Detailed bargaining update

The APTPUO collective agreement expired August 31, 2016. Your bargaining team has had 13 meetings with the Employer, which represents approximately 40 hours of bargaining over eight months. While a number of minor articles have been signed, we have been unable to make significant progress on outstanding major proposals and the Employer continues to seek serious concessions. As a result, your bargaining team has requested that the provincial government appoint a conciliator to help the parties come to an agreement.

Our first meeting with the conciliator is on Wednesday, September 27. The APTPUO has scheduled a Special General Assembly Tuesday, October 17 to hold a strike vote. A strong strike vote will not necessarily mean that part-time professors at the University of Ottawa will go on strike. Rather, it will help the APTPUO bargaining team negotiate a fair deal with the University.

What does a fair deal mean? We wish to continue removing the “second class” professor status that our members have had to endure for many years. We need greater equality with our full-time counterparts as we teach over 50% of the student population without job security, fair compensation, or recognition. One subtle indication of our exclusion and precarity is that even as a member teaches at the University year after year, the member still needs to have their employee card renewed after every contract.

We seek:

  • Real job security
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Benefits on par with full-time employees at uOttawa
  • A transparent and effective hiring process
  • To remedy a flawed and punitive evaluation system
  • To ensure that everyone benefits from a Union as a part-time professor
  • Opportunity to participate in the academic governance of the institution

Monetary

The Association The Employer
3% in year 1 +3% catch-up. 4% increase to vacation pay
Experience bonus of 2% per year up to 10 years after 2 years worked
Severance bonus after 15 years worked
1.25% in year 1, 1.25% in year 2, and 1.5% in year 3
Rationale: The provincial government’s Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act intends to improve conditions for non-permanent employees, including vacation.  These increases bring us up to the average rate paid at universities in the region (Carleton, UQO, Queen’s, Ottawa). Contract professors at Carleton recently negotiated 8.1%. for 3 years. The Employer’s offer is well below current rate of inflation. Queen’s includes a similar experience bonus, while UQO offers severance pay in recognition of long-term service.

Duration of agreement

The Association The Employer
One year Three years
Rationale: Bill 148 stipulates that employees cannot be paid less on the basis of employment status as of April 1, 2018, except where a collective agreement is already in force.

Workload and unpaid work

The Association The Employer
New compensation for thesis supervision, letters of reference, proctoring exams, investigations, evaluations for TAs. Increase compensation for DFR, new exams, accommodations, and academic fraud. Supervising the work of teaching assistants, markers, and participating in investigations and grade appeals. No additional compensation.
Rationale: Workload has increased significantly over the years without additional compensation for unpaid work such as grade appeals and letters of reference. Compensation for unpaid work that is recognized in the collective agreement (DRF, accommodations, academic fraud) has been frozen for over a decade.

Job Security

The Association The Employer
Offer of indeterminate contract after 6 years for LTAs. Preference for hiring APTPUO members in tenure-track positions. For tenure-track position hires, the University may give APTPUO courses to their spouses. May never teach a course for which you receive two student evaluations of 3.79 or less. Seniority points only given if course evaluation is 3.8. Right of first refusal for a course if member obtains and maintains minimum 4.20 in student evaluations.

Benefits

The Association The Employer
  • No limit on using sick leave accrued
  • No limit for tuition fee credits
  • Option to participate in University’s defined benefit plan, similar to any other part-time or contract employee
  • Health benefits as per APUO (vision, dental, disability, and life insurance), but in return for accepting generic substitution and co-insurance.
  • Improved maternity and parental leave, sick leave, for LTAs.
  • Inclusion of hospital coverage and hearing aids in extended health plan, but at cost of generic substitution and co-insurance.

Hiring Process

The Association The Employer
A system that qualifies a member for a set of courses at point of hiring. Hiring based on seniority. No Category C applied for first- and second-year undergraduate courses
Rationale: There are too many grievances that result from the current hiring process. We need a system that is fair and transparent.

Evaluation system of teaching

The Association The Employer
  • Exactly as APUO members
  • Direct peer review of teaching to be done by Teaching Evaluators (similar to APUO)
  • Increase the minimum evaluation to obtain a seniority point from 3.2 to 3.8
  • Barred from teaching a course if two consecutive evaluations lower than 3.8 (currently three evaluations, 3.1, and only barred for 2 years)
  • Category B only if evaluations of 4.2 (currently 4.0)
Rationale: More and more research shows that student evaluations may skew results based on students’ implicit biases, which can lead to lower scores for women, visible minorities, and immigrants. The APUO collective agreement makes sure that a) low scores have to be considered over a multi-year period in order to establish a pattern, and b) other relevant contextual variables for low scores have to be taken into account, such as the type of the course, the nature of course matter, and the size of enrolment.

Union Status

The Association The Employer
  • No geographic constraint for APTPUO membership.
  • Inclusion of non-unionized language teachers and Faculty of Law part-time professors
  • Give APTPUO courses to non-members (“spousal hires”)
Rationale: The Employer has satellite campuses in Toronto and Windsor, where non-unionized part-time professors are paid significantly less and without any benefits or protections. At Ottawa campus, non-unionized language teachers and part-time professors in the Law faculty are being paid just over half of what unionized part-time professors earn, again without any benefits, and with no protections.

Inclusion in academic governance

The Association The Employer
Part-time professor representation on Faculty councils and the Senate.
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