Need a union? Read this story

Volume 27, Issue 5
May 2017

pam johnson, professor, school of creative and performing arts


‘What do you mean? They just decided not to do this?’ This was the reaction of several partial–load faculty in the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) upon hearing that, for years, the administration has not been paying partial-load faculty for statutory holidays.

Statutory holiday pay is very clearly spelled out in the collective agreement that covers all partial-load faculty.

This oversight was not merely a clerical mistake but a policy of the administration. The support staff were specifically told NOT to include the hours faculty would have worked on statutory holidays when preparing partial-load contracts.

And, this is not the end of the story. Once this came to light in the fall of 2016, it then took several months of the union and faculty writing emails for the administration to respond and retroactively compensate these faculty. It would never have happened if the union, with help of affected faculty, had not put pressure on the administration to right this wrong.

What this story shows is that unfortunately, it is not the college administration, but the union, who is looking after fair working conditions for faculty and making sure that the collective agreement is respected.

Unfortunately, partial-load faculty have only some of the protections they need but, the union is about to go into bargaining with management this summer.

The union’s plan is to fight hard to improve conditions for partial-load faculty. If you are partial-load faculty, you are eligible to vote on a contract.

NOTE: Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU) is also currently conducting a union organizing drive for part-time and sessional faculty so that ALL faculty are in the union.