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Colleges at 50

| May 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Ontario’s public college system turns 50 this year. As Ontario celebrates that milestone, OPSEU’s College Faculty bargaining team looks at the priorities of college presidents, and proposes a different path, one that invests in students and faculty first.
www.collegefaculty.org


Twitter Day of Action March 3 for Contract Faculty

| February 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Tweet, Post, Comment, ReTweet #Fairness4CF

On March 3, faculty, students, staff, and concerned citizens from across Ontario will engage in a day of action on Twitter to raise awareness about the need for fairness for contract faculty.

Throughout the day, university and college community members will be invited to send their Boards of Governors or College Employer Council a message about their priorities for the institution, including improving contract faculty working conditions and the quality of education offered to students.

Ontario college faculty and supporters should send your messages to the College Employer Council and its chair, Linda Franklin and Minister of Advanced Education for the Ontario government, Deb Matthews:

@LindaFranklinCO
@CollegesOntario
@ONAdvancedEd
@Deb_Matthews

For Seneca, tweet @SenecaPresident

The hashtag to use is: #Fairness4CF

Sample messages:

#Fairness4CF Fairness for contract faculty means equal access to benefits.
It’s time for respect! @CollegesOntario

#Fairness4CF Faculty working conditions are students learning conditions.
@LindaFranklinCO

#Fairness4CF Contract faculty deserve equal pay for work of equal value, job security, and access to benefits.@Deb_Matthews

You can also post these messages on your Facebook and/or post to Contract Faculty Forward Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/contractfacultyforward/

Our contract faculty colleagues need your support. Tell the Council and the Ministry that part time faculty deserve fair treatment.

Seneca Executive Compensation Feedback

| January 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

As you may know, the Province has introduced a new framework for determining executive pay at Ontario’s Colleges. In response, the Seneca College Board of Governors has developed compensation guidelines for Seneca Senior adminstrators, located at: http://www.senecacollege.ca/about/consultation-program/index.html.

This proposal would give the Seneca College President a maximum salary of $494,000, and Vice-Presidents a maximum salary of $328,000. Those figures would represent a salary increase of over 19% for the President’s current salary, and an increase of over 25% from the Vice-President Academic’s 2015 salary.

By way of comparison, faculty salaries have increased on average less than 0.75% since 2011.

The Board of Governors has asked you to provide feedback (at the above webpage) on their proposed Executive Compensation guidelines, by 4:00 P.M., on Sunday, January 29. Your elected Local 560 officers urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to communicate your opinion about the most appropriate way to measure and compensate the performance of Senior administrators at Seneca College.

To summarize the Board of Governors’ guidelines (further summaries can be found in the newspaper articles linked below), they propose to base the salaries of Seneca’s President and Vice-Presidents on the median salaries of proposed comparator groups throughout the broader public sector. However, in the proposed Executive Compensation guidelines, the vast majority of comparators appear to earn significantly more than the Seneca senior managers currently earn. For example, the President of Humber College (who earned $36,000 more than Seneca’s President in 2015) is listed as a comparator, while the President of George Brown College (who earned $38,000 less than Seneca’s President) is not.

Other comparators include the senior administrators for such institutions as major hospitals (e.g., the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, with a 2016 President’s Salary of $738,565), the LCBO (2016 President’s salary: $459,178) , and MaRS (2015 CEO Salary: $507,269). A complete list of the proposed comparators can be found on the Executive Compensation Program document, linked to the page above.

According to the proposed guidelines, 20% of the President’s salary, and 15% of the Vice-Presidents’ salary would be “at risk based on annual performance”. The guidelines, however, fail to identify any standards by which these executives’ performance might be measured. We encourage you to communicate to the Board of Governors what you consider to be appropriate metrics to measure the performance of Senior Executives. By way of example, Darryl Bedford of OPSEU Local 110 at Fanshawe College has proposed the following list:

  • Percentage of funding that is spent on student learning
  • Improvement in the student to teacher ratio
  • Improvement in the Non-FT to Full-Time faculty ratio
  • Verified implementation of collegial governance processes and comprehensive academic freedom

