We’ll Be Dealing with the Smell of This Offer for Years if We Accept It… At All Levels of the Colleges.
So the College Employers Council (CEC) gives Faculty an offer that’s basically equivalent to the offer they had on the table over four weeks ago. Why didn’t they give it to us to vote on then? It would’ve saved a lot of time and energy; time and energy that could’ve been put into education.
From what I can tell, primarily because the CEC, as a collective body, hasn’t much vested interest in, or direct experience with, college education. Or students, faculty, or front-line management for that matter. The Council may be comprised of people who have, or have had, some experience in colleges. But from what I can discern, little to none with the actual teaching-learning process. They don’t much live on the rock, live doing college education. They experience it, and talk about it in the abstract language of products, questionable quantifications, performance indicators, and brands.
As a result, they’ve been behaving like a flock of seagulls. They fly in, wander from section to section of the Collective Agreement, show some interest here, peck at something there and then throw it away, jump to something else and gulp it down. Finally, they poop and fly away. And they leave the rest of us, who actually live on the rock doing education, to contend with what they’ve left behind.
I wish I could say I’m just engaging in rhetoric. But I’m not. The College Employers Council has pretty much conducted itself as I’ve described above. The CEO of the flock and his assistant scurry here and there, and seem to interact with some of the other groups of birds that make this rock their home, notably faculty and managers. Then the flock does a collective deposit, and asks us to take it or leave it. In a couple of weeks he, his assistant, their ever-present, behind-the-scenes legal counsel, and others will more or less fly off, no matter what happens.
Seriously, off they’ll go, leaving the rest of us to contend with what’s been left behind in our classrooms, offices, programs, and departments. He won’t have to deal with the educational or employment implications of what they’ve deposited, not only in the short term, but for the next few years.
Now it might be one thing if what was deposited helped fertilize education, even though I still have problems with this bargaining structure. But it doesn’t; it just stinks. And it stinks for all the reasons listed by our Faculty Bargaining Team, which you can read elsewhere. But it also stinks because this offer could’ve been given to us to vote on over four weeks ago. And, we’re going to be dealing with this smell for years if we accept it.
Ed Ksenych, OPSEU Local 556, George Brown College