Attention: NEW faculty and Partial Load Re: Tentative Agreement

Attention: NEW faculty and Partial Load Re: Tentative Agreement

If you are a “seasoned” member of our local, the proposed agreement may be a reasonable deal for you personally. However, if you are a young faculty or if you are Partial Load, you MUST be aware of long term concerns built into this proposed agreement.

First and most alarming, there would be a “moratorium” against the union using Article 2.02 and 2.03 A. In other words, the union would lose the ability to grieve for new hires of full time faculty. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? In the past 2 years, our local has submitted grievances for full-time hires. Would Durham College have hired new teachers without these grievances? Perhaps, but we believe it is highly unlikely that the numbers would have been so high. Your local leadership worked hard on everyone’s behalf through the grievance process to get these hires, and the college did commit to new hires based on the budget. We believe that submissions of grievance gave the necessary push to management to hire what we eventually got. How many new hires will there be in the next three years considering there can be no union push? The Union will have NO collective agreement authority to influence management to hire any new faculty.

What does this mean for the future? If you are already full time, you probably feel safe. You should not! Last year, DC laid off 4 teachers, 2 of which had top seniority. The Union and the individuals negotiated retirement and 2 jobs were saved due to union-management co-operation.

You need to consider past trends and the possible future – every year, we see more contract teachers and more on-line teaching. At some point in the future, our union may be so weakened that we will lose all bargaining power to stand up for ownership of our classrooms and any limit to part time teachers. At that point, management at Ontario colleges may feel comfortable with attempting to have total control over teaching through rejection of our union. This is the trend that we are agreeing to if we vote “yes” to this tentative agreement.

Partial Load faculty are in an even more tenuous position. At Durham and all other Ontario public colleges, the union has grieved to do two things: first, to have some seniority rights for Partial Load; and second, to force management to hire full time from the “internal” list which is the only way we have for trying to get full time jobs for Partial Load. However, the union will lose its ability to compel management to hire ANYONE. Management may make vague promises to continue with new full-time hires, but there will be a very strong financial dis-incentive for them to do so. We in the union will track the number of new hires going forward, but we are extremely concerned by this moratorium taking away our right to grieve for new hires.

Partial Load also need to know that at Seneca College, management has just announced that the position of Partial Load is going to be eliminated, starting in January, 2015. The union representative who is on the union bargaining team, Jonathan Singer, and who spoke at Durham last Thursday, September 11, discussed this situation. All Partial Load need to know that the union at Durham has been fighting with every tool at their disposal to protect Partial Load.

In conclusion, the good jobs we enjoy today were never just given to us. Now-retired members fought hard for things like fairness (that is the purpose of the SWF), job protection, and good paycheques. If you are a new or a seasoned faculty and you want to pass on these benefits to future generations of teachers, you MUST consider the above before you vote on September 23rd.