i want to return to two of the most important sites of tension in CAAT-A's struggle to bring the CEC back to the bargaining table:

part-time faculty & intellectual property

believe it or not, these issues are much more related than they might seem at first
i've already tried to speak a bit to the CEC's long term agenda for the ontario college system -- an aggressive shift towards privatization, "micro-credentials" (basically corporate certificates), and deep devaluing of faculty labor & student education
the CEC has its own euphemisms for these changes, centered on words like "student choice", "real-world skills", and "efficient program delivery"

these are typical marketing pitches - they might sound fair or even necessary in a brochure, but the details are intentionally vague
luckily, we have evidence like Graham Lloyd (CEO of the CEC)'s inflammatory letter to OPSEU to give insight into how exactly management plans to implement their vision

spoiler alert: it's all bad for students & faculty
let's start with part-time workers. what's the actual conflict here?

the college system has (afaik) a few different categories of non-full-time work: "part timers", "partial load" and "sessional"
part-timers officially work "less than 7 hours" a week, partial-load folks work 7-12, & sessional workers work more than 12

due to historical anti-union pressure & policy at the provincial level, only partial-load faculty are currently able to join the union
(CAAT-A actually led an organizing push to bring all part-time faculty back into the union in 2017, but the results of this process remain unknown because the CEC has continuously sabotaged the ontario labor board's tallying of the votes)
within these already-unfair strictures, CAAT-A's current proposals to the CEC have focused on low or no cost measures to ensure that partial load faculty have basic benefits like health coverage in the gaps between terms & clearer mechanisms for retaining their roles over time
but the CEC won't budge. in fact, it is precisely some of these proposals that Graham Lloyd claimed would "never" be accepted by college management.

so, if money's not the issue, what is? why would the CEC refuse even basic seniority privileges for long time contractors?
one plausible explanation, especially once we factor in the CEC's belligerence around curriculum ownership,

is that college management wants faculty to be 100% replaceable
one of the greatest strengths of unions & stable, permanent jobs, is that people who work together gain a sense of continuity, the ability to legacy-plan, and influence over the culture of the organization that employs them
for years, the CEC has fought tooth and nail against job security for part AND full-time workers, including tactics like eliminating permanent roles when faculty retire and preventing schools from creating full-time jobs even when student demand is booming
avoiding the higher costs associated with permanent employment is certainly part of the equation, but the CEC clearly has a deeper agenda around breaking down the power of faculty to shape the future of the college system
i still can't get over the line in Graham Lloyd's letter where he describes the union's efforts to grow its membership as, and i quote,

"stripping work from other employee groups to augment the faculty bargaining unit."
the "other employee groups" he refers to here are, & i can't believe i have to clarify this, part time faculty who *want to join the union but can't* because the CEC is violating their labor rights

the arrogance of claiming to protect people against their own desires is galling
but the CEC's vision is precisely this:

a college system where employees have no voice of their own, where the union and the collective power it builds shrinks every year, where management subdivides every retired full-time role into exponentially more "3 hour" contracts
the one missing piece in the CEC's plan is where they'll get the curriculum to supply their underwaged, non-union employees

that's where intellectual property rights come in
you may be surprised to learn (i was, my partner was!) that right now, colleges "own" a surprising amount of the content their faculty produce. multimedia presentations, curriculum materials; basically anything that can be documented and copied.
this was never a good thing, but in the pre-COVID world a much larger proportion of teaching and curriculum development happened live and in-person. recorded lectures & digital delivery weren't the rule like they are now. college education has fundamentally changed since 2020.
recognizing these changes, CAAT-A brought simple, reasonable proposals to the CEC to ensure that faculty have a say in when and how their work is re-used.

again, the CEC has made these requests a major sticking point
to once again quote my good friend Graham, why should management forego "the ownership of materials that the Colleges have paid for"?

even if that ownership & those materials were defined in 2017 under completely different working conditions?

why would the CEC be so stubborn?
have a quick look at this article:

for those who aren't able to read: earlier this year concordia university was caught running a class via the digital lectures of a prof who *died in 2019*, unbeknownst to his students

when they were called out, the school claimed his lectures were simply "teaching materials"
think about the implications of this. if an educational institution owns the words coming out of your mouth and has the means to reproduce them, then you, the real live human who once said those words, are no longer necessary
i know this sounds like bad sci-fi, but it's already happening. public colleges in ontario are considering reselling their program content to private institutions

