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OPSEU Local 613 calls for members to vote no on forced offer

Forced offer undermines quality of student education, good faith bargaining and academic freedom, says union
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Provided photo shows OPSEU Local 613 members outside union office on Great Northern Road.

NEWS RELEASE
ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION
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The polls opened at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The forced offer contains language that would undermine quality of education, full-time jobs, equality in the workplace, and academic freedom, and is counter-productive to the bargaining process.

Reasons for voting no

Students deserve quality education:

  • Contract faculty may not have the office space or hours for face-to-face consultation.
  • Contract faculty have limited time to adapt to curriculum, policy, and teaching technology updates.
  • Contract faculty receive less time to build professional relationships with colleagues and service areas, potentially impacting opportunities for collaboration and referrals, for example.
  • Working more than one job can be tiring and stressful; this can possibly affect job performance and investment.
  • Non-full-time faculty are not afforded the same opportunities for professional development.

Everyone deserves a full-time job: 

  • Full-time employment provides stability not only to the individual but also to the economy.
  • A part-time work force does not create strong communities.

Equality in the workplace:

  • Contract faculty are paid only for their teaching hours. They are not paid for prep, evaluation, meeting with and assisting students, meetings, etc.
  • Contract faculty often do not receive adequate notice of their workload.
  • Contract faculty often do not have access to private and fully functional workstations.

Academic freedom:

  • Faculty have the right to teach and communicate ideas, facts and industry changes without repression, institutional censorship, or threat of job loss.
  • Faculty have the right to choose and change learning content and evaluation methods to meet industry standards.
  • Academic freedom for students provides the opportunity to study and pursue knowledge and research without restrictions or interference.

A forced offer is not fair bargaining:

  • The best way for the colleges to reach a collective agreement is to negotiate, not to force a vote on an offer that has already been rejected by the faculty bargaining team.
  • The offer contains serious concessions that will harm faculty and harm our colleges.

Testimonials

“Since 1994 full-time faculty jobs at Sault College have almost been cut in half. People deserve full-time work, and Sault College faculty work hard to educate and train their students to enter full-time employment upon graduation – we want there to be full time jobs for them.” - Frank Turco, president OPSEU local 613 in Sault Ste. Marie.

“In my role as faculty, I have been entrusted to deliver provincial learning outcomes to a professional standard. Using my experience, knowledge, and skills, I need to deliver content the way it needs to be delivered, to adjust teaching methods and assessment to meet the needs of my students. Academic freedom allows me to fully meet the needs of my students, keep curriculum current to the field and be reflective of what the field is demanding by using my professional judgment.” 
- Colleen Brady, full-time professor, Early Childhood Education program on Academic Freedom.

“Having full-time faculty is a huge benefit for me as a student. They are more accessible because they have offices and are regularly available outside the classroom. They have scheduled office hours and are there for students when needed. Even email communication is more accessible with full-time faculty. For myself, it is easier for me to build a rapport and a trusting relationship with full-time faculty. That relationship makes me more confident in my abilities and my success. Many times, classes with part-time faculty are scheduled late at night because they work their regular jobs during the day. It’s not their fault but this really affects access and success for students. Having more full-time faculty will create a better quality of education.”
 - Elizabeth Halliday, current 2nd-year student in the General Arts and Science program.

For more information, click here.

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