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 workload 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:

  • Ensure that all faculty workload is accurately recorded
  • 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

Overview:

As noted in [the CEC’s] opening statement, “the success of Ontario’s colleges depends on investing in teaching and learning. Our faculty deliver the quality programs that our students depend on to enhance their education and skills”.  We believe that this is a statement that all Ontario college faculty can support. In fact, this notion of investing and updating student learning conditions through faculty workload guided us in every aspect of the language that we will be proposing.

In our executive summary, the Union outlined two broad proposals regarding workload. We are proposing that workload language be improved to ensure that all faculty work is accurately recorded. We are also proposing changes to the workload formula which has not been modernized in 30 years to 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.

The current bargaining environment is quite different from previous rounds. Ontario’s public college system is facing a new, diverse generation of faculty and students. The former is facing an unprecedented level of change within post-secondary education with regard to technological changes, curriculum development, pedagogical approaches, modes of delivery and student needs. The latter requires new modes, supports and approaches to teaching and learning deployed by faculty with a deep appreciation of the implications of these changes.  How the colleges approach these interconnected issues of academic decision-making, stability of faculty complement, and the changing workload parameters that technological shifts bring to learning will determine the integrity and quality of a public education.

In regard to our first workload proposal, there is a lack of consistency across colleges in recording faculty work on the SWF during teaching periods. Attendance at marketing and promotional events, participation in committees, research and mentorship of other faculty are some examples of the work that is being performed by faculty and not being recorded. The problem extends to counsellors and librarians who do not have any accurate record of their workload and who report high levels of additional work demanded by their academic managers.

Our members take pride in their professionalism, they are eager to make such contributions for the benefit of their institutions and students; however, the lack of recognition of this work has adverse effects on both faculty and the colleges. An increasing number of our members are reporting feeling stressed and overworked, which, ultimately, leads to decreased productivity for colleges. The amount of “hidden” work has implications for staffing, as there are too few full-time faculty for the amount of work that needs to be done.

Also, we are seeing a rise in the amount of work that colleges consider to be part of “normal administrative tasks” on the SWF (e.g., student accommodation, mandated training and meetings to name a few) as well as increasing expectations on counsellors and librarians and are proposing an increase in hours and better recording mechanisms to account for this work.

Our second workload proposal entails a number of components that we believe align with two of the Council’s stated goals for this round of bargaining – expanding Colleges’ abilities to deliver quality programming in a flexible manner and continuing to provide necessary support to ensure access and success of our diverse learners.

In recognition of the increasing diversity of learners we now have in the Ontario college system, the Union proposes an increase in the essay/project evaluation factor. This additional time is necessary to not only recognize the diversity of our learners, but also the increasing demand for accommodation and the rising need to create multiple evaluations to accommodate students. Further, we propose that the increasing diversity of our learners be among the factors considered in the assignment of work.

Faculty workload has also changed significantly with the expansion of online/remote learning. If done well and not just as a panacea to alleviate cost pressures online/remote learning may increase access to college courses and increase learning opportunities for students, but it also brings with it increased work for faculty. Also our students have greater needs in regards to support for their mental health and academic success which has created new challenges for work and caseloads for counsellors. Finally the change in information demands has created increased workload pressures for librarians.  Colleges need to account for these changes to ensure that all faculty members have appropriate workloads and working conditions.  Faculty are driven to provide the best possible learning experiences for our students, and our working conditions need to accurately reflect this.

Faculty understand the Colleges’ need for flexibility and are willing to do their part in delivering curriculum using a variety of methods; however, there needs to be a recognition that not all delivery methods are equal in regard to preparation, evaluation, and feedback. Therefore, we are proposing new preparation factors to address different modes of delivery. This will allow faculty appropriate time to deliver the quality programming to students that is desired by both the Faculty Union and the Colleges.

We are proposing a number of other modifications to Article 11 in order to more accurately reflect the work which faculty are currently doing and to acknowledge that faculty are professionals who take pride in the expertise they hold and their contributions to the institutions in which they work.

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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