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The Educator – January 2016

Welcome to a new term and the new year. This issue contains a few new year’s resolutions of our own.

Our opening editorial calls for a new approach to bargaining focusing on the needs of partial-load faculty. For some, such a focus may seem controversial, for others it is only commonsense. We need to open the discussion well in advance of renewed bargaining in 2017. Whatever your take on the proposal, be sure to attend the next General Membership Meeting to cast your vote.

Dr. Amanda-Zavitz provides a sincere first-person account of her struggle to secure accommodation for childcare, a struggle which took many years and ended in a judgement against our college for violation of her human rights. Dr. Zavitz’s Fanshawe and the Family tells a story that many others have experienced. Those of you who are familiar with the work of Anne-Marie Slaughter, especially her recent book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family (2015), will see immediately how timely Dr. Zavitz’s story is as an instance of the ongoing struggle for recognition of family care as a right in the workplace.

Morneau-Shepell, the college’s offsite third-party manager of medical absences and accommodations, has acquired an unsavory reputation among many of our members. You need to know how to deal with them if you are sick or injured, and we provide some guidance in the article What to Do When Shepell Calls for You.

George Fogarasi, a colleague from Fleming College, takes a look at the ballyhoo surrounding MOOC course delivery in his article Let Them Eat MOOC. Carmen Gindi ponders the growing division between the sciences and the humanities in Give Enlightenment a Second Chance. In My Bid for a Nobel Prize., Jamie Austin takes aim at the inflated claims of economics, a discipline that can proudly declare it is 100% accurate at least 15% of the time. Matt Farrell tells us about the struggles of teaching as a precarious education worker in My NFT Life. Our intrepid Chief Steward, Mark Feltham, explains the workings of the Work Load Monitoring Group (WMG), one of the many acronym agencies that regulate and control our lives at the college. Mark has an inexhaustible appetite for procedural complexities, and we all benefit from his slightly maddening attention to detail.

Darryl Bedford, in his careful way, makes the case that our current situation in the union is a steady erosion of influence which we can only resist if we are prepared to consider new strategies. Michael Boisvert ponders the effects of top-down managerial models in industry and education in his meditation on the ‘Anarchist Squint.’ New Local Vice-President, Kathleen Dindoff, turns her attention to the doubtful validity and reliability of our Student Feedback Survey.

Something for everyone!  You can download a PDF version of the January 2016 Educator here.