Opening remarks

Thank you for all those joining us. I am going to go through the statement of respect and then start the meeting by going over a few notes I’ve made. We will post the notes on the new website and on the Facebook page after.

Speaking of the new website, if you haven’t seen it yet please check it out. It looks fantastic. Christina Decarie took the lead and worked with a new and better provider and our communications team of Curtis Runions and Christina Chrysler. We have the email up and running, the addresses and your personal/non-college email addresses should be used for union business.

After I go through the report, if you have questions or comments please raise your hand or type your question in the chat. We will have stewards keeping an eye on it as we go through the night.

Harassment or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated at OPSEU functions.

Whenever OPSEU members gather, we welcome all peoples of the world. We will not accept any unwelcoming words, actions or behaviours against our union members.

We accord respect to all persons, regardless of age, creed, political affiliation and racialization including and not limited to People of African descent, Black, Caribbean, South Asian, Asian, women, men, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of ethno-racial groups, people with disabilities, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender/transsexual people, and gender diverse persons, francophones and all persons whose first language is not English.

In our diversity we will build solidarity as union members.

If you believe that you are being harassed or discriminated against contact Gillian Axten for immediate assistance.

First, I would like to provide a brief financial update. Our expenses have been limited as an LEC. With no meetings, no travel we have been able to save those expenses.

As of today’s date we have $289,93.52 in our chequing account. We have investments in G.I.C.’s of $204,412.06 & $56,580.90.

Our Audited statements are up to date with our auditors working with Karen Weisbaum your treasurer. Assisting Karen is Mary Lou McCartney, our Staff Representative out of OPSEU Kingston Regional Office.

Your Local Executive Committee has been meeting regularly on Zoom. The LEC is made up of all the stewards from the 3 campuses.

We had 3 members to attend our pre-bargaining conference that will occur this Friday, November 20 and Saturday 21, I will be attending as an “automatic” delegate, Karen Weisbaum and Christina Decarie will be attending as delegates with Gillian Axten as an observer. This conference will elect the bargaining team for next year’s round of collective bargaining. As you can imagine this will be a very significant and difficult round of bargaining. Once the team is selected, they will begin the hard work of reaching out to all 24 Locals and determining what the bargaining priorities and agenda will look like. Christina Decarie will be our member on the Bargaining Advisory Committee.

Here are the details of the Bargaining Advisory Committee:

Preparing for Negotiations – Bargaining Advisory Committee (BAC)

3.7 There shall be a Bargaining Advisory Committee (BAC) consisting of one (1) member elected from each local’s delegates to the pre-bargaining conference elected in accordance with Article 2.4 prior to the PBC, plus 8 partial load members appointed by the DIVEX in accordance with Article 3.8. BAC members ideally should be someone other than the local president, and should not be a member of the bargaining team nor the DIVEX.

3.8 Nominations for the eight (8) partial-load (PL) members on the BAC are to be sent to the DIVEX either from the locals or directly from partial-load members themselves within the two (2) weeks following the pre-bargaining conference. Nominations should include a CV and statement of interest from the nominee. Members will be selected from these nominations and the DIVEX will pay particular attention to diversity, interest, background, experience to ensure:

  • That each region is represented appropriately;
  • That there is representation from small, medium, and large colleges; and That the viewpoints of PLs are adequately represented and considered.
  • Within 2 months following these appointments, a training session about their roles and responsibilities, as well as the bargaining cycle, will be provided by the DivEx, bargaining team, and staff negotiator for all members of the BAC.

3.9 The BAC’s role will be to provide confidential advice and insight to the elected bargaining team as needed and requested by the team throughout negotiations, through the use of digital technology and/or conference calls. Each member shall respect the full confidentiality of the bargaining process and shall not share or discuss information except with the DIVEX, the bargaining team, other members of the BAC and local presidents. Each member will make every effort to be available to participate as needed and to represent the viewpoints of their constituencies. The unavailability of any member of the BAC will not delay the consultation process, and all feedback must be provided within the very tight timeline established by the team. The functioning of the BAC will be facilitated at the direction of the bargaining team. If anyone has any questions about the conference or the BAC please reach out to any of the delegates to the Conference.

Locally, we have several grievances that are going to arbitration. Some of the major issues that we are taking to arbitration are

  • The requirement of a master’s degree
  • New language in partial load and part time contracts regarding property and ownership,
  • St. Lawrence College’s refusal to convene a College Employment Stability Committee contrary to the Collective Agreement (and our VP of Academic comments last Friday)

Next, I have to tell you that all 24 College Local Union presidents met with Graham Lloyd, the CEO of the Employer Council on Friday the 13. In a meeting that lasted for more than an hour he heard loud and clear about workload. Apparently all 24 colleges are maxing out SWF’s and class sizes. Smokey attended as well as our divisional executive. As RM, our division chair said after the meeting.

 “…I don’t think there is much management willingness to find solutions. We already regularly talk about all these issues at EERC with complete stonewalling – but having the presidents broadly speak to the points strengthens our collective power….

I think the important accomplishment is that the incredible rate of engagement and participation of our Divisional leaders today demonstrates that we are an organized force to deal with….”

Well, that brings up to the last point I want to bring up and that is your Standard Workload Form for the Winter term. They should be coming out this week. Please discuss and engage with your dean on evaluation factors. Let’s push back on the use of the “blended factor” of .0225. Read our recent decisions from WRA and the details in the collective agreement.

Below are the agenda items from this month’s Union-College Committee so you can see the issues we are taking forward regularly. If anyone has any questions or comments on any of this, this is the time.

In Solidarity,

Grant Currie
President, OPSEU Local 417

Union-College Committee (UCC) AGENDA – November 11, 1:30 p.m.

5.1 Marketing – new video (Union)
5.2 Extra time required – students failing (Union)
5.3 Survey – VP Academic (Union)
5.4 21.12 List – Accuracy (Union)
5.5 Winter term – delay start (Union)
5.6 Performance Appraisal of Managers (Union)
5.7 Morneau Shepell – request for diagnosis (Union)
5.8 Recognition – Follow-up (Union)