Newsletter

College Employer Council's latest bulletin: more misinformation and double-speak - CAAT-A Negotiations Bulletin, Issue 13

Publication Date

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 10:45am

With their latest bulletin, the College Employer Council is once again misleading college faculty, students, and the Ontario public. They say their final offer will create full-time positions and increase faculty autonomy. In fact, it will do exactly the opposite.

Staffing grievances

False:

  • Council’s latest move would allow staffing grievances by removing the moratorium on Article 2.

True:

  • The moratorium on Article 2 expired, as was intended, with the last contract. The faculty team refused to sign Council’s requested extension of this concession.
  • Council’s offer allows the union to once more grieve for full-time positions under Article 2, but at the same time it drastically weakens Article 2 and makes it all but worthless.
  • Council’s offer makes it impossible to refer to part-time positions and their workloads when arguing for additional full-time faculty jobs.

Conversion of contract faculty

False:

  • Council’s final offer includes "improved conversion of contract faculty to full-time positions."

True:

  • Council’s offer introduces a precarious, contract faculty position that has never existed before. This "temporary full time" position would be a one-year contract, but with absolutely no job security. It could be cancelled at any time with two weeks’ notice.
  • The new position would allow colleges to shift contract faculty back and forth between sessional and temporary full-time status, meaning that a faculty member could do years of full-time academic work without ever getting a full-time job.
  • The employer's offer would expand the number of contract faculty in the college system and enable them to never have to hire a full-time faculty member again.
  • Their offer removes the provision through which sessional positions roll over into full time positions after one year.

Bill 148

False:

  • Council has a plan to respond to Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act when it becomes law.

True:

  • Council’s plan is to avoid their Bill 148 obligations for as long as possible.
  • They refuse to include any proposed measures of Bill 148 at the table, which would immediately provide equity for partial-load members.
  • This could indefinitely delay the equity intentions of Bill 148.

Workloads

False:

  • Council’s final offer creates "more faculty autonomy over personal workloads."

True:

  • Council’s definition of “faculty autonomy” is not collegial governance or academic freedom. It means individual bargaining, which puts full-time faculty at risk.
  • Unlimited overtime allows the colleges to hire fewer full-time faculty.
  • If some full-time faculty do unlimited overtime, there may be pressure on others, such as probationary faculty, to also do this.

Students and bargaining

False:

  • A strike would be a terrible outcome for our students.

True:

  • The CAAT-A bargaining team remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement and hopes that the strike deadline will provide a pressure point for Council to return to the table.
  • Council has refused to engage in any real bargaining to this point and have forced the union to set a strike deadline.
  • Faculty proposals have been crafted with students’ best interests in mind.
  • Academic freedom and collegial governance would protect the quality and integrity of college programs.
  • A stable full-time faculty complement and equity and security for contract faculty would also improve students’ learning conditions.

Voting on Council’s offer

False:

  • The union should “let faculty vote” on Council’s offer.

True:

  • The Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) allows Council to bring a final offer directly to members without permission from the faculty bargaining team.
  • Council blames the faculty bargaining team for not “allowing” a vote on their offer.
  • Your bargaining team has been elected to bring an offer back to members that addresses your key demands and is one the team can recommend.
  • Council can bring any offer they want directly to the members: They do not need the faculty team to do that.

Intellectual property

False:

  • It is a gain for faculty to be able to discuss intellectual property issues and the definition of a Counsellor in subcommittees.

True:

  • Faculty and Council have been discussing intellectual property for the past three years in a subcommittee and no progress has been made.
  • Discussions in subcommittees are completely non-binding.
  • Referring an item to a subcommittee is a delaying tactic.

The bottom line

  • Council is moving away from settlement.
  • Council's final offer is much worse than the previous "extension agreement" they tabled in August and has introduced significant takeaways.
  • Council is seeking to increase inequality and precarious work.
  • Their offer will expand the number of contract faculty, reduce the number of full-time positions, and make contract positions even more precarious.
  • Council wants total control over academic decisions.
  • Council is rejecting faculty proposals that would introduce inclusive, democratic governance into the colleges, and ensure a voice for faculty and students in academic decision-making.
  • Council’s final offer will negatively impact students.
  • More precarious contract faculty means less time for faculty to spend with students.
  • No faculty or student input into academic decisions means lower quality and less student success.

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