Human Rights Advisory Services

Human Rights Advisory Services
Human Rights Advisory Services

Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Local 110 v. Fanshawe College
 

Summary

This is a dispute over a workload assignment between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, representing the Grievor, and Fanshawe College, by the provisions of Article 11.02 of the collective agreement governing the parties

On October 31, 2013, the Grievor received an e-mail from the College advising him that he would be required to complete two training modules relating to Accessibility Awareness. The College was obliged by Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the AODA to provide such training to all “educators.”

The time required to complete the training was a one-half hour for each module for a total of one hour. In response to the e-mail, the Grievor requested that his SWF be amended to include the time spent on this training. This request was refused.
 

Questions to be Determined and Findings

1. Should the Grievor’s standard workload form (SWF) be credited with one hour for training that he was required by the College to undertake according to regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disability Act? (NO)
 

Reasoning

1. Article 11.01 of the collective agreement establishes an elaborate and detailed mechanism for attributing the number of hours that a professor is credited for on an SWF on a weekly basis in each semester. This article determines that a college teacher should not exceed 44 hours in any week for up to 36 weeks and that the rest of the academic year should be reserved for complementary functions and professional development. The article further establishes that complementary duties “appropriate to the role of the teacher” may be assigned.

Article 11.03 establishes a ten-month academic year from September 1 to June 30. The year is divided into teaching and non-teaching periods, and the SWF only sets out the hours assigned and attributed during the teaching period, one for each semester. The periods within the academic year outside the periods described in the SWF’s are considered as the “non-teaching period.”

The Union alleges that the requirement to complete the modules should be treated either as an assignment in “atypical circumstances” as contemplated under article 11.01 G 2, or as an assignment of a complementary function as contemplated under article 11.01 F 1; but that the assignment should not be covered by the allowance for “normal administrative tasks”.

It is the position of the College that the training should be treated as professional development following article 11.08. Therefore, the training could have been completed between December 6 and January 1, during the Grievor’s non-teaching period. Alternatively, counsel argued that the completion of the training should fall under the allowance for complementary functions under article 11.01 F 1.

The Tribunal used the Shime decision to conduct its analysis. In this decision

“The majority recognizes that there are circumstances in which the College may unilaterally assign appropriate tasks as contemplated by Article 11.08 absent the teacher’s consent where it would be unreasonable to withhold consent.” (p. 11)

The tribunal also acknowledges the requirement in s. 16 that educational institutions must provide “educators with accessibility awareness training related to accessible program or course delivery and instruction.” Also, that, given the nature of the training, the assignment contributed to the quality of education and professional development.

Finally, the Tribunal proceeded to determine if it was reasonable for the institution to request the completion of the training without the teacher’s consent.

“I have concluded that the assignment was reasonable. The entire assignment was of one hour’s duration. It was designed to enhance the teacher’s ability to deliver instruction to all students. There was no reason put forward as to why the Grievor should refuse consent during the non-teaching period.” (p. 14)
 

Outcome

The grievance was dismissed.