The faculty union at Seneca College is Local 560 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). [Application for Membership]
The Role of OPSEU Local 560
Local 560 represents academic staff consisting of all full-time and partial-load professors, all full-time counselors and librarians, and all instructors. Persons holding these positions are eligible to join the union. They are automatically members of the bargaining unit.
OPSEU was selected by academic staff as its union in the 1970s. It represents you in negotiations and in day-to-day contract administration, with respect to working conditions, salary, and benefits. You are automatically entitled to these services under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act. Dues, which are tax deductible, are already deducted by the College from your pay, whether or not you join the union, as all who receive these services share the cost of providing them.
The Benefits of Union Membership
“I consider it important, indeed necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status … and to secure their influence in the political field.” — Albert Einstein, on his decision to join the Princeton faculty union.
You don’t have to be an Einstein to know you should join the faculty union at Seneca College. We encourage you to do so. Here are some of the benefits.
Union members participate in the development of union policy, contract demands for provincial bargaining, etc., and attend and vote at union meetings. Union members may run for union office and participate in the election of stewards and officers who direct the activities of the union local. In the event of a lockout or strike, union members are entitled to strike pay.
Application for Membership
If you have never signed an OPSEU membership card, you are not registered as a member. Likewise, when you are away from the college on unpaid leave, your membership lapses and is not reinstated until you have filled in another membership form. Should you choose to join (or re-join) the union, you will need to complete and sign an Application for Membership card, available online here or from any steward. Please return your completed card by inter-campus mail to Local 560’s Secretary, Barb Paterson, at Newnham Campus.
The Collective Agreement
When you were hired, the Employee Relations Department should have provided you with a copy of the Collective Agreement. This is your contract of employment, and it is important that you have one. If you have not received your copy, please let us know right away.
There is a formula in the Collective Agreement for determining starting salary. In some cases that have come to our attention, a new employee’s starting salary has been lower than it should have been. You should contact the union office and arrange an appointment to review your salary placement to ensure that you have received your full entitlement.
Location of Union Office and Officers
The union office is at 2942 Finch Avenue East, Suite 115A, just east of Victoria Park Avenue.
Please call us at the union office, (416) 495-1599, whenever you have any questions about work-load, salary, benefits or other contract and labour-relations matters.
Also, you can reach your steward directly at your campus.
If you have any questions about your membership application, contact the Local 560 Secretary, Barb Paterson, at the union office (416 495-1599) or at the College (416) 491-5050, Ext. 26478.
You can reach me, the Local president, at (416) 495-1599.
President, OPSEU Local 560
General Membership meetings take place at least twice during each academic year. To attend and vote at these meetings, you must be a member of OPSEU Local 560, the union for full-time and partial-load faculty (professors, counsellors, and librarians) at Seneca College. Membership cards are always available at these meetings for those who have never joined or whose membership has lapsed. Sandwiches and beverages are served, and child-care expense forms are available at these meetings.
- All full-time and partial-load faculty in attendance must be union members.
- Union membership forms will be available at the meeting for non-members who wish to join so they can vote.
- Parking is free.
- TTC buses stop close to the hotel where the meetings are held.
- A light dinner of sandwiches and beverages will be provided.
- Childcare and eldercare expenses can be claimed at the meeting.
Local Executive Committee Meetings
Local Executive Committee Meetings (LEC Meetings) are the forum for Local 560 stewards to discuss union business and members’ concerns. These meetings take place approximately every six weeks. If you have concerns that you want raised for discussion and possible action, please communicate them to the union office (416 495-1599) or speak to one of the stewards.
If you have an item that you want placed on the LEC Meeting agenda, contact the union office (416 495-1599) by noon on the day previous to any meeting.
Minutes of General Membership Meetings are available upon request.