Local Demand-Setting: Top 10 Global Bargaining Demands from Humber

After two LDS meetings and many more formal and informal conversations, we’re pleased to be able to share the top 10 bargaining priorities as voted by the membership (you). These ten items have been shared with the provincial Bargaining Team, and will be voted on as part of the Final Demand-Setting meeting of all 24 College Locals in March (drumroll please):

  1. Ensure wages keep pace with inflation
  2. Eliminate the four (4) bottom steps and add five (5) steps to the top of all salary grids
  3. Establish staffing model that ensures a preference for full-time over contract positions, and partial-load positions over part-time positions, and for management to fulfill all partial-load interest for work as per the Partial-Load Registry prior to assigning part-time work
  4. Ensure faculty wages keep pace with comparator groups (mid-point between high school teachers and university professors)
  5. Establish a workload formula* (SWF) for contract faculty, counsellors, and librarians
  6. Ensure time on SWF captures all assigned work, including adequate time for student accommodations, research, learning new technologies, course (re)-development, meetings, and administrative tasks
  7. Require all contracts to include payment for the work conducted during non-teaching weeks (start-up week, reading week, final grade submission week)
  8. Prevent privatization, outsourcing, and contracting out of academic work, including counselling and library services
  9. Ensure faculty ownership and control over produced course materials
  10. Establish faculty’s right to determine course materials and evaluation methods

*i.e. compensation for contract faculty that includes preparation and evaluation time, and a clearer relationship between assigned duties, workload, and hours for counsellors, accessibility consultants, and librarians)

A couple of things we’d like to note in particular: first, the relationship between the rising cost of living and wages is top of mind for all. Publicly available financial data shows that from 2004 to 2023, the Ontario college system as a whole generated $3.86 billion. During that period, Humber posted a cumulative $476.3 million surplus, by far the largest of the 24 colleges, representing 12.3% of the system’s cumulative surpluses. It is no surprise that faculty want the college to account for the staggering gap between these numbers and what we see prioritized on our campuses and in our work.

Second, our Local survey tracked priorities according to employment categories. Demands 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 on this list were also top-ranked priorities for PL faculty who voted. Similarly, L562 counsellors, accessibility consultants, and librarians ranked demands 1, 2, 5 and 8 especially high. To put demand 5 in a bit more context, the call for a SWF captures two main concerns: compensation for contract faculty that includes preparation and evaluation time as well as complementary hours (for admin tasks, email, etc.), and a clearer relationship between assigned duties, workload, and weekly hours for counsellors, accessibility consultants, and librarians.

As a Local, this means we have generated a list that does three things at once: it truly speaks to core issues impacting all faculty, while putting a clear spotlight on precarious work and workers. It also throws into relief the needs of a faculty group (counsellors, accessibility consultants, and librarians) that may be demographically small but performs essential work that needs to be defended and supported, all the more so as fewer and fewer colleges even *have* full-time faculty (or any faculty) in these roles. In short, this is a list to be proud of.

Miriam Novick, Chief Steward, Humber Faculty Union – OPSEU Local 562

If you have any questions, please contact info@opseu562.org.