The Owl Hoots No. 551

Issue No. 551
12 March, 2021


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

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal

Mélanie Beck, VP External

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone

Like you, the DTU Executive is working remotely! We can answer questions regarding workloads, seniority and priority, schooling and work experience documentation, and anything else related to working at Dawson. In particular, before turning down work, we encourage you to contact us to discuss the implications. You can email us at with any questions. 

Employee Assistance Program

We recently realised that part-time and hourly-paid employees do not have access to the Employee Assistance Program provided by the College. Although this eligibility criterion is not new, it was recently brought to our attention in the context of our Wellness Weeks campaign. We find it shocking that part-time and hourly-paid employees, many of whom have worked at the College for years, do not have access to the external resources provided by this program – especially in the midst of a pandemic!

If you are as outraged about this as we are, we encourage you to email the Director of Human Resources ( and the Director General ( calling on them to expand access to this program.

Nego Update – One step forward, two steps back!

As you may have gathered from our most recent updates, there continues to be no progress in our negotiations, even as we approach one year since the expiration of our Collective Agreement. Negotiations had stalled when it became apparent that the government had failed to give its negotiation teams the mandate, and crucially the funds, needed to settle many of our demands. More recently, the government negotiation team has reneged on an “agreement in principle” that the two sides had reached regarding a demand that does not even require additional funding. The most recent issue of the Info-Négo addressing these “developments” can be found here in English and French. 

In light of these more recent developments, it is even more important that we support our negotiation teams and increase our mobilization and pressure tactics. At our General Assembly on 16 February, our members unanimously passed two motions mandating the DTU to work on increasing pressure tactics and to plan for a strike at an appropriate time, as well as to call on the FNEEQ-CSN to coordinate an informal common front with other unions in the education sector.

Que l’assemblée générale donne le mandat d’intensifier les moyens de pression en milieu de travail en tenant compte de la situation sanitaire et de planifier l’exercice de la grève au moment jugé opportun.

As part of this effort, there have been several recent mobilization activities to increase awareness of our demands and pressure the government to negotiate. Thanks to members for participating in a variety of actions – from building snowfolk, to web commando actions and “yammer-ing” on the College’s Wellness Initiative. In our current remote working conditions, we are increasingly reliant on online platforms, not only as a means of communication but also as a means of mobilization! If you don’t already, follow our Facebook page and join the Cegep FNEEQ en nego Facebook group for updates on mobilization activities both at Dawson and elsewhere in the network. 

All documents relevant to the current negotiations, such as Info-Négo issues and our demands, can be found on the Négo 2020 section of our webpage, and updates are also provided at General Assemblies and in Owl Hoots. However, if you are interested in receiving shorter, more regular updates, please let us not and we will add you to a “Négo” mailing list. 



Freedom of Expression

The DTU has received multiple questions from members about academic freedom of speech in recent years. Furthermore, the recent media attention that this issue has garnered has generated a discussion at the National Assembly. Many courses address important but often charged issues, such as the BLM protests for racial justice and issues of gender identity, and it is important to have clarity about teachers’ and students’ rights as well as best practices to achieve an open and respectful environment in the classroom. 

Remote teaching during the pandemic has made this issue more pressing: teachers are concerned about the possibility of being recorded or having people who are not registered in the class hearing parts of the discussion without context. 

Academic freedom: Rights and responsibilities, in brief

The Collective Agreement provides some protections for teachers against discrimination (Clause 2-3.00) on various grounds, such as age and race. In relation to questions of academic freedom, the Collective Agreement explicitly states that a teacher cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their opinions or political views, nor on the exercise of their academic freedoms. In the context of the current negotiations for the new Collective Agreement, discussions are being held about potentially clarifying these rights. 

Students also have the right to a safe learning environment, and specifically the right “not to be subject to sexist, belittling, or discriminatory remarks or behaviour in the classroom” (ISEP, Appendix 1, #10 and #11). This responsibility is shared by teachers and students; while teachers have the responsibility to approach sensitive topics in an appropriate manner and to set the tone of discussion in class, students also have an obligation to be respectful of their classmates and teacher. 

Finally, given that departments are responsible for determining objectives and pedagogical methods, as well as approving course outlines, we believe that these are also the right place to have discussions about appropriate pedagogical approaches for dealing with potentially fraught issues. If departments feel that these discussions would benefit from external expertise, there are resources available through the College as well as the Professional Development Fund for activities of this nature. 


Equity and Diversity Committee

As you may be aware, several departments have been having discussions on ways to address structural inequalities and to promote diversity at the College at all levels: hiring, retention, the curriculum itself where appropriate, and so on. Moreover, the CSN has also been increasingly paying attention to these issues, which have been highlighted by recent world events, and recent discussions at our Executive Council meeting confirmed that these are concerns shared more broadly among our members.

With this in mind, the DTU is looking for interested members to form a committee to address these issues. This will be a member-led committee, with the Executive providing support and liaison as needed. The committee will develop its own mandate, but we hope it will provide a forum to explore ways in which we can work to improve equity and diversity at Dawson, as well as within the DTU and its Executive itself. 

If you would like to get involved, please write to us at


Your Rights, Explained – Double Employment

The Collective Agreement, which applies to all public Cegeps in Quebec, stipulates (Article 5-1.12) that anyone who has full-time work cannot exercise priority on a teaching workload. This is commonly referred to as “double employment”. What follows is a brief explanation of “double employment”; however, members are encouraged to contact the DTU with any questions about their specific situation. 

Why does double employment matter?

The purpose of the double employment clause in our Collective Agreement is to ensure that public sector funds are utilized to provide access to full-time work for as many people as possible. 

What counts as double employment?

Any teacher who has a full-time contract, either at Dawson or elsewhere, or who has a reasonable expectation of full-time employment during a given semester, is considered to be double-employed when applying for a teaching workload at Dawson. [see ANNEXE II-6 of the Collective Agreement for more details] 

Teachers with either a full-time annual contract or full-time contracts for both fall and winter semester, whether at a Cegep or a University, are usually considered to be full-time for the year, which includes the summer months. Consequently, even if you are not “actively” teaching during the summer, you would still be considered double employed for summer courses if you had a full-time contract in the academic year.     

Note that double employment only applies to someone who has full-time work. A teacher who has a part-time contract, even if it is for the whole semester, or who has several part-time jobs elsewhere, is not considered to be double employed. 

The College expects 32.5 weekly hours of work from full time teachers, so teachers are free to take on additional work outside these hours — of course, other employers may have their own rules about double employment, but those would not be enforced by Dawson.

What does a double employed status mean?

Under the Double Employment Clause, teachers who work full time outside the College do not have any priority at Dawson.

Teachers have an obligation to declare their double employment status when applying for a posting. Since teachers who sign a G.O.S. (General Offer of Service) are considered to be applying to all teaching jobs for which they are eligible for that year, they do not apply directly to a posting. However, they are still required to inform the College of any change to their double employment status. Whether a teacher is applying directly to a posting or has submitted a G.O.S., the relevant time for determining double-employment status is when the workloads are posted.

Any teacher who is in a situation of double employment, or who has a reasonable expectation of being in such a situation, should inform Dawson’s Human Resources immediately. Similarly, any teacher who was in a situation of double-employment but is no longer double-employed should inform HR as soon as possible.

Send us an email —, we will be happy to discuss your situation with you. 

Work From Home – Calculating Days

As you may know, the federal government has broadened the eligibility requirements for claiming the Work From Home tax deduction this year in response to the shift to remote work necessitated by the pandemic. If you intend to use the simplified form for claiming these deductions, you will need to declare the number of days during which you were working from home during 2020. 

For full-time regular, day teachers, the number of days worked from home refers to all working days (i.e. Monday-Friday) during our period of availability. For day teachers who had full-time work in both Winter and Fall 2020, the total number of days worked from home is 159 days.The table below provides more detail for those whose situation was slightly different. Note that you should deduct any sick days from your total.

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

The situation for part-time and continuing education teachers, however, is not as straight-forward as it is unclear how to “convert” the number of hours worked into days, particularly in the summer when courses are considerably condensed. We have contacted both the College and FNEEQ for guidance on this, and as soon as we have information we will communicate it to our members. 

CTD Courses for Faculty

We would like to remind you that all teachers can take courses offered by the College (such as the non-credit courses offered by the Centre for Training and Development) for free. If you wish to register for a CTD course, you should email the office directly ( who will send you the “Employee Registration Form” to complete. This will ensure that you are not charged for the course. If you have recently registered and paid for such a course, you should contact the CTD office for a reimbursement.

Contrary to what is indicated on the registration form, free registration for CTD courses is not contingent upon an 80% attendance rate. If you have been charged for a course you took due to this “policy”, please let us know so that we can follow up with the College.