You may have read in the news over the last few days of the possibility for job action on the part of academic workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) at Ontario’s colleges. ***editor’s update: as of 9:15 p.m. on Oct 15, OPSEU has stated that the Employer has rejected the union’s final offer and that a strike is on***
While there is still time for the parties to agree to a settlement, our faculty colleagues at Mohawk College and other institutions are preparing to walk off the job beginning tomorrow morning. The union has advised us as that there may be picketing on the McMaster Campus as well. Below are a few instructions and reminders about this potential work stoppage that we have received from our employer that we feel need to be shared with our members (see also this news bulletin).
But before we do, let me say, without equivocation, that your union fully and totally supports these workers in their fight for improved job security, a fair workload, and academic freedom for college instructors. As you well know from the last few months of sessional faculty bargaining here at McMaster, their fight is also our fight. The instructors at Mohawk and elsewhere are looking for a fair deal, one that will allow them to do their jobs with the dignity and security that they, and you, deserve.
First class teaching shouldn’t get second class treatment. Not here. Not at Mohawk.
That being said, please be reminded of the following:
For those individuals employed by McMaster and teaching a class:
– If you are teaching a class at a McMaster site you should continue to instruct classes as scheduled.
– If you are teaching a class at a college site you are likely to have that class cancelled by the College. Under this circumstance, McMaster employees will not lose pay because the College has cancelled the class. Department Chairs will coordinate with individuals to reallocate time or duties, as may be appropriate, within the parameters of their appointment.
– In some instances, the College may propose an alternate location for a class. McMaster must review and approve these proposed alternate locations prior to the classes being relocated. McMaster faculty are not obliged to teach in these alternate locations. Please contact the union right away if the College requests you teach in an alternate location.
For those individuals employed by McMaster and teaching a lab:
– If you are teaching a lab at a McMaster site you should continue to instruct classes as scheduled.
– If you are teaching a lab at a College site that is still open you will likely be instructed to teach labs as scheduled.
Please note: McMaster employees are not required to perform the duties of striking College employees. If you are approached with a request to perform the work of a striking College faculty member, please contact the union right away.
If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graham Baker, President, CUPE 3906