Should you want to offer your feedback on Seneca’s Executive Compensation Program, in addition to the articles linked below, you might wish to consider any of the following points:

  • Since 2014, hundreds of contracts for teaching faculty that would previously have been Partial-Load were made Part-Time, depriving those faculty members of work hours and extended health benefits. At the time, Seneca’s President wrote a letter to faculty justifying that decision, citing among other reasons “eroding government support”, “the issue of resources”, and “fiscal restraint at Queen’s Park”.
  • According to Provincial KPI measurements, since 2012, Seneca’s student satisfaction rate has dropped by 3.9%, our graduates are now the least satisfied of any GTA College’s, and the satisfaction rate of their employers has similarly dropped by 2.6%.
  • Following recent cuts to classroom hours, research conducted by Local 560 concluded that Seneca College programs consistently offer fewer classroom hours than the minimums published in the Ministry’s Ontario Qualifications Framework.

The Board of Governors notes that “it is important that an executive compensation program is appropriate, accountable and effective”. We agree, and encourage you to share your thoughts at the above webpage, on the issue of how to determine appropriate compensation, and how to ensure the accountability and measure the performance of Seneca’s Senior Executives.

We further further invite you to e-mail a copy of your comments from a non-Seneca e-mail address to union@opseu560.org. We welcome the opportunity to publish some of your comments anonymously, to foster a genuine conversation among the 1,100 members of Local 560, about the value that Seneca College places upon its different employees.

Yours in Solidarity,

Jonathan Singer
President, Local 560

Article Links:

Simona Chiose, “Ontario Colleges Could Increase Executive Pay by More than 50%” (Globe and Mail, Jan 17)

Kristin Rushowy, “College Presidents Could Get Massive Pay Hikes to Match Other Public Sectors” (Toronto Star, Jan. 18)

Mark Regg Cohn, “College Presidents Make a Play to Overpay Themselves” (Toronto Star, Jan. 20)

Attend a Drop-In SWF Clinic at Your Campus

| November 4, 2016 | 0 Comments

Ensuring that your SWF is correct and complete is the best way for Full-Time professors to ensure that they have enough time to provide quality education to their students.

Your Union members of Seneca’s Workload Monitoring Group will be reviewing SWFs and answering workload questions at the following locations:

S@Y – Friday Nov 18 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   Room S1209
King – Monday Nov 21 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Law Lodge
Markham – Tuesday Nov 22 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Room M1000
Newnham – Wednesday Nov 23 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  in Room B4060

You are invited to drop in with your SWF, or even just with any questions that you may have about how your workload should be calculated correctly on a SWF.

Partial-Load faculty are also encouraged to drop by, to understand why a SWF could be a valuable thing for them to seek in the next round of bargaining.

Even if you’ve already signed your SWF and returned it to your manager, we can help you identify any changes that might nevertheless need to be made, and help you understand the process by which those changes can be made prior to the start of the Winter term.

Meeting with your WMG members can help you to understand:

  • Whether you’re being given credit for all the work you do
  • Whether you’re actually in overtime without realizing it (or being paid for it)
  • Whether you’re doing uncredited work that could be given to a contract faculty colleague
  • What kind of evaluation you’re being directed to do in your classes, and how much time you’re being given to do it
  • Whether your workload formula is being improperly manipulated to fit more students into your classes

Come on by!

CAAT Faculty Support CFS Day of Action on Tuition

| November 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

https://opseu.org/news/college-faculty-back-students-fight-quality-accessible-education

Excerpt:

Ontario college faculty represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) are throwing their support behind today’s Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) National Day of Action, which aims to keep colleges and universities public and accessible to all.

“Faculty are deeply worried about the quality of education in the face of funding cutbacks and creeping privatization,” said RM Kennedy, chair of OPSEU’s College Academic Division. “We stand with the CFS in highlighting the need for proper government funding. Without it, we see college administrators looking to trim budgets by replacing in-class contact hours with self-directed learning. In other cases, faculty are increasingly marginalized from academic decision-making, with administrators unilaterally deciding how courses should be delivered, and even what grades should be assigned.

