Part-Time and Sessional Faculty
If you are a part-time or sessional employee in the Ontario college system, you currently have no union representation or protection. This means you have insecure employment term-to-term, likely earning lower wages, and minimal benefits. OPSEU wants this to change. We want to see part-time and sessional faculty members union-represented and union-protected. That day will come, but until it does, we strongly encourage you to keep yourself informed. If your job status changes between partial-load and part-time/sessional, recognize that your rights and protection by the union will vary. Should issues arise, we encourage you to contact your local immediately.
A Union for Contract Faculty
Up until 2008, the government of Ontario denied the right of part-time and sessional faculty in the colleges to unionize. Language expressly prohibiting unionization was included in the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA). However, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the right to unionize as constitutionally protected in 2007, and the Ontario government changed the CCBA.
Part-time support staff were recently certified as members of OPSEU and negotiated their first contract with the College Employer Council (CEC).
OPSEU undertook an organization drive for part-time and sessional faculty and a vote was held in October 2017. Unfortunately, the CEC engaged in the same legal delay tactics at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) as they did before, holding up the counting of the votes. Currently, OLRB process is ongoing.
Statutory Holiday Pay Denied!
For a brief period, the Wynne government’s Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act brought colleges under the Employment Standards Act, and part-time and sessional faculty were eligible for statutory holiday pay.
Unfortunately, the Ford government quietly implemented Regulation 498/18 which took away statutory holiday pay from “crown agency” employees. This is yet another reason why part-time and sessional faculty need a union.
Part Time and Sessional Faculty can participate in the CAAT Pension Plan
A common misconception is that you must be a member of the union to contribute to the CAAT Pension Plan. Not so. If you work as a part time or sessional college faculty member in Ontario, the CAAT Pension Plan refers to you as “Other Than Regular Full-Time” (OTRFT) employee, the same way it does for a partial-load employee. An OTRFT employee is technically defined by the Plan as someone with a fixed contract end date. As of January 1, 2014 OTRFT members can opt to join the Plan immediately upon hire.