In preparation for Thursday’s general assembly, we want to provide you with additional information on the state of collective agreement negotiations, along with our analysis. Today, we will focus on the sectoral table where working conditions specific to Cegep teachers are negotiated.
Negotiations at the sectoral table have stalled for reasons similar to those at the central table: the lack of willingness on the part of the government to commit to adequate resources to cover the costs, even though they are modest compared to the actual size of the provincial budget.
So far, the government has committed to only $4.6 million to the FNEEQ sectoral table, with only 75% of that as year-to-year recurring funding. On our end, we have withdrawn a number of our demands. The remaining demands that will require an injection of resources are as follows (with cost estimates by FNEEQ):
- Improvement of salary and working conditions for continuing education teachers so that they are comparable to regular day division teachers ($30 million per year)
- Additional teaching resources for teachers in health-care disciplines, for whom our workload (CI) formulas poorly serves ($5 million/year)
- Teaching resources to alleviate workload associated with teaching students with disabilities ($5 million/year, to be combined with an existing $10 million/year envelope)
- Additional coordination resources related to internships/stages ($3 million/year)
- Determination of workload parameters for distance and online teaching (actual costs to be determined. Our experiences teaching during the pandemic has taught us that normalizing online teaching, as many colleges including John Abbott are gearing to do, will require additional resources to address the labour-intensive nature of the work.)
With our remaining demands costed at roughly $50 million per year in total, the impact of their addition to the overall annual government expenditures of $118.6 billion would be nominal. On the other hand, the incorporation of these demands into our collective agreement would go a long way to resolve long standing issues for teachers, significantly improve the quality of their working lives, and in many instances, benefit the learning experiences of their students.
At this point, the government apparently does not appreciate the value of our demands, in spite of our insistence at the negotiation table. And they likely won’t without further, more pointed demonstration from teachers.
Given how reasonable and feasible our sectoral demands are, they represent another reason why we should step up our mobilization and show the government and our employer that we mean business.
We hope to see you at general assembly in large numbers, so that we can send that message loud and clear.
The JACFA Executive