Unit 2 Bargaining Proposals
We consider the aims of collective bargaining to be the continued improvement to working conditions at Carleton as a means to achieve more equitable and just workplaces for our members as academic workers and students. Bargaining must reflect the diverse needs of our membership while seeking to maintain and improve fair and respectful working environments that enable us to provide excellent education to our students.
Reflective of these aims -fair wages, job security, respect- this document provides an overview of key issues to be bargained in the upcoming negotiations with the Employer. The summaries provided here will explain the specific issues at hand, the changes that will be proposed, and the rationales justifying their importance as proposals.
KEY ARTICLES FOR NEGOTIATION
Article 9: No Discrimination
Change: This article will be overhauled to include more explicit definitions, procedures, and protections for our members from harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
Rationale: The current agreement language around harassment, sexual violence, and discrimination is dated and unclear. Additionally, the Employer has shown clear resistance to implementing a comprehensive policy on these issues, despite direction to do so from the province.
Article 13: Grievance Procedure
Change: We will remove Step Two of the grievance process.
Rationale: The current process takes far too long to reach resolution, and contains several steps that are redundant. Removing Step Two will allow the union to defend our members workplace rights in a more timely fashion.
Article 18: Student Teaching Evaluations
Change: Alter article so that student evaluations are not used for hiring decisions
Rationale: The current Student Evaluations methodology drastically increases the precarious nature of CI employment, significantly hinders what little job security they currently have, and leaves them exposed to discrimination and harassment, particularly women and racialized workers. The union is willing to discuss a new evaluation method that provides legitimate opportunities for CIs to improve their professional skills.
Article 19: Uninterrupted Email Accounts
Change: CIs should not have email accounts suspended between active contracts.
Rationale: Currently, many CIs have their email accounts suspended when between contracts, which causes a range of problems (ie. lack of ability to maintain contact with students). Carleton has recently granted email access for life to all CUPE 2424 members, even after retirement.
Article 19: Library Access
Change: We will clarify and expand CI access to the Carleton library.
Rationale: CIs should have uninterrupted library access for a longer window of time, in order to assist with course preparation and their own academic work.
Article 20: Professional Development Fund/Books & Supplies
Change: Increase the employer’s contribution to the Professional Development Fund.
Rationale: The PDF is a widely used benefit, and is seeing an increased number of applications. Raising the employer contribution allows more CIs to access the fund.
Article 20: Research Grants
Change: We will add a Research Grant to the Professional Development article.
Rationale: This grant, which would be handed out to 3 CIs each year, would allow members to fund their own academic work.
Article 20.3: Teaching Innovation Grant
Change: We will seek to increase the number of CI Teaching Innovation Grant awards.
Rationale: Carleton should devote more resources to recognizing the vital work of CIs. Tying the award amount to compensation rate for half-course credit allows the award amount to increase over time, rather than be re-negotiated every 2 or 3 years.
Article 21.4: Leave
Change: We will increase the compensation rate for CIs who are absent from work due to medical reasons beyond the two weeks allowable in the current agreement.
Rationale: If a CI is receives an authorized leave due to medical reasons, and is not able to teach the remainder of their course, they should receive a fair percentage of the total compensation they would have received, had they taught until the end of the course.
Article 22: Salary (#1)
Change: CIs need a substantial wage increase.
Rationale: CIs at Carleton are among the worst paid in the province and are also paid below the national average. Sessionals at the University of Ottawa, many of whom also work at Carleton and teach identical courses, make about $2,000 (or 18%) more per full-credit course. Additionally, while Carleton CIs have had small wage increases over the last 3 years, they have not matched increases in inflation and cost of living (effectively meaning Carleton CIs earn less now than three years ago)
Article 22: Salary (#2)
Change: We will add cost of living allowance (COLA) language to the agreement.
Rationale: A COLA clause means that the real-world value of CI wages do not decline due to increases in the cost of living.
Article 22: Salary (#3)
Change: We will seek a seniority-based grid.
Rationale: With an increasing number of our CI membership teaching for 4 or more years, the Employer should begin to compensate workers for their experience and seniority, above and beyond the base wage rate. We will seek a graduated, seniority-based pay scale for members who have taught at Carleton for multiple years. Further, this would serve to encourage the retention of experienced teaching staff.
Article 26: Working Conditions
Change: We will add language to establish a TA/student ratio.
Rationale: Currently, there is no clear requirement for the employer to provide TA support to CIs at any particular enrollment level. This leaves some CIs without teaching support, despite a clear need, and greatly increases their workload. This issue will be bargaining in coordination with Unit 1, which will table similar language.
Article 28: Teaching Awards
Change: We will change this article to ensure all awards are disbursed each year.
Rationale: Frequently, not all the Teaching Award funds are disbursed, as the current language does not allow Carleton to disburse the award if there are no candidates from a specific department. We will change the language to ensure all award funds are disbursed, while ensuring that an award be given to a member from each faculty remains the preference.
Article 22.3: Course Cancellation
Change: We will seek to increase the amount of compensation for CIs who have contracts cancelled prior to commencement of the course(s).
Article 27 #1: Institutional Affiliation
Change: Add the right of CIs to have institutional affiliation with Carleton University.
Rationale: Having institutional affiliation with Carleton University would greatly assist union members in pursuing their own academic work and establishing credentials.
Article 27 #2: Access to Grant Writing Services
Change: CIs should have access to grant writing services at Carleton.
Rationale: CIs should have access to the same grant writing supports that other members of the Carleton community enjoy. This would greatly assist our members in pursuing their own academic research and work.
New Article: Access to Employee Assistance Program
Change: CIs should have access to Carleton’s Employee Assistance Program, that provides confidential in-person assessment and counselling on a range of issues and concerns.
Rationale: Carleton’s administrative staff, librarians, instructors, and faculty all have access to the EAP program without cost. The EAP program is a free, comprehensive program which helps workers and their families resolve issues that may be affecting their work life, their health or their general well-being. It includes resources to deal with a range of issues, including: personal crisis, addiction, family concerns, depression, violent experiences, workplace difficulties, separation and loss. It also provides access to resource support on specialized issues such as finances, legal, elder care, and child care.
New Article: New Course Compensation
Change: We will add an article which would provide any CI teaching a new course for the first time additional compensation.
Rationale: Any CI hired to teach a new course should be compensated for preparation time. Additionally, this new article would help increase CI job security by discouraging the employer from terminating senior CIs.
New Article: Course Creation
Change: CIs contracted to create new courses should be compensated even if those courses are cancelled or do not take place.
Rationale: While there is compensation for general preparation work, the current CA does not provide compensation for CIs who create wholly new courses from scratch, for use by the Department, but who may not ultimately teach the course. We will seek compensation for the creation of both half and full-term courses.
New Article: Multi-Course Appointments
Change: A new Article creating multi-course appointments, which will allow CIs to sign contracts guaranteeing a set number of course over a set number of years.
Rationale: CIs lack any real job security. The creation of an avenue for experienced CIs to sign multi-course contracts would significantly reduce the precarity of a large portion of our membership. In the last round of negotiations, the Employer agreed to a pilot project investigating multi-course contracts. Unfortunately, this project was cancelled by the employer prior to commencement.
New Article: Picket Line
Change: A new article allowing union members to refuse to cross a picket line without penalty if asked to do so to carry out their duties as a Carleton employee.
Rationale: This language would greatly strengthen the ability of CUPE 4600 members to work in solidarity with other unions, both on campus and off, by refusing to cross their picket lines.