Collective Agreement FAQ for Partial-Load Faculty

The Collective Agreement is legally binding on your employer (Fanshawe College), on you, and your union. This Contract FAQ answers some common questions you may have.

There are three categories of contract faculty at Ontario colleges:

Category Teaching Hours Per Week Unionized
Part Time (PT) fewer than 7 hours/wk No (explanation)
Partial Load (PL) 7-12 hours/wk Yes
Sessional (S) more than 12 hours/wk No (explanation)

Technically there are two categories of partial-load faculty: professors and instructors, but Fanshawe does not use the instruction category, so all full-time and partial-load faculty at Fanshawe are categorized as professors.

Q:Why am I only paid for my teaching contact hours (TCH)?

The College determines pay by the number of teaching hours per week. It deems this hourly rate to cover out-of-class preparation and marking time (CA 26.02 A). Viewed in this way, the effective hourly rate isn’t nearly as high as what the CA says. The union is committed to securing better rights and better pay for all contract faculty.

Q: I’m a contract faculty member. Do I receive any benefits?

Partial Load (PL) faculty members receive certain benefits automatically. In other cases, you have the right to opt into other benefits. You can find more details in Articles 26.06-26.08 of the CA. You can also choose to opt out of your extended health coverage.

Think very carefully about whether you should opt out of your extended health coverage. If you opt out, you cannot opt in again except after a six-month gap in your employment. Because this benefit is 100% employer paid, there is little reason to opt out—doing so only benefits the employer, not you.

Q: My contract has ended, and I have not started another one. What happens to my benefits (Extended Health, Vision, Hearing, Critical Illness/Catastrophic Event, Dental)

You can bridge group insurance benefits under certain circumstances. If one contract ends but you have already signed another one, you can continue coverage in any group insurance plans by paying the premiums yourself until your next contract begins. Also, if you are rehired within 6 months of the end of a previous contract, there will be no waiting period for group insurance benefits. See CA 26.06 A, B, and C for usual waiting periods.

Q: My contract has ended, and I have not yet started another one. Can I get EI?

Depending on your circumstances, yes. Contact the union office for more information and assistance with your EI application.

Q: I have heard that partial-load faculty have rights with regard to full-time job competitions. What are these rights?

As a partial-load faculty member, CA 27.11 B gives you the right to be treated as an internal candidate for any job competition occurring during your contract or one month following it.

CA 27.11 B defines “consideration” as “a review of the competence, skill and experience of the applicants in relation to the requirements of the position.” This language does not necessarily guarantee internal candidates an interview.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the union.

Q: My manager has asked me to take on additional teaching that would put me above 12 teaching contact hours per week. Should I accept?

According to the CA 26.01 B, a “partial-load employee is defined as a teacher who teaches more than six and up to and including 12 hours per week on a regular basis.” In other words, if you go above 12 hours, you will no longer be partial load, you will no longer be a union member, and you will no longer be covered by any provision of the CA. You will lose your union protection, the higher rates of pay that the union has negotiated, and all benefits that the union has negotiated. In addition, a sessional faculty member, you will have no right to be considered an internal candidate for any full-time job competitions that may occur in the period in question.

Therefore, we generally recommend that you not accept any such offer.


Q: As a partial-load faculty member, am I entitled to membership in the union?

A: Yes. We do recommend that you sign a membership card. You are covered by the Collective Agreement.


Q: Do I pay dues?

A: By law, union dues, which are tax deductible, are deducted by the College from your pay, whether or not you join the union, since all who receive these valuable services share the cost of providing them. Please join so that you can exercise all your rights.


Q: If I want to maintain full membership in the Local, do I need to sign a new union card if I have not been partial load for 12 months?

A: Yes, to maintain the accuracy of our membership list. Membership gives you the right to move motions, vote, stand for office and set demands for bargaining.


Q: How does the Collective Agreement affect partial-load faculty?

A: The Collective Agreement affects vital aspects of your job such as:
• Your wages and seniority;
• your access to extended health and paraprofessional services;
• your access to employee-paid insurance benefits, including vision, hearing, dental and life insurance;
• your access to paid sick leave;
• your job security.


Q: How do I get a copy of the Collective Agreement?

A: You should have received a paper copy of the Collective Agreement from Human Resources when you were initially hired. Contact the union if you don’t have your copy.


Q: Where do I find the provisions that apply to partial-load faculty?

A: Many of the articles of the Collective Agreement apply to both partial-load and full-time faculty. However, since partial-load salary, step progression, job security, health and insurance benefits, and sick-leave provisions differ from those of full-time employees, the rights exclusively related to partial-load employees are defined in Article 26 of the Collective Agreement. We encourage you to read it carefully.


Q: Where can I find the pay grid?

A: See Article 26.04 of the Collective Agreement (page 51 of the printed book).


Q: What if I think I am at the wrong place on the pay grid?

A: Please contact us to go over your initial salary calculation to see if you are on the correct place on the grid.


Q: Do I get pay increases?

A: Yes, negotiated percentage improvements are applied to partial-load as well. Moving up a step in the partial-load pay grid is somewhat easier thanks to the improvements from 2017 Bargaining. See Article 26.10 C.


Q: Do I have job security? I’ve heard that the Collective Agreement gives me rights to be re-hired for future contract positions. How do these rights work?

The key word here is “priority.” Articles 26.10 D and E of the CA gives existing partial-load members “priority in hiring” when the College “determines that there is a need to hire a partial-load employee,” subject to three conditions. To receive priority in hiring,

  • have expressed an interest in teaching partial load by signing up on the Registry, and
  • a member must have been partial-load for “at least eight months of service defined in 26.10 C within the last four academic years”, and
  • a member must have previously taught courses that form the partial-load assignment.

Article 26.10 C requires that a teacher “teaches at least 30 hours or more” in a month to count as a month. Prior to October 1, 2017 a month only counts as 0.5 months of service. After October 1, 2017, a month counts as one month of service.

Because this language is relatively new, this language hasn’t been defined by practice and tested by arbitration rulings as much as other Articles.

If you have any questions about this language and how it applies to you, please contact the union office (union@opseu110.ca).


Q: How do I register for the Partial-Load Registry at Fanshawe?

A: The form is available at https://public.myfanshawe.ca/human-resources/Pages/default.aspx

 

Q: Do I receive health benefits?
A: You receive 100% paid extended health benefits. This coverage includes 100% of eligible expenses for semi-private hospital coverage, private duty nurses (subject to a limit) or registered trained attendants outside of hospitals, emergency services of a physician outside of Canada subject to Ontario fees, dental services as a result of accident or injury, up to $1500 annually of paramedical services, and over the counter prescribed drugs for a chronic condition and prescription drugs. Because of coordination of benefits you will want to sign up for this benefits that has been fully negotiated on your behalf. You are entitled to enroll at your own expense in any of the other plans eligible to full-time employees such as life and dependent insurance, vision and hearing and dental benefits.


Q: If I have other questions?

A: If you are a faculty member at Fanshawe College, contact us at union@opseu110.ca