November 2022 Newsletter
This year, the CEC bargained on behalf of the Colleges with both academic and full-time support bargaining units. The full-time support staff teams were able to come to an agreement in August, which has since been ratified. After 15 months, academic bargaining, which resulted in unconditional binding interest arbitration, has also ended. In this newsletter, we outline Kaplan’s decision on the new academic collective agreement and break down the most common misunderstandings and “myths” we have heard about the new agreement.
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What's going on?
Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave to Appeal in Public Sector Wage Restraint Legislation Case
Bill 26, Strengthening Post-secondary Institutions and Students Act, 2022
In October, 2022, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision in Manitoba Federation of Labour et. al. v. The Government of Manitoba. The Court maintained that Manitoba’s Public Services Sustainability Act, which restricts wage increases in a similar manner as Ontario’s Bill 124, did not substantially interfere with section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms rights because the legislation was broad-based and time-limited and did not prevent a meaningful consultation on other compensation-related issues.
More on the decision is available here.
Post-secondary Minister Jill Dunlop, recently proposed Bill 26 to give Colleges and Universities clearer rights to terminate and stop the re-hiring of faculty who have been found to have sexually abused a student. Additionally, “no arbitrator, arbitration board or other adjudicator shall substitute any other penalty for the discharge or disciplinary measure imposed by the institution.”
The first reading of the Bill occurred October 27, 2022 and was carried.
More information on the Bill is available here
Full-Time Support Staff
A new agreement has been ratified and is currently in the final stages of completion. The 2022-2025 agreement will become available on the CEC website once it has been translated.
Arbitrator Kaplan finalized academic bargaining and awarded a three-year deal (2021-2024). His award only includes changes or additions to the collective agreement. Anything not mentioned remains the same. A final decision on benefits will be announced after the Union completes its review of the 1% available for benefits.
Understanding the Kaplan Award
This September, Arbitrator Kaplan released his award on the College Full-time and Partial-load Academic employees' collective agreement. This award included modest updates to existing articles and very few new provisions. Since its release, there’s been a lot of misinformation online regarding the contents of the arbitration award. In this newsletter, we break down the most common misunderstandings and outline what Kaplan’s decision really means.
Myth: The Union claims monumental gains were achieved with this collective agreement.
Fact: The Colleges note that significant amounts of Kaplan’s award were already introduced by the Colleges in December 2021, when terms and conditions were implemented. In fact, minimal changes were made to the mature collective agreement. As Arbitrator Kaplan wrote in his award:
The CEC observed that it is well-accepted in the authorities, which it reviewed, that gradualism should govern and breakthroughs must be avoided.
Myth: The Union made significant gains on Workload in this Agreement
Fact: Very little was gained beyond the reasonable offers made by the Colleges. Here are the demands the Union made, contrasted against the award from Arbitration Kaplan:
Demand on Workload: The Union demanded a workload task force that would end in arbitration instead of collective bargaining.
Result: The Colleges responded with a neutrally chaired task force, that would issue a report to the parties to assist in bargaining. Kaplan agreed with the Colleges – yes to a neutral chair and no to arbitration.
Demand on Multi-Modal Delivery: The Union demanded that faculty be entitled to immediate complementary time for any multi-modal course delivery.
Result: Professors aren’t entitled to the complementary time if they teach a course in multiple modes. Complementary time it is only an option that their manager may grant if they directly assigns the task of first time adapting a course to multi-modal delivery. Complementary time may be attached to the course – when it is first assigned to be adapted – not to a professor’s teaching assignment.
Multi-modal delivery will be reviewed at the Workload Task Force.
Demand on Evaluation Factors: The Union demanded immediate increases to the evaluation factor for faculty.
Result: The Colleges responded by saying we need evidence-based data before making any decisions on the workload formula. Kaplan awarded no increases, and the Task Force will consider the issue in its research
Demand on Benefits Bridging: The Union demanded partial-load faculty can bridge benefits with offer of further employment
Result: The Colleges demonstrated the liability of bridging benefits without written commitment of employment from both parties. Kaplan awarded the bridging of benefits, for up to 5 months, to partial-load faculty when there is a commitment in writing by the College and the partial-load employee also commits to future partial-load employment.
Demand on Copyright: The Union demanded ownership of materials faculty create in the course of their employment (and compensated through time attributed to preparation).
Result: The federal Copyright Act, continues to apply to colleges. Kaplan renewed a Letter of Understanding for the parties to continue prior discussions at the provincial level.
Demand on Coordinators: The Union demanded additional changes to the language on coordinator duties that would put decision-making power in the hands of an arbitrator.
Result: Colleges wanted the discretion to remain with the professor being offered the coordinatorship. Arbitrator Kaplan maintained the language the Colleges implemented in December 2021.
Demand on EDI: The Union demanded committees on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, as well as Indigeneity, which would be subject to arbitration instead of working together to arrive at a consensus decision through joint committee decisions at the local level.
Result: Arbitrator Kaplan agreed with the Colleges. No additional committees were established that could detract from the significant work already undertaken throughout the sector.