Owl 561

December 12, 2022                                                 Issue 561

Owl Hoots

Inside this issue

Holiday Party

Reminder: Period of Availability

Sick Days for Cont. Ed and End of COVID Accommodations

Final Grade Deadline

CEEC Snubs Teachers

DTU holiday hours

The DTU Executive
Louisa Hadley, President
Brian Seivewright, VP Internal
Mélanie Beck, VP External
Antonia Fikkert, Secretary-Treasurer
Emilie Richer, Grievance Officer

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

Holiday Party

After almost three years, the DTU party returned on Friday, December 9. It was great to see so many people out enjoying themselves with their colleagues. And it was particularly nice to be able to celebrate not only our retiring teachers, but also three years of new perms!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who helped with set up, decorations, lights, bartending, and clean up – your contributions helped make the party a success!

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 Sundays this year, the statutory holidays have been moved to Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2.

Teachers are available to the College during this period and are expected to be able to come to Dawson with reasonable notice if needed.

With the exception of submitting final grades, Continuing Education teachers do not owe any availability to the College after the last day of their contract.

Sick Days for Cont. Ed.
and End of COVID Accommodations

Following the Government’s announcement at the beginning of November that the mandatory COVID isolation was being lifted, the DTU brought the issue of sick days for Continuing Education faculty to CRT. We deplored the unacceptably low number of sick days (two annually) available for Continuing Education faculty and denounced that these are usually only partially remunerated. Continuing Education teachers are having to choose between financial hardship or putting members of the community at risk when they fall ill. Considering the significant infection rates and the risk that this may pose to the broader community, we asked the College to consider increasing the number of paid sick days for Continuing Education teachers. The College responded that although it is true that the College can exceed what is minimally required by the Loi sur les Normes de Travail, it chooses not to.

Final Grade Deadline

The deadline for all teachers to submit final grades is Friday, December 30. This deadline is the same whether you teach day courses or Continuing Education courses, and whether or not your course includes a final exam in the final examination period.

We have recently been in discussions with the College regarding the impact of intensive courses on the grade deadline. The Collective Agreement stipulates that there are only two regular semesters – Fall and Winter – and that the final grade deadline is 5 working days after the end of the semester (Clause 8-4.02). At Dawson, there are Fall semester intensive courses that are held in early January. The DTU’s position is that this extends the Fall semester and thus the final grade deadline should be 5 working days after the last intensive class ends. The College disagrees with this interpretation and has maintained that the grade deadline published in the Academic Calendar stands. We will be pursuing discussions with the College to ensure that our Collective Agreement is being respected.

CEEC Snubs Teachers

You may recall that at the end of November representatives from the Commission d’évaluation de l’enseignement collégial visited Dawson. Diane Gauvin sent an invitation to all members of the community to attend an open session to share their concerns with the Commission.

The CEEC is an advisory committee that provides recommendations to Cegeps and the Ministry of Education. The last time that Dawson went through the evaluation process with CEEC, it led to the imposition of the Summative Assessment in all courses. Since its implementation, we have regularly heard from teachers about the detrimental impacts of the Summative Assessment. Given this, the DTU encouraged its members to attend the open session with the CEEC and voice their concerns about the pedagogical implications of its decisions.

On November 23, a group of approximately 10 teachers, including several members of the DTU Executive, turned up at the Boardroom at the appointed time to meet with the CEEC. Things got off to a bad start as the CEEC members were packing up to leave and seemed surprised that teachers had come to meet them. They agreed to stay but only for 30 minutes, even though the meeting had been scheduled for an hour. However, the atmosphere was tense during the whole meeting and the chair of the CEEC seemed particularly hostile.

During the meeting, teachers asked for clarification on the mandate of the CEEC and raised concerns about the process, as well as the pedagogical implications of its recommendations. In particular, it was noted that the Dawson administration frequently presents recommendations from the CEEC as obligations that they have no choice but to implement. Several teachers also commented on the detrimental impact that the Summative Assessment has on student success and denounced that recommendations implemented on the advice of the CEEC are not determined and never approved by teachers.

The chair of the CEEC expressed surprise that teachers were not involved in the discussions, claiming that they had been presented as recommendations that had passed through Senate. One of the teachers present is currently serving as a Senator and was able to clarify that this was not the case. The CEEC repeatedly stated that their mandate is only to provide recommendations, and that any specific mechanisms implemented as a result of these recommendations are determined by the College.

While it was an extremely frustrating meeting, it was good to hear directly from the CEEC that their mandate is solely to recommend and that they expect that proposals that come from the College have gone through appropriate channels of faculty consultation and feedback. Next time our administration claims that its hands are tied and that they are simply implementing recommendations from the CEEC, we will know that this is not the case! Teachers, especially those involved in committees and Senate, should be pushing back on such claims and insisting on more active involvement from and consultation of all faculty in these processes – and not just a small group of faculty selected by the administration.

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