We hope you had a restful summer and that your semester is off to a smooth start. We would like to extend a special welcome to all our new teachers. We hope that your tenure at John Abbott will be long and rewarding.
This being a negotiation year for our Collective Agreement, our work will begin in earnest a bit earlier than usual, with a General Assembly on the evening of Tuesday, September 10. Our task at this Assembly will be two-fold.
First, we will be examining, approving, and where appropriate, proposing amendments to the latest draft of our negotiation demands (click here for link); it will be the last chance for JACFA to offer its input before the demands are finalized at the end of October, 2019, by our union federation, FNEEQ, and its parent confederation, the CSN.
Given this GA will serve to wrap up our year-long local consultation process, we will be focusing our attention on some residual questions pertaining to our negotiation priorities. The latter are based upon the feedback we have thus far received and will seek to further clarify our positions vis-a-vis the latest draft of demands. For instance, are the inflation-protection provisions in our current demands adequate? What percentage insurance-premium contribution should we be seeking from the employer?
The second main agenda item relates to JACFA’s position on actions against global climate change. The Assembly will be asked to consider some motions/actions proposed by the Imagine Change activist group at Abbott. We will be sending out drafts of these motions shortly.
At the GA we will be giving a brief overview of the executive’s workplan and priorities for the year. In the meantime, here are some highlights:
Hiring: The College has informed JACFA that it is planning to make changes to the operation of hiring committees throughout the College. Some of the suggested changes include mandatory training for all hiring committee members and much stricter criteria for the offering contracts with restrictions for candidates who do not meet the minimum listed hiring criteria. The JACFA Executive will continue to monitor the file and engage the administration when appropriate.
Allocation Changes: For the past number of years, the College has been intentionally offering more courses than our student numbers finance in order to spend down a surplus of teaching resources accumulated over many years. With this year’s budget, that surplus is now nearly spent, and so the College has informed JACFA of its intention to reduce the number of courses offered to bring its spending in line with its financing. The Administration is set to begin their internal strategic discussions for the reduction in September-October. The orientation of the JACFA Executive is to ensure that the College consults with all parties in a fair and timely manner and makes decisions based on the realities of each discipline.
Law 21 on religious neutrality: In its execution of the GA mandate from May 2019, the executive is reaching out to other unions at other educational levels to mobilize in solidarity against the law.
Thus far in our Collective Agreement consultations, we have seen a high level of participation and engagement from our members, allowing us to fulfill one of the key conditions for successful negotiations. In the coming year, we hope you will find the time and energy to sustain this level of participation and engagement, as we head into the next stage of the negotiation process.
The JACFA Executive