& if they believe they already own that content in full, i highly doubt they plan to compensate the minds behind it
i hope it's becoming clearer how these labor & ownership issues are linked, and why the CEC is so obstinate despite the low material cost of CAAT-A's proposals

the CEC isn't fighting short term gains; they're fighting for permanent control & a college system without union power
as ever, and more importantly: you don't have to take the bait.

if you're a student, tell your profs and your administrators that you support faculty demands!

if you're faculty, talk to your coworkers; don't let the CEC or management dictate the terms of the conversation!
& if you're full time: reach out to the part-timers at your school.

they need your support; they need to know you see them as equal collaborators in the struggle against forced austerity

often, they are the young, brilliant people who will lead this fight in the future!

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More from @bryinlyin

25 Nov
college faculty, friends, allies: looks like another email just came down the chain from the CEC

the big reveal is: it's just more aggression

to be honest, this one confused me for a minute. luckily, there are some kind folks helping to keep me sorted! thanks for that!

what threw me off is that the CEC appears to finally be offering something the union has been calling for since last week: voluntary binding arbitration

this is a process where a arbitrator agreed upon by both parties is called in to help assemble the new collective agreement
arbitration can be useful when normal bargaining has reached an impasse but the parties involved want to avoid escalating the confrontation

the "binding" part means that the CEC and CAAT-A agree to accept abitrator's decisions
Read 13 tweets
25 Nov
hey hi folks who followed me for OPSEU/CAAT-A stuff; thanks! i also tweet about other things you may/may not find interesting;

to preserve a bit of order, here's a thread of union/bargaining-related threads; i'll keep adding to it until faculty win a better collective agreement
Read 8 tweets
25 Nov
it *could* have been a quiet morning, but the CEC decided to bombard college faculty with another blast of management propaganda

the CEC is desperate to convince you that their proposals are "reasonable" & "neutral" where CAAT-A's are unlawful & arbitrary

but it's just not true
the CEC is fixated on Bill 124, which they claim the union's proposal's "violate"

but Bill 124 is a simply a provincial cap on salary increases & public spending, which CAAT-A has already publicly accepted the (politically dubious, but that's another story) limits of
in fact, the only adjustments to compensation put forward by the union are small increases in prep & evaluation time as a direct response to the massive educational shifts created by the pandemic

is the CEC arguing that *any* increase in labor after 2019 should go unpaid?
Read 17 tweets
24 Nov
normalizing mass death is not the same thing as ending mass death
so many of the people arguing "we just have to live with covid now" are either hugely structurally insulated from it or unable to avoid it *because* of people who are hugely insulated from it

the (racist, classist, ableist) persistence of the pandemic is not inevitable
more & more, the government's "solutions" are about downloading responsibility - for being vaccinated, for verifying vaccinations, for surviving/"recovering" physically & emotionally & economically - onto individuals
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov
college faculty bargaining update!

today, the CEO of the College Employer Council (which represents management/the province) sent an "open letter" to OPSEU/CAAT-A (the faculty union)

it's as bad as you expect. read on if you want to get your blood boiling this chilly afternoon:
here's the letter. i'm reluctant to drag it into the light of day, but for transparency's sake you're welcome to suffer through it yourself:


i'm going to focus on two things: 1) why it's pure management propaganda, & 2) how to turn it against the CEC
to quickly summarize, the letter is nominally addressed to JP Hornick, the chair of the bargaining committee, & Smokey Thomas, the president of OPSEU (who, strangely, has spent much of the last few months either criticizing the CAAT-A bargaining unit or defending Doug Ford)
Read 28 tweets
22 Nov
i know a lot of ppl (myself included) who've gone through an ontario college video game/narrative design/digital arts program

whether you're a current or former student, if you missed my thread this weekend, please know that college faculty need your support *right now*
for the sake of not repeating myself (much as i love to), here's the original thread:

a lot of people in the video game industry are just catching up to the idea *of* labor unions and how essential they are to worker safety & solidarity

but existing unions are also under constant threat from management & governments that put profits over people
Read 18 tweets

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