Labour Relations Updates

Ratification of Memorandum of Agreement

September 25, 2017

I am pleased to confirm that the voluntary settlement between OCADFA and the university for a renewal Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has been ratified by the OCADFA membership. Following earlier ratification by the OCAD University Board of Governors, this successfully concludes this round of bargaining with a four-year agreement retroactive to July 1, 2016 and running to June 30, 2020.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the OCADFA and university negotiating committee members for the considerable time and effort they devoted to the collective bargaining process, and to Bill Leeming, Associate Professor, FOLASSIS, and Nicky Davis, Director, Human Resources for their leadership in this process.

At this important juncture with the university’s adoption of its new Academic Plan, this settlement facilitates its implementation and represents an important investment in the university’s academic direction. It lays the groundwork for more joint work between OCADFA and the university’s academic leadership on key issues, including implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Presidential Task Force on Underrepresentation of Indigenous and Racialized Faculty.

Some key achievements in the settlement include:

  • workload parity between studio and Liberal Arts & Sciences faculty, which will support greater interdisciplinarity and collaboration between Faculties and amongst faculty members
  • improved salary competitiveness for sessional and non-sessional faculty which demonstrates an ongoing commitment to recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty;
  • normative treatment (within university sector) of graduate supervision as a teaching-related responsibility and the phased elimination of the graduate supervision stipend;
  • joint management-faculty committees to work on key issues such as Standards of Performance, Criteria for Promotion of Academic Rank and Descriptions for each Rank; standards for professional practice and/or research appropriate to liberal arts & sciences and studio-based education, the faculty performance review process, etc., and
  • labour stability achieved through a four-year agreement.

You can find the full settlement summary here. Work is underway to produce an updated MoA, and the resulting document will be made available once finalized. 

In the coming weeks you will be receiving confirmation from Human Resources on the specific impact of this agreement on your salary and benefits. Salary increases will be implemented at the earliest achievable payroll deadlines, as follows: 

1)    September 29, 2017 for Sessional faculty, with any retroactive adjustments included on the November 1, 2017 pay;

2)    October 27, 2017 for Teaching and Research Assistants, including retroactive payments; and

3)    November 1, 2017 for Non-sessional faculty (Tenured, tenure-track, Continuing, Teