The following initial proposals were presented to the CEC negotiations team on August 3, 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.

Demands:

The following equity 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 language to prevent bullying/harassment/racism and to provide oversight and accountability
  • Improve efficiency, fairness, equitability, and cultural sensitivity of dispute resolution processes
  • Strengthen language to ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion of equity-seeking groups in hiring, retention, advancement, workload, and compensation

What follows below is our efforts as a bargaining team to develop those demands into concrete proposals for chances and additions to our Collective Agreement.

Overview:

The Union has outlined three broad proposals regarding equity that are in line with your [i.e., the College Employer Council’s] stated objective to “modernize” the Collective Agreement, and to “integrate the values of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)”. Your desire to focus upon “reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples” also connects with our proposals.

In order to achieve this in our Collective Agreement, we propose language be introduced that ensures the relationship between the colleges and the union is based upon the principles of equity, fairness and transparency. We further propose that an intersectional lens must be used to dismantle racism and colonialism to improve the working conditions for racialized and Indigenous faculty, as well as faculty from equity-seeking groups. To that end, we have proposed that the Collective Agreement must be adjusted to better prevent bullying/harassment and racism, and to provide oversight and accountability. As well, we are proposing that the efficiency, fairness, equitability and cultural sensitivity of dispute resolution processes must be strengthened. Further, it is our proposal that the Collective Agreement must be strengthened to ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion of Indigenous faculty and faculty from equity-seeking groups in hiring, retention, advancement, workload, and compensation.

Our members report that systemic, structural and institutional discrimination is faced by Indigenous faculty members, and faculty from all equity-seeking groups in the College system. Our members have clearly indicated that bullying, harassment, and racism are not dealt with effectively at the Colleges, and that harassment, bullying and racism are a significant bargaining issue. Research indicates that Indigenous faculty and faculty from equity-seeking groups are overrepresented in precarious work categories (such as contract faculty), yet they are significantly under-represented in the college system as a whole. Preliminary research indicates that women do not have pay equity at the Colleges. Indigenous and racialized faculty are differentially impacted by this discrimination and face the daily toll of working in institutions that have yet to fully address systemic racism and colonialism. Some colleges are working toward decolonization and are recruiting Indigenous students, yet Indigenous and racialized faculty remain significantly underrepresented. These experiences manifest in unsafe and inequitable working conditions.

In an effort to build “A Future Together”, the college system must begin to collect workforce data that helps us understand exactly what “together” looks like, and who is included and excluded.  This data must be a springboard for identifying clear short- and long-term structural and institutional objectives to decrease bullying/harassment and racism, and increase equity in hiring, compensation, recruitment and retention of Indigenous faculty and members of equity-seeking groups.

The documented intersection between race, class, gender, and sexual orientation compels us to consider that any structures that preserve inequities between faculty members within the College system ultimately preserve racial and gender inequity.  To overcome these inequities, all faculty members must have equitable access to the maximum salary step, and contract faculty must be afforded equal access to paid professional development. Equity must matter in concrete and measurable ways.

Research in Canada’s postsecondary education systems indicates that women, racialized and Indigenous faculty are less likely to have full-time positions. Contract faculty are paid less than full-time faculty, even though they may have workloads that are often the same or greater.  Again, the staffing inequities at Ontario’s Colleges are one manifestation of systemic racism and/or gender discrimination.

As is currently happening in other Post Secondary Education institutions, and as reflects the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, the Colleges must also equitably recognize Indigenous traditional knowledge and expertise when calculating salaries, and must also include Indigenous dispute resolution processes as options.  As well, the Colleges’ faculty workload calculations must recognize the demands of land-based teaching, as well as the time required of faculty to maintain Indigenous community relationships, and support Indigenous students in navigating systemically racist institutions.  We believe that these are essential steps on the road to reconciliation and decolonization.

Further, the definition of religious leaves must be expanded to include Indigenous ceremonial leaves and the definition of leaves afforded to faculty to grieve the loss of family must be expanded to include extended and chosen family members. It is also essential that Indigenous peoples and communities in general — and Indigenous faculty in particular — have control over both Indigenization efforts at the Colleges, and the preservation of Indigenous knowledges and cultural expression in the college system.

The Colleges must also better ensure that disabled, ill or injured faculty have more equitable access to support and accommodations, including when returning to work.

Experiences of bullying/harassment and racism are alarming, and structural barriers to equity are clearly apparent within the College system.  Equity must be addressed, tangible objectives must be identified and collaborative strategies must be incorporated within our Collective Agreement – our ability to build a future together depends upon it.

CAUT Equity Report

https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/caut_equity_report_2018-04final.pdf

CAUT – Bargaining for Indigenization of the Academy

https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/caut_equity_report_2018-04final.pdf

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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