The following initial proposals were presented to the CEC negotiations team on August 4, 2021. Below, you will find our overview of the proposals (which is adapted from the language that we presented at the bargaining table to provide context), as well as the specific changes to the Collective Agreement that we tabled. In the margins of the table below, you will find brief notes explaining the intent of the changes.
The following class definition demands were passed by delegates from the 24 Ontario College Locals, at our final demand-setting meeting in April. They were drafted following an extensive consultation process with faculty across the province, including surveys and Local demand-set meetings:
- Strengthen the decision-making authority of teaching faculty over course materials and modes of evaluation
- Ensure that faculty workload measurements and class definitions capture all work associated with changes in student needs, modes of delivery, professional requirements, and technological demands
In their opening remarks, the College Employer Council mentioned the need to update the Counsellor class definition. Since May of 2020, the Counsellor Class Definition Joint Subcommittee met several times in an effort to modernize the class definition. Representatives from both the Union and College Employer Council agreed that the Counsellor class definition in our current CA is outdated and does not accurately reflect the important work that disabilities/abilities counsellors, learning strategists, Indigenous counsellors and counsellors–a diverse group collectively classified as Counsellors–do in our colleges. Over the many iterations of our collective agreements, counsellors’ roles have evolved and so have the needs of our students. Students have experienced unprecedented challenges and increasingly are in need of accommodations. There is, fortunately, also a greater public awareness of and lessening stigma around disabilities, in general, which has resulted in more students seeking the supports they need.
Additionally, the spectrum of qualifying disabilities has broadened to include mental health disorders, and post-secondary institutions have an increasing responsibility to support students facing these challenges. This is evidenced by the increase in funding for mental health support by the provincial government to post-secondary institutions in recent years. The COVID-19
pandemic and the pressure to improve student retention further underline the important interconnected work of these faculty members to the success of college students. As a result, counsellors are now offering a broader diversity of services related to mental health, student accommodation and student success services.
Ontario college counsellors understand the unique needs of students within their specific college environment and community resources, and work closely with teaching faculty, support staff and administrators to ensure students’ complex needs are met. The updated Counsellor Class Definition included in our proposal was arrived at through an extensive consultation with counsellors across the province over the past few years. Ontario colleges need to take concrete action to put students first. One of the ways they can do so is by accepting this updated class definition created by the professionals who provide counselling services to Ontario college students.
The class definition of a Professor is the only class definition to “Include under the direction…” language. In 2017, Ontario college faculty fought hard to gain academic freedom language. The proposed changes to the class definition of Professor will acknowledge that hard fought right and will align the class definition with those of other faculty members.
To view the full proposed language changes that were tabled, along with explanatory notes, please download the printable PDF version here.
Other Bargaining Updates
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