St Clair College - Faculty Union
Brief Update on Current Issues
(Posted January 10, 2014)
At the December 18th GMM meeting, the issue of time for a Faculty Blackboard mentor was discussed. Members raised the concern why a full time Faculty member was not assigned as a blackboard mentor. On January 8th, at our Union College Committee meeting, management indicated that they will create a Blackboard Coordinator position which will be offered to all members The coordinator position will entail a two step increment and negotiated time on the SWF.
Note that a Local Demand setting meeting will be scheduled in early February (Date TBA). Considering the issues regarding the College mandate changes, members should be making every effort to attend. The final Provincial demand setting will take place in Toronto on March 22 - 23.
General Membership Meeting (Update)
(Posted December 19, 2013)
At the meeting, there was discussion on the implications of the New Mandate for Post Secondary Education that the Government wants signed by March 2014. The Mandate focuses on Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMA's) between all Colleges and the Ministry. The format for SMA submission has changed and all Colleges had to submit their new SMA's by December 20th.
In essence, SMA's are agreements that define the areas of specialty that each College would like to focus on. St Clair has submitted (3) areas of specialty which include: (Health & Community Wellness), (International Manufacturing and Trade) and (Creative Arts, Hospitality and Tourism).
A presentation on "Ontario's Differentiation Policy and Framework for Post Secondary Education" was given. To summarize, there is a move to have more courses delivered on-line as part of the Government's cost cutting measures. As well, standardization of course content and credit for courses that are offered through the College system. The Government is looking at reducing duplication of courses throughout the system. On-line courses will be delivered by entities such as "Ontario on-line" or "Ontario Learn". The Learner will believe that they are taking the course at the institution they are engaged with (ie St Clair, Fanshawe...etc), however the courses will be served from the on-line entities. These organizations do not have to engage full time College Faculty to deliver on-line courses.
Kevin MacKay a Faculty Member at Mowhawk College was in attendance and stated that at their College, Faculty had received a directive that all courses will have on-line content (hybrid). Kevin, a mobilizer for "Quality Education" stated that if we had Academic Freedom that we would have control as to how courses are delivered. Kevin discussed numerous items regarding the next round of bargaining including the need for salary increases to maintain our positions on the salary scale in comparison to High School Teachers and University Professors.
A motion was made for the LEC to investigate setting up a hardship fund for the Local and bring that information to the next GMM. Questions that were asked regarding a hardship fund were:
A second motion was made to "pass the hat" for a Probationary Faculty member who is facing hardship. Members gave $400.00 at the meeting. For anyone who was not at the meeting, and would like to donate, an envelope is available in the Learning Commons area between 8-5:00 pm.
A Message from the College Workload Monitoring Group (CWMG)
(Posted: June 18, 2013)
St. Clair College is moving towards a PQAP accreditation in 2015/2016. Course Outlines are a part of this process. The Ministry requirements have changed and all of our course outlines have to be revised. This process began with the course outcomes, which many of us completed last year. The next step in the process is to add EKS statements (Embedded Knowledge and Skills), EES (Essential Employability Skills) and the Assessment component. Some of this work has been assigned, and completed in May/June period. There are still many outlines that have to be revised and updated. Some of this work may be assigned during the Fall 13 and Winter 14 semesters.
In the period that you have a SWF, all assigned work including curriculum development should be captured on your SWF. You can request this work be recorded on your SWF. The SWF can be revised at any time during the semester.
If you have any questions/concerns, please contact your members of the CWMG:
(Posted: June 14, 2013)
During the last round of bargaining, the number one bargaining item was Academic Freedom. Faculty wanted to have the right to teach courses in the manner they felt best suited the learner, own the teaching materials and to have a voice to speak publicly on academic issues without repercussions from the employer. Unfortunately that round of bargaining did nothing to address Academic Freedom as the government of the day was focusing on legislation to deny bargaining rights of teachers in Ontario.
The next round of bargaining will begin soon and Faculty need to re-think Academic Freedom. Questions that they should be asking themselves are:
At one Ontario College there were 8 items brought to the College Workload Monitoring group concerning Academic Freedom. In all cases where faculty want to change their evaluation factors, they were denied. In all cases where e-Texts were imposed upon faculty, they have been denied extra complementary hours for time to adapt to the new technology. These items will be going before a workload arbitrator, however it is evident that by these examples Faculty are not free to teach in the way they feel is best for the students.
The Academic issue is not limited to Ontario Colleges. In the US, a number of Universities are fearful of their Academic Freedom / ownership being taken away. In an article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education a Professor states, "If we lose the battle over intellectual property, it's over," Mr. Nelson warned. "Being a professor will no longer be a professional career or a professional identity," and faculty members will instead essentially find themselves working in "a service industry," he said.
It is obvious, if you don't have Academic Freedom / ownership - you are essentially working in a service industry. The Academic Freedom issue was discussed in detail at a recent Academic Symposium that was held on June 8th in Toronto. With more on line courses and Colleges looking for ways to reduce costs, Faculty need to think hard about the importance of this item for the next round of bargaining.
Local 138 - St Clair College, 2000 Talbot Rd West, Windsor Ont N9A 6S4 | Union Office room 117 | Ph: 519-972-2727 x4690 | Fax: 519-326-1786
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