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CAAT-A Negotiations 2012 Bargaining Update – September 7, 2012

We the North
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For your consideration: A reasonable deal

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The college faculty bargaining team recommends acceptance of the terms of the memorandum settlement reached.  The members will cast their vote Monday, September 10, 2012.

This is essentially the same deal that was accepted by 51% in February, 2010 except that offer had wage increases.

Every new collective agreement since 1973 has had improvements for every faculty member. There have always been salary increases. Even during the Harris years gains were made and there were no concessions.

The influence of external circumstances

Circumstances external to the bargaining table had great impact on the bargaining team"s decision to accept this offer.

The Ontario Liberals have targeted high school and elementary school teachers with Bill 115, also known as the "Putting Students First Act." In order to win the support of the Ontario Conservative members for this Bill, McGuinty removed all gains for secondary and elementary school teachers, leaving only takeaways on salary and sick leave.

The College Employer Council indicated that college faculty could be next. While the bargaining team did not accept that similarly punitive legislation was a certainty, we could not rule out the possibility. We decided it was better to accept the offer on the table rather than put our membership at risk.

Removal of all employer demands makes the deal

Settlement became possible when the colleges withdrew all of their demands from the table.  The most offensive management proposal was the introduction of "facilitators" as a new teaching classification.  It was the scheduling of a strike vote for September 10 that motivated the College Employer Council to withdraw all demands.

Job security for partial-load faculty

Negotiation by the union team lead to the inclusion of some job security for the vulnerable partial-load faculty. The only substantive gain is for partial-load teachers who will have priority in hiring if courses they have taught within the past six months are re-offered. The partial-load employee must have a minimum of 10 months of service in the past 4 years and have previously taught the courses that form the new assignment.

Clarification of the role of coordinators

Another gain in the offer is that coordinators will have their specific duties determined prior to their assignment. This agreement clarifies that they are not to supervise other bargaining unit members.

Preservation of the pay grid and sick leave

Annual increments remain in place for those not at their top step in the pay grid.  Sick leave remains as is.  There are no days of unpaid leave.

Minor amendments

Additional minor amendments to the Collective Agreement include:

  • Article 4.01 A to include two additions to the Ontario Human Rights Code Ñ gender identity and gender expression Ñ and change "handicap" to "disability".
  • Article 26.08 C Sick Leave Plan-Bridging Benefit reworded to clarify.
  • Appendix IV 4 B – Joint Insurance Committee Ð updated to reflect Council"s procurement policy.

Which of your proposals are missing from this deal?

There are many proposals the bargaining team addressed during negotiations. The College Employer Council systematically refused to include any of these items in their offer. These include:

  • Academic freedom
  • Intellectual property rights
  • On-line teaching improvements
  • Full workload recognition for partial-load
  • Salary increases
  • Dental benefit improvements
  • Protection against interference in sick leave by third-party agents
  • Better job security
  • The end of the distinction between non-post-secondary and post-secondary faculty
  • Exclusion of lawyers from local workload complaints
  • Full recognition of educational experience for new hires
  • Preference for hiring full-time and partial-load, rather than part-time

The problems that gave rise to these priorities have not been resolved, and therefore will likely remain issues for the next round of negotiations in 2014. Most are no- or low-cost items. Each of them is an improvement to faculty"s working conditions.

Faculty are the experts in student success.  

We will continue to work toward the inclusion of language to ensure faculty, the content experts, have the appropriate role in academic decisions.  Respect for college faculty is the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant college system.

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

Contact your team:
negotiations2012@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter at @CAATA2012

Join the Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/OntarioCollegeFaculty