving; or due to an act of God preventing you from working. 

All teachers also benefit from up to ten days of leave for family reasons per year under clause 5-9.06. These leaves may be used for any obligations arising from the care or education of your child or your spouse’s child, or from the health of a spouse or a close relative.  Up to six of these days may be claimed from your sick bank, if applicable. Half-day leaves are also possible.

Extended leaves for family reasons are available in exceptional circumstances. Feel free to contact the DTU for more information.

If you need to avail yourself of one of these leaves, you must inform your sector dean in writing as soon as possible. You are encouraged to copy the DTU in your correspondence (

Cont’Ed Working Conditions

Dawson’s administrators ignore pleas from Cont’Ed teachers

Last January, eight Continuing Education teachers from the French department wrote to Richard Filion (Director General), Diane Gauvin (Academic Dean), Andréa Cole (Dean of Creative and Applied Arts), Pascahl Scott (Director of Human Resources), and Johanne Rocheleau (Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services) denouncing their unequal working conditions, discounted salaries, and lack of sick days. They implored their administrators to take action.

Below are two excerpts. As of September 6 — nearly eight months after they reached out — they have yet to receive a response.

From Elisa Romano:

“As the semester begins, I would like to remind the administration that Conted teaching conditions are inequitable. I have been working at Dawson since 2008 and as a French teacher since 2012. While I am proud to be part of our inspiring community, I cannot help but be disappointed by the difficult working conditions that my Conted colleagues and I continue to face. We have no sick days; no vacations; no paid support hours to offer our students; our pay is significantly unequal to our workload; and our classes are often confirmed days (or sometimes even hours) before they start.

Conted welcomes more and more students as its ratio in relation to day classes keeps increasing. However, no one is acknowledging our importance in the Dawson and Cegep communities or is ready to give us the conditions we deserve. After six years of teaching at Dawson, both night and day, I am still faced with an uncertain professional future. I have since become a mother and the prospect of having to work nights for many more years to come (at almost half the salary of my daytime colleagues) is a daunting one. Without access to sick days, I cross my fingers that neither my son nor I will fall ill during the semester. Reconciling work and family is a constant struggle for a Conted teacher.

As I come out of my first class, galvanized by my students and their enthusiasm to learn, I cannot but reflect on all the ways that our working conditions negatively affect our students. Every semester I dread the moment when a student will ask me to meet for extra help outside of class, or to go over a test score, or to redo an exam. By all accounts these students deserve the same learning environment as their daytime peers. The same is also true for their teachers.”

From Adeline Caute:

“[This] August will mark the end of my fifth year as a member of faculty, and still I teach full time at Continuing Education. I hold a PhD from UQAM and I have been teaching in post secondary education for the past thirteen years. This year, my projected salary at Dawson is 38 280$. If I was teaching full time in the Day Division, teaching the exact same courses to the same number of students in the same classroom, I would be making 82 909$, with sick days and benefits. The reason why I am writing today is to express my indignation at the ever worsening conditions of my employment.

When I was first hired, I was told that teachers will stay at Cont’Ed for a year or two. At the time, I had other opportunities, with two Montreal universities concurrently hiring me as a lecturer, but my spouse and I decided that I would prioritize Dawson, because, in time, Dawson could offer me what a lecturing position never would : financial stability and permanence. At the time, our 6 month-old son was in the NICU and we were about to receive a diagnosis that would change our lives : he had MEDNIK syndrome, a life-threatening condition, which, if he were to survive, would rob him of the ability to walk, talk, and feed himself. With my being hired at Dawson, my spouse and I breathed a sigh of relief, as we felt like we could put a lot of our financial and material anxiety to rest.

Almost five years later, I am very happy to say that my son is still with us. We live off my salary only because my spouse had to stop working to make the endless medical appointments. Adding to our financial precarity, I teach nights, therefore I don’t get to see my son when he comes home from daycare. In fact, the day when I will be able to be home in the evening feels more remote today than ever. The number of Cont’Ed sections has more than doubled in the past five years, and, while two years ago, I had a day time course in the Winter, right now, the two people above me in my department’s seniority list teach full time at Cont’Ed.”