Cutting through the misinformation

Opinion Nov 14, 2017 by Marc Laferriere Brant News

RE: College faculty are not precarious workers

Mr. Tibbits’ comments are “most disappointing.”

Here is what he is not telling you:

• There are other precarious worker definitions used by Canada and Ontario governments. Academic faculty that are contract do fit into this category, and this is generally regarded as true in labour relations, Ontario law and government policy. Having been a post-secondary student, part-time faculty and full-time faculty in the college system in the last 10 years, I can certainly say it is precarious work in the part-time side of things.

• While I do not work at Conestoga, but at another college, this strike is not about any one particular college. It’s about all 24 of them. Some stats may be better at some campuses. Others are not. The entire system collectively bargains — not one campus or another.

• Mr. Tibbits is pointing negative fingers at other colleges while touting his college’s numbers. I would welcome him — and any of the other presidents at colleges that are at or above the 50:50 ratio of full-time to part-time faculty — to support the changes we are pushing for and mentor the other colleges on how to implement a better ratio.

• If Conestoga is at 68 per cent teaching hours — not the same necessarily as the 50:50 ratio we are talking about in terms of employees — then support your faculty’s ideas. Does the per cent he is referring to include online teaching hours? What is the actual staff ratio for his college as a whole (not the Brantford satellite) and for the system as a whole across the province? Based on our numbers, it seems to be above 70 per cent part-time/contract.

• Additionally, the $75 average per hour he discusses is per teaching hour in a 13 to 14-week period. My years of experience as a part-timer tell me that for every teaching hour, I spent between four to eight hours of prep, marking, emails and being available for my students in person to further discuss content and help them. So, I essentially made $12.50 an hour on average, not including parking fees, travel between campuses or other expenses. It’s not lucrative and I was never paid to update and enhance classes. If I did and uploaded those improvements to help my students, that material is now property of the college system.

• I also notice there is no mention about enhanced counselling services on campus for students, which I brought up in the original article. We must walk the talk on this as well for students. I am told by colleagues that one college in the system turns away 40 students a day who need counselling. Another laid off counsellors and replaced them with comfort animals.

It is difficult to be in this position on all sides, but it is not difficult to cut through misinformation and see very calculated communications strategies for what they are.

One could call this column by one of the top earners in the college system, in which he is criticizing his employees for speaking out, “an uncritical recitation of the rhetoric provided by” the college employer council and representatives of the growing and lucrative management sector in our college system.

But, that would be a poor way to get to an agreement.

We need to do that for the sake of the system, the students and the faculty.

Marc Laferriere is a professor in the Ontario college system and is currently on strike.

Cutting through the misinformation

Opinion Nov 14, 2017 by Marc Laferriere Brant News

RE: College faculty are not precarious workers

Mr. Tibbits’ comments are “most disappointing.”

Here is what he is not telling you:

• There are other precarious worker definitions used by Canada and Ontario governments. Academic faculty that are contract do fit into this category, and this is generally regarded as true in labour relations, Ontario law and government policy. Having been a post-secondary student, part-time faculty and full-time faculty in the college system in the last 10 years, I can certainly say it is precarious work in the part-time side of things.

Related Content

• While I do not work at Conestoga, but at another college, this strike is not about any one particular college. It’s about all 24 of them. Some stats may be better at some campuses. Others are not. The entire system collectively bargains — not one campus or another.

• Mr. Tibbits is pointing negative fingers at other colleges while touting his college’s numbers. I would welcome him — and any of the other presidents at colleges that are at or above the 50:50 ratio of full-time to part-time faculty — to support the changes we are pushing for and mentor the other colleges on how to implement a better ratio.

• If Conestoga is at 68 per cent teaching hours — not the same necessarily as the 50:50 ratio we are talking about in terms of employees — then support your faculty’s ideas. Does the per cent he is referring to include online teaching hours? What is the actual staff ratio for his college as a whole (not the Brantford satellite) and for the system as a whole across the province? Based on our numbers, it seems to be above 70 per cent part-time/contract.

• Additionally, the $75 average per hour he discusses is per teaching hour in a 13 to 14-week period. My years of experience as a part-timer tell me that for every teaching hour, I spent between four to eight hours of prep, marking, emails and being available for my students in person to further discuss content and help them. So, I essentially made $12.50 an hour on average, not including parking fees, travel between campuses or other expenses. It’s not lucrative and I was never paid to update and enhance classes. If I did and uploaded those improvements to help my students, that material is now property of the college system.

• I also notice there is no mention about enhanced counselling services on campus for students, which I brought up in the original article. We must walk the talk on this as well for students. I am told by colleagues that one college in the system turns away 40 students a day who need counselling. Another laid off counsellors and replaced them with comfort animals.

It is difficult to be in this position on all sides, but it is not difficult to cut through misinformation and see very calculated communications strategies for what they are.

One could call this column by one of the top earners in the college system, in which he is criticizing his employees for speaking out, “an uncritical recitation of the rhetoric provided by” the college employer council and representatives of the growing and lucrative management sector in our college system.

But, that would be a poor way to get to an agreement.

We need to do that for the sake of the system, the students and the faculty.

Marc Laferriere is a professor in the Ontario college system and is currently on strike.

Cutting through the misinformation

Opinion Nov 14, 2017 by Marc Laferriere Brant News

RE: College faculty are not precarious workers

Mr. Tibbits’ comments are “most disappointing.”

Here is what he is not telling you:

• There are other precarious worker definitions used by Canada and Ontario governments. Academic faculty that are contract do fit into this category, and this is generally regarded as true in labour relations, Ontario law and government policy. Having been a post-secondary student, part-time faculty and full-time faculty in the college system in the last 10 years, I can certainly say it is precarious work in the part-time side of things.

Related Content

• While I do not work at Conestoga, but at another college, this strike is not about any one particular college. It’s about all 24 of them. Some stats may be better at some campuses. Others are not. The entire system collectively bargains — not one campus or another.

• Mr. Tibbits is pointing negative fingers at other colleges while touting his college’s numbers. I would welcome him — and any of the other presidents at colleges that are at or above the 50:50 ratio of full-time to part-time faculty — to support the changes we are pushing for and mentor the other colleges on how to implement a better ratio.

• If Conestoga is at 68 per cent teaching hours — not the same necessarily as the 50:50 ratio we are talking about in terms of employees — then support your faculty’s ideas. Does the per cent he is referring to include online teaching hours? What is the actual staff ratio for his college as a whole (not the Brantford satellite) and for the system as a whole across the province? Based on our numbers, it seems to be above 70 per cent part-time/contract.

• Additionally, the $75 average per hour he discusses is per teaching hour in a 13 to 14-week period. My years of experience as a part-timer tell me that for every teaching hour, I spent between four to eight hours of prep, marking, emails and being available for my students in person to further discuss content and help them. So, I essentially made $12.50 an hour on average, not including parking fees, travel between campuses or other expenses. It’s not lucrative and I was never paid to update and enhance classes. If I did and uploaded those improvements to help my students, that material is now property of the college system.

• I also notice there is no mention about enhanced counselling services on campus for students, which I brought up in the original article. We must walk the talk on this as well for students. I am told by colleagues that one college in the system turns away 40 students a day who need counselling. Another laid off counsellors and replaced them with comfort animals.

It is difficult to be in this position on all sides, but it is not difficult to cut through misinformation and see very calculated communications strategies for what they are.

One could call this column by one of the top earners in the college system, in which he is criticizing his employees for speaking out, “an uncritical recitation of the rhetoric provided by” the college employer council and representatives of the growing and lucrative management sector in our college system.

But, that would be a poor way to get to an agreement.

We need to do that for the sake of the system, the students and the faculty.

Marc Laferriere is a professor in the Ontario college system and is currently on strike.