Update on Upcoming Bargaining Sessions

Hello Colleagues, A vocal group of Sessionals attended the latest Faculty Association general meeting. Their presence demonstrated interest on the part of Sessional faculty members who make up the majority of the Association. Several spoke out about our concerns, raising crucial issues that, as a newly appointed member of the negotiating committee, I can now pursue during discussions with FANC (Faculty Association Negotiating Committee). Contrary to the concerns about “constituency representation” raised by another member of the Association, each FANC representative has pledged to represent the entire membership during our negotiations. In this context, the leadership of the Association recognizes serious concerns of its Sessional members that have long gone neglected. For this reason, we now have a Sessional faculty member, Michael Brisbois, on the FA Board, as well as another, myself, on the negotiating committee. I hope to see further moves in this direction. Last week, the negotiating committee formed part of the Association’s leadership retreat, at which event we had opportunities to talk about the upcoming bargaining sessions. In August, we are supposed to receive two days of training in faculty bargaining methods from CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers). With much yet to learn, I have two basic goals would help sessionals without threatening the position of continuing faculty members. First, sessionals must have some level of security; before we can usefully discuss other issues, we need to know that we cannot be fired on a whim. Secondly, I would like to explore ways of ensuring that sessionals – at minimum, those serving two or more semesters per year – retain year-round membership in the Faculty Association. Your thoughts will continually inform my positions. I will also welcome information. For example, anyone with access – or with friends who have access – to labour agreements that cover contract or casual employees in other areas such as retail or construction could provide concrete material for me to have on hand as I discuss our right to job security. Information about legislation or about exemplary labour agreements involving the relationship of “temporary” workers to their respective unions or associations would also help. In return, I will keep you updated as our efforts take shape. Please pass this along to other sessionals who might be interested and, when possible, send names and emails that I can add to this list of recipients. I would like to have this conversation include as much as possible of our entire group. All the best– Marco