Issue No. 552
7 May, 2021

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

The DTU Executive
Brian Seivewright, President

Louisa Hadley, VP Internal

Mélanie Beck, VP External

Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer

Oran Magal, Grievance Officer

Administrative Assistant
Elisabeth Leone


Planned Strike Dates:
11th – 13th May

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

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

Message For Students

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

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

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

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

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

Withholding Final Grades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

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

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

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

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

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

Availability and Vacation Period

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

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

Seniority, Priority, and ETC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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