“Without academic freedom, and a protected role for faculty in academic decision-making, we are seeing too many decisions made based on what’s best for budgets, rather than what’s best for students.”

General Membership Meeting – Oct 20, 2016

| October 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

Please join us on Thursday, October 20 for a General Membership Meeting.

Where: Dragon Pearl Restaurant – 865 York Mills Rd (Just west of Don Mills Rd)
Directions: http://goo.gl/maps/czHi3r8TwfD2

Time: 5:30 p.m. for dinner, meeting at 6 p.m.

Agenda:

  • Budget Amendment
  • Mobilization
  • Contract Negotiations Update

Free parking, child/eldercare reimbursement, refreshments to suit all dietary needs, and no cost to you!

All full-time and partial-load faculty are invited to attend. Part-time and Sessional faculty are welcome to attend as guests, space permitting.

Fairness for Contract Faculty Day of Action

| September 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Faculty Offices at King Campus

| September 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

20160914_141425Faculty in Garriock Hall were blindsided in late summer by orders to immediately pack up their office contents for a move to other offices. Apparently construction was planned for the current office location, but nobody bothered to tell affected faculty. Further, there has been no information about whether this is temporary or a new cost-savings measure for a college that seems to be so cash-strapped it has to solicit donations from students and employees to complete building construction.

King faculty had to give up days of vacation to do this last-minute work, and others returned to campus after their holidays only to find their possessions and files had been packed and moved without their involvement. To date, we have not received confirmation that the vacation days given up by faculty to do this unplanned work will be compensated for, as they should be.

Despite the urgency conveyed to faculty that they had to pack and move soonest, to date no construction has taken place at the old offices. They are being used as storage. Moreover, personal items and furniture still have not been moved. Was there really the need to move faculty out at all? The college certainly felt no need to provide faculty any measure of respect in the process.

The Collective Agreement, Article 7.02, provides for “reasonable provision for the environmental conditions of air, light, space and temperature of employees’ work areas in the College.”
cheek-by-jowlfaculty-offices-kingThis may be management’s idea of “reasonable” for a call centre, a sweatshop sales office, or a passel of summer associates at a legal firm, but for faculty who must meet with students, it’s unacceptable. We are told that two “spaces” will be made available to allow faculty and students to have confidential conversations. Outside of that statement proving management gave absolutely no thought to faculty and student needs, it’s not a workable solution. Are we to believe that a distraught student, discussing with faculty the stresses of their assignments or personal challenges, should be interrupted while the professor runs off to determine if one of these confidential “spaces” is free for use?

As one faculty stated, “It is common for students to start talking about dropping a course and, the next second, they are crying and revealing personal matters.” For faculty in the SSW program, they are uncomfortable stressing client confidentiality in the profession when they cannot act accordingly or role model for the students.

It is bad enough that incompetent management has disrupted faculty and breached the college’s own policies regarding privacy and confidentiality of student information, but of greater concern is that it seems King management has absolutely no idea of what faculty do, nor does it care.

If You’ve Got a McJob, You can Get a McEducation

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

You may have seen the announcement regarding this deal: “All 24 of Ontario’s public colleges have entered into an agreement with The McDonald’s Corporation to accept employee training for McDonald’s managers as academic credit for college business programs. McDonald’s managers who complete a corporate curriculum called Managers Development Program 2 (MDP2) will receive the equivalent of 10 academic credits, or the first year of a college business diploma.”

While it may seem like a good idea to award prior learning credit for knowledge gained in the workplace, there are some problems with evaluating that learning and matching it to a similar educational qualification gained at a post-secondary institution. Our colleagues in Local 110 at Fanshawe College have written a thoughtful and well-considered analysis of the subject.

Check it out at http://www.opseu110.ca/mcdonaldscolleges-ontario/

Fairness for Contract Faculty

| February 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Contract faculty deserve equal pay for equal work, yet the colleges continue to exploit them by paying as little as possible. Furthermore, our part-time faculty live under a constant threat of losing their positions entirely should they “rock the boat”. These dedicated faculty should be treated with respect and paid accordingly.

fairness4cfdual