Glossary of Terms

This glossary has been compiled to simplify and provide additional information, on terms and acronyms found within the CEC website. For more comprehensive definitions, please refer directly to collective agreements and benefits booklets.




Administrative Staff Employees who are excluded from any of the bargaining units under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act. This includes, but is not limited to, managers, supervisors, forepersons, persons employed in a confidential or professional capacity (such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers), or involved in the formulation of organization objectives and policy in relation to the development and administration of programs and/or budgets of the employer. 
Arbitration - Rights Arbitration The process of having an independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute on the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the collective agreement. 
Back-to-work legislation Action taken by the legislative assembly to end a strike or lock-out and engage an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to conclude a new collective agreement. The most common method of dispute resolution by interest arbitration.
Bargaining Agent Organizations such as Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) or the College Employer Council (CEC) who represent employees or employers in negotiating to create a collective agreement
CAAT College of Applied Arts and Technology - a public college in the province of Ontario
CEC College Employer Council. CEC represents the 24 Ontario Public colleges in collective bargaining, advises the Colleges on human resources policies, and is the policy holder for the employee benefit plans
Collective Agreement A written document/contract between the employer and an employee organization respecting terms and conditions of employment negotiable under law.
Collective Bargaining The meeting of the parties to negotiate a collective agreement to be binding on the employers, the union, and the employees. 
College A college of applied arts and technology established under the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002. Colleges established under this Act are all public colleges. There are also private colleges in Ontario usually referred to as Private Career Colleges. 
College Governance There shall be a board of governors for each college established under the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002, consisting of such members as may be prescribed by regulation. The Board of Governors, always receives input from faculty, students, and the community. There are four internal governors on the college board one each for students, faculty, support staff, and administration. These internal governors are elected by their constituent groups.
Conciliation   In collective bargaining, if the parties are unable to reach a collective agreement on their own, either party may apply to the Ministry of Labour for assistance of an official to help them reach an agreement. This process is called conciliation. Conciliation must take place before a legal strike or lockout can take place.
Conciliation Officer An individual appointed by the Ministry of Labour to confer with the parties and endeavor to effect a collective agreement
Copyright Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually the copyright owner. However, an employer—for example, a College—will have copyright in works created by employees in the course of employment unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise.
Grievance A dispute about the interpretation, administration or application of the collective agreement, which may be submitted to binding third-party arbitration if it is not resolved between the parties. Grievances may be individual, group, or union grievances. 
Instructors Teaching positions where the duties and responsibilities are limited to that portion of the total spectrum of academic activities related to the provision of instruction through prepared courses of instruction and according to prescribed instructional formats; and limited to instruction directed to the acquisition of a manipulative skill or technique; and under the direction of a professor. In addition, they may be called upon to contribute to other activities ancillary to provision of instruction. 
Intellectual Property An umbrella term that encompasses patents, trade secrets, industrial designs, trademarks, and copyright. See Copyright for more information.
Introducing terms and conditions Introducing terms and conditions means the Colleges make changes to the employment contracts of the bargaining unit members.
Librarians This position combines theoretical knowledge of library science, information studies and subject disciplines with the practical application of education technologies for the purposes of information storage, retrieval and dissemination. Other related duties may be assigned.
Lock-out The suspension of employment of, or the refusal to assign work to, employees by an employer(s) with the view to compelling the cessation of a strike or preventing the resumption of a strike or with the view to inducing or persuading the employee organization that represents the employees to enter into or renew a collective agreement
OPSEU Ontario Public Service Employees Union - the bargaining agent for unionized employees in the College sector.
Partial-Load This means a professor or instructor who teaches more than six hours and up to and including 12 hours per week on a regular basis. 
Professor Under the direction of the senior academic officer of the College or designate, a Professor is responsible for providing academic leadership and for developing an effective learning environment for students. This includes, the design/revision/updating of courses; the teaching of assigned courses; and the provision of academic leadership, in addition to contributing to other areas ancillary to the role of Professor.
Ratification The action of signing or giving formal consent to a contract or agreement, making it officially valid.
Strike   Includes a cessation of work, a refusal to work or to continue to work by employees in combination or in concert or in accordance with a common understanding or any concerted action or activity on the part of employees designed to curtail, restrict, limit or interfere with the operation or functioning of a college or colleges, including without limitation, (a) withdrawal of services, (b) slow-down in the performance of duties, (c) the giving of notice to terminate employment
Strike Mandate A strike mandate is provided to the union bargaining team after a secret ballot membership strike vote where the majority of ballots cast are in favour of striking occurs. That strike mandate, once given, can be used whenever the Union believes they are at an impasse in negotiations.
Strike Vote A referendum by union members deciding whether or not to go on strike.  An affirmative strike vote authorizes union leadership to give strike notice. A strike vote of College Employees is supervised by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Support Staff Includes all persons employed by an employer in positions or classifications of in the office, clerical, technical, health care, maintenance, building service, shipping, transportation, cafeteria, and nursery staff, subject to specific exclusions (e.g. managers, supervisors, forepersons). Full-time support are employed for more than 24 hours per week on a regular basis. Part-time support are employed for less than 24 hours per week on a regular basis or on a project of a non-recurring kind.
SWF Standard workload Form. A SWF is provided to each teacher for a defined period, and includes the total workload assigned and attributed by the college. A SWF contains both the teaching and non-teaching (ancillary) duties of a teacher that they are assigned to complete over the time period. 
WMG Workload Monitoring Group. WMG is a committee of both management and employee members who review SWFs that are referred by teachers who disagree with the assigned duties. If WMG comes to agreement on the content of the SWF, it is final and binding on the teacher and supervisor. If WMG does not come to agreement, the teacher may refer their SWF to a Workload Resolution Arbitrator.

In work-to-rule, employees perform only the duties that have been assigned, strictly adhering to policy and contract obligations.