There are two main elements to job security: permanence and hiring priority. Hiring priority involves more than just seniority!
When staffing is allocated to the college, a certain number of full-time postes are created. These are allocated to teachers in a certain order (hiring priority). A teacher who attains a certain stability in a poste becomes a permanent teacher (see ‘Becoming a permanent teacher’). If there is a reduction in staffing, permanent teachers have a guarantee of 80% of their salary and are not laid off. In this situation, they are said to be “on availability” (mise en disponibilité, or MED) and have higher priority for jobs. In most cases they end up teaching and the cost of this job security to the government is limited.
Permanence differs from university tenure. Tenure at a university is an indeterminate appointment to a position. However, if that position disappears as a result of a reduction in staffing, the tenured teacher, unlike the permanent teacher, loses their position. Tenure is granted to some and not to others on the proclaimed basis of merit establishing a departmental hierarchy. Permanence is open to all as staffing expands or permanent teachers retire or leave, and is granted according to priority. Therefore, there is no consideration of merit except that permanent teachers are usually more experienced.
A teacher’s seniority is equal to the number of full-time years they’ve worked at the college. Seniority for non-permanent teachers is not transferable from one college to another. Note that seniority is calculated differently for Regular sector teachers and for hourly-paid teachers. Hourly-paid teachers obtain 1/450th of a year of seniority for every hour taught. No teacher can earn more than one year of seniority during one academic year.
On October 15th, the college publishes a seniority list based on the seniority earned during the previous contract year (including summer school). This list is used throughout the year until the following October 15th.
For newly-hired teachers not yet appearing on the college’s seniority list, the date of their hiring (the earliest date between the first day of the teacher’s contract and the first day a teacher works for the college) will determine their seniority until the college publishes a new seniority list the following year. If two teachers have the same date of hiring, seniority will be determined by the date of the hiring committee recommendation. If that date is the same, the hiring order established by the selection committee will determine seniority.
Short-term replacements (first two weeks of a replacement contract of less than a full term) do not generate seniority. However, short-term replacement can contribute to establishing a teacher’s status as full-time
(see ‘The 50 CI clause’).