Dear CAAT-A Members,

As the semester winds to a close, we wanted to reach out to keep you posted on the latest developments related to the conclusion of a new Collective Agreement.

Mediation/Arbitration Scheduling

In March, both sides agreed to go to interest arbitration before Arbitrator William Kaplan, who will oversee a process of mediation before arbitrating all issues that the parties cannot resolve.  The law firm Goldblatt Partners will represent us in that process, led by labour lawyer Steven Barrett.

While no dates have been confirmed yet, current indications suggest that this process will commence in early September.  A media blackout has been imposed by Arbitrator Kaplan which limits the detailed communication that we are able to provide.

Bargaining Team’s JP Hornick Elected New OPSEU President

At OPSEU/SEFPO’s Convention in April, JP Hornick was elected as OPSEU/SEFPO’s new President, with Laurie Nancekivell elected as the new 1st Vice-President Treasurer.  JP ran on a platform of transparency, accountability, equity, and member engagement, and received a majority of the delegates’ votes in the first round of balloting.

Because of the considerable responsibilities of the OPSEU President, JP will be stepping down as chair of the CAAT-A bargaining team, but will remain involved.  In her place, team Vice-Chair Jonathan Singer will now serve as co-Chair, alongside team member Ravi Ramkissoonsingh.

Non-Teaching Periods reserved for mutually-agreed-upon work

Until bargaining concludes under Arbitrator Kaplan, CAAT-A faculty are currently working under the Terms & Conditions that were imposed by the Colleges in December.  Significantly, those Terms & Conditions are identical to our former Collective Agreement regarding workload, including SWFs and non-teaching periods.  Although we are no longer under work-to-rule, individual faculty still have the right to refuse to work beyond what is provided for in their SWFs or contracts.

According to Article 11.08, non-teaching periods are not weeks when managers can assign work to full-time faculty.  Rather, the Article states: 

In keeping with the professional responsibility of the teacher, non-teaching periods are used for activities initiated by the teacher and by the College as part of the parties’ mutual commitment to professionalism, the quality of education and professional development. 

Such activities will be undertaken by mutual consent and agreement will not be unreasonably withheld.

If your manager attempts to assign duties to you during a non-teaching period, you have the right to withhold your consent, if you believe that those duties do not reasonably represent a commitment to your professional development or the quality of the education you provide.  You may also initiate your own appropriate activities, and file a grievance if your manager prohibits you from doing so.

We have all come a tremendous way since our first strike authorization vote in December – our sector and our Union have both been impacted by the power of our standing together for our demands and our colleagues’ and students’ needs.  We need to build upon this solidarity as we face the prospect of our new Collective Agreement, an upcoming provincial election, full-time support staff bargaining this summer, and a possible conclusion to the part-time/sessional union certification drive of 2017.

Yours in Solidarity,

Your CAAT-A Bargaining Team

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