A message from Grant Currie, President, SLC Faculty Local 417:

Our Collective Agreement (CA) lays out the terms of employment for Faculty (Full-Time and Partial Load), Librarians (we used to have one), and Counsellors. It is a document that is agreed to by College Employer Council, on behalf of Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), on behalf of us, which includes everyone in Local 417, regardless of job title or employment status.

Article 28, on page 71, states

The parties hereto subscribe to certain objectives and principles as follows:

  1. that employment stability should be enhanced, within the resources available, through both long-term and short-term strategies;
  2. that such strategies could include, but not necessarily be restricted to, planning, retraining, early retirement, alternative assignments, secondments, employee career counselling, job sharing and professional development;
  3. that data which are relevant to employment stability should be made available to both parties;
  4. that procedures should be in place to deal with situations that arise in which, notwithstanding the best efforts of both parties, lay-offs and/or reductions in the number of employees who have completed the probationary period become necessary; and,
  5. that resources should be made available to achieve, to the degree that it is feasible, these objectives and principles.

The Collective Agreement further states that there “shall be established, at each College, a College Employment Stability Committee (CESC).” [emphasis added]

In March 2020, acting as Local President, I asked that in light of the pandemic, enrollment concerns, and the challenges facing programs that the College convene the College Employment Stability Committee. The College refused verbally and finally in writing. We were forced to file a grievance that, in all honesty, we thought that the college would allow. Much to our surprise, they denied our grievance in June, 2020, and so we filed for arbitration. The date for the arbitration was to be on April 22, 2021.

On April 20, at the last minute prior to arbitration, the College agreed to convene the Committee and named their two members.

The College continues to manipulate our collective agreement and deny rights and processes laid out within it. The Local Executive Committee for Local 417 is committed to holding the College responsible for those terms and conditions agreed to by both parties in the agreement. We are continually frustrated by their approach to deny, deny, deny and then relent, whether it is in a matter like this, whether it is collective bargaining, or whether it is the vote for Part-time Faculty’s to be represented by a union. The strategy by the College and the College Employer Council is the same. It is possible for an employer to respect the Collective Agreement and the union that represents the workers.

It is that Council that is the obstacle to a good labour relationship, one that is built on mutual respect for the educational institution that we want to be proud of. Should you have any questions on this matter or any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the Local Executive Committee.

Grant Currie
President, Local 417