College ‘facilitator’ proposal bad news for nursing program
On July 11, the Colleges tabled the details of their proposal to create a new job classification for faculty: “Nursing Clinical Facilitator.” Currently, we have librarian, counsellor, instructor and professor classifications. We also have partial-load instructors and professors.
If accepted, the Nursing Clinical Facilitator would be responsible for teaching the clinical portion of the curriculum to all nursing students. The teaching would take place in hospitals and community settings.
The proposal is for these teachers to be assigned up to 24 teaching hours per week for up to 30 weeks. The workload formula would not apply. The facilitator would be allocated a paid half-hour to prepare for each teaching hour. That would include review of the student’s record, the patient records, working with staff on site, and with other faculty.
The Colleges are proposing that no current nursing faculty would be laid off or reclassified as a direct result of the introduction of facilitators. There is no explanation of what would happen to nursing faculty, both full-time and partial-load who are currently teaching clinical, or what the indirect consequences would be. Current partial-load nursing clinical teachers have no job security and can be released on 30-days notice.
Facilitators will receive no benefits and no vacation, but will be paid an additional 13 per cent of their hourly rate to compensate. If the facilitator opts to have a pension, this will fall to nine per cent. A facilitator could be released on 30-days notice . Full-time employees who are laid off could end up with only the option to bump into a facilitator position losing their job security, benefits, workload protection and all the customary rights of full-time professors and instructors.
The pay scale would range from $29.36 per hour to a maximum $42.44 per hour based on experience.
The Colleges advised the union that they based their proposal on the current partial-load terms but the salary rates on the ONA rates for part-timers. The hourly rates for a partial-load professor teaching nursing clinical under the current Collective Agreement range from $78.75 up to $136.62.
The faculty negotiating team does not believe the introduction of a part-time, lower-paid classification with no job security, no benefits, and no vacation entitlement would be conducive to providing our nursing students with the best education they deserve. Creating another category of teachers who would paid less and assigned more – a max of 24 hours teaching, as contrasted with 18 – a classification who would be treated as second class citizens in the academic environment of the colleges would be a huge step backwards for the bargaining unit.
As bad as this proposal would be for college nursing programs, it has far more widespread and serious implications as well. This initial proposal for a new Nursing Clinical Facilitator classification opens the door wide for future “facilitators” in other field placement teaching situations, in labs, studios, workshops, indeed in every teaching environment where the students are engaged in the “hands-on” application of what they have learned.
Already, partial-load teachers are excluded from the workload formula. The nursing facilitator proposal would exclude another whole group of teachers. The union’s bargaining proposal is that partial-load teacher workloads should have the protection of the workload formula. That will enhance the quality of our programs. Clinical Nursing Facilitators will not.
The Colleges offered no sound pedagogical reasons for their proposal.
Your bargaining team
- Carolyn Gaunt, Cambrian College (Co-Chair)
- Ted Montgomery, Seneca College (Co-Chair)
- Rod Bain, Algonquin College
- Gary Bonczak, Fleming College
- Benoît Dupuis, La Cité collégiale
- Lynn Dee Eason, Sault College
- JP Hornick, George Brown College
College faculty experts in student success since 1967