News Bulletin 5, November 21, 2017 

Asbestos update
We are happy to be able, finally, to report good news on the asbestos test results.  After surmounting the obstacles the College put in place in order for us to obtain copies of the  air quality test results that were done for the renovations in A-500, which involved asbestos, we have now received the analysis of them by our air-quality specialist at the CSN. The results of the tests that were done between September 22, 2017 and October 14, 2017 are within established norms.

The VCTA Executive will be consulting the College’s asbestos register as renovations in the College continue. We hope that, going forward, the College will supply results of their air quality tests in a more timely and more cooperative manner.

Insurance
You will find the latest “Insurance Newsletter #18” regarding our Fneeq insurance coverage with La Capitale, here attached. You have until the end of November to ask HR to make changes to your policy. It includes the following links:

  • Summary of coverage on January 1, 2018.
  • New rating applicable as of January 1, 2018 and health insurance modifications.

 

 

“DUBIOUS” CONFERENCES

PD and “dubious” conferences

Last May, the Professional Development Committee started to receive PD requests to attend conferences that seemed somewhat peculiar.  The admin rep on the committee started to question some and spent a few minutes developing an “abstract” that was sent to the organizers of several conferences. This bogus abstract was accepted at most of these. What were some of the “red flags”?

* Very expensive registration fees, even for presenters, and distant, desirable locations.

*Short conferences with little time for presentation, e.g. a three day conference, with only one day for presentations and two days for tourism and events.

*No actual theme for the conference, but people can submit abstracts on a wide range of topics.

*A “peer-review” process for papers which takes a very short period of time, sometimes 48 hours.

* Spelling and other English-language mistakes on the conference website, although the conference is in English.

* No program for the conference, until shortly before it is held.

* The name of the university offering the conference has a name very close to the name of a well-known university (so one could easily think that the well-known university was sponsoring the conference).

We would ask teachers to check conferences very carefully, especially in regards to the points noted above, before they put in a PD request. In the light of last year’s experience with “dubious” conferences — and executive members had to agree that there were dubious conferences — we agree that the PD Committee has to look at applications for conferences carefully to make sure that our PD funds are not paying for “dubious conferences.” The administration has articulated its position as follows:

The Administration wants you to have a meaningful and productive PD experience. Please choose your conferences wisely as we have found there are dubious conference organizers purporting to offer high-level conferences when in fact the conferences they promote are ‘vanity’ conferences. They cater to a clientele not wishing their research to be exposed to peer review. In other words, anyone can present a paper at the conference without any real vetting. Applications to attend such conferences will be denied.

The PD Committee is a parity committee in the Collective Agreement, meaning that each side (the admin and the VCTA) has one vote.  If one side does not agree to an application, then it is not approved.

“DUBIOUS” CONFERENCES

PD and “dubious” conferences

Last May, the Professional Development Committee started to receive PD requests to attend conferences that seemed somewhat peculiar.  The admin rep on the committee started to question some and spent a few minutes developing an “abstract” that was sent to the organizers of several conferences. This bogus abstract was accepted at most of these. What were some of the “red flags”?

* Very expensive registration fees, even for presenters, and distant, desirable locations.

*Short conferences with little time for presentation, e.g. a three day conference, with only one day for presentations and two days for tourism and events.

*No actual theme for the conference, but people can submit abstracts on a wide range of topics.

*A “peer-review” process for papers which takes a very short period of time, sometimes 48 hours.

* Spelling and other English-language mistakes on the conference website, although the conference is in English.

* No program for the conference, until shortly before it is held.

* The name of the university offering the conference has a name very close to the name of a well-known university (so one could easily think that the well-known university was sponsoring the conference).

We would ask teachers to check conferences very carefully, especially in regards to the points noted above, before they put in a PD request. In the light of last year’s experience with “dubious” conferences — and executive members had to agree that there were dubious conferences — we agree that the PD Committee has to look at applications for conferences carefully to make sure that our PD funds are not paying for “dubious conferences.” The administration has articulated its position as follows:

The Administration wants you to have a meaningful and productive PD experience. Please choose your conferences wisely as we have found there are dubious conference organizers purporting to offer high-level conferences when in fact the conferences they promote are ‘vanity’ conferences. They cater to a clientele not wishing their research to be exposed to peer review. In other words, anyone can present a paper at the conference without any real vetting. Applications to attend such conferences will be denied.

The PD Committee is a parity committee in the Collective Agreement, meaning that each side (the admin and the VCTA) has one vote.  If one side does not agree to an application, then it is not approved.

ASSOCIATION COUNCIL AGENDA

Thursday, November 16, 2017
ROOM F-216 at 1:15 pm – 4:00 pm

  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes – November 2, 2017
  3. Business Arising
    1. Asbestos
    2. Cont Ed charges
    3. By Law 3
    4. SO24 update – resources for teachers with students with special needs
  4. Reports & Announcements
    1. Executive minutes
    2. Quality Assurance
    3. Partnerships
    4. Memorial gathering – November 24, 2017 for Cemal Yalinpala
    5. Coordinators’ meeting
  5. New Business
  6. Members’ Concerns
  7. Varia
  8. In camera
  9. Adjournment

 REMINDER: BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP OR GLASS

PLEASE NOTE: THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE VCTA MEMBERSHIP

News Bulletin 4, November 10, 2017          

Cont Ed Teachers’ Special Meeting
You are invited to a special meeting to address the specific concerns of Cont Ed teachers over wine and cheese:  4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, on Thursday, January 25, 2018.  (We chose this time, in particular, since classes for Cont Ed will not pose any conflict as they begin Jan. 29th).  We hope to hear from you.

  • Save the date!

College Committees with Teacher Representatives
We have now filled many of the committees for 2017-18.  Thanks to all teachers who put their names forward to participate in committee work so as to ensure teacher perspectives are informing the direction of College initiatives.

Professional Development
In an effort to facilitate our teachers’ use of our professional development funds, we would like to let you know that 1) deadlines are important: you must submit your Application form before the event and you must submit your Expense Report after the event; 2) highball your “amount requested” on the Application form: so that the amount claimed on the Expense Reports will have already been approved; 3) we have made a proposal to the Administration  to make the College Policy on per diems more flexible and the Administration is considering the proposal.

Quality Assurance: Global Perspective
The ‘Quality Assurance’ vision of management has become an integral part of the process of evaluation in higher education worldwide.  Problems can be seen, in the UK, for instance, where Quality Assurance principles inform a new assessment process called the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). It is an audit that universities and colleges are now being subject to by an external agency under Ministerial auspices to assess “the quality of teaching.”  This has nothing to do with excellence in teaching but rather the management of educational institutions since the TEF will be used to determine funding to institutions.  The danger is that this approach favours centralized, hierarchical decisional processes, instead of the collective input from teachers, as the experts in education.

Contractual Obligations
In our Collective Agreement (Article 8-4:01 -Type 1 activities), there are a certain number of tasks that are considered “contractual obligations” that all teachers are expected to do, from tenured teachers with lots of seniority to brand new non-tenured teachers. The most important duty we must perform is teaching our full courses, but know that holding office hours and attending department meetings are also notable contractual obligations.

See our full articles on our website, for day teachers:
http://www.thevcta.qc.ca/2017/03/02/contractual-obligations/

And Cont Ed teachers:
http://www.thevcta.qc.ca/2017/04/06/1811/

For the full list of contractual obligations, see our Collective Agreement, Art. 8-4.01:
http://www.thevcta.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2015-2020-Convention-Collective-FNEEQ-2015-2020-EN.pdf

Changing Your Medical and Dental Insurance Coverage
Contact Human Resources for any change you may want in the insurance coverage modules during the month of November.

Coffee Mugs
Please kindly return any common mugs you may have to the lounges as our stock is presently quite low.  Thank-you!

Estates General on Higher Education 2017

Last May, Eric Durling (president, center in photo) and Sheila Das (vice-president internal, photo credit) attended this great event with over 500 participants in higher education — students, Cegep professors, university professors, and contract teachers —  from across Quebec to discuss  topics essential to higher education from accessibility, to research, to market-based views, among others.  The last Estates General in Quebec was in 1995 so it is high time for a re-assessment from those directly involved in education!  The idea is to formulate a campaign for higher education as the experts in the field.  We would want to have this poised and ready to go for the next provincial elections (October 2018).

If you want to be a part of these discussions, please come with us to the next big congress, May 2-5, in Montreal.

http://eges.quebec/

Les États généraux de l’enseignement supérieur (EGES)

 

ASSOCIATION COUNCIL AGENDA

Thursday, November 2, 2017
ROOM F-216 at 1:15 pm – 4:00 pm

  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes – October 12, 2017
  3. Business Arising
    1. Asbestos
    2. Budget Committee
    3. Support staff at CRT
    4. SO24 update
  4. Reports & Announcements
    1. Estates General of Higher Education
  5. New Business
    1. Memorials for deceased colleagues
      1. Messages from the College
      2. Upcoming commemoration
    2. Partnerships with other colleges
    3. Cont Ed charge
  6. Members’ Concerns
  7. Varia
  8. In camera
  9. Adjournment

REMINDER: BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP OR GLASS

 PLEASE NOTE: THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE VCTA MEMBERSHIP

GENERAL ASSEMBLY AGENDA

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
F216 – during UB – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

AGENDA

  1.  Approval of Agenda
  2.  Approval of Minutes – October 4, 2017
  3. Business Arising
    1. By-law 3*
  4. Reports & Announcements
  5. New Business
    1. Quality Assurance
  6. Varia
  7. Adjournment

 MOTIONS:                  

*By Law 3: Academic Dean has concerns regarding article 6.05. “a draft copy of the Academic Council minutes should be sent to. . . .within 10 days of the meeting”. .

Whereas it is desirable that Proposed Revisions to By Law 3 be passed by consensus at Academic Council.

Whereas the Academic Dean has indicated that she would accept all approved changes by the VCTA General Assembly to By Law 3.

That the VCTA Association Council recommend that the VCTA General Assembly mandate the faculty members of Academic Council to approve the following amendment to the September 13th 2017 GA motion regarding article 6.05. “A draft copy of the minutes of each meeting of Academic Council is transmitted to all members of Academic Council within 15 working days of that meeting.”

REMINDER:  PLEASE CALL 7053  TO RESERVE

 

Solidarity with contract teachers in Ontario colleges, whose poor working conditions mirror that of Cont Ed contract work in CEGEPS.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ontario-college-strike-academia-1.4364735?cmp=rss

  ‘People are suffering’: Contract work has turned universities, colleges into temp agencies, say critics

www.cbc.ca

Precarious work is the “new norm” at Canada’s colleges and universities, say teachers who are constantly put on contracts instead of being hired permanently. They say it’s not only difficult for them personally, but it’s having an impact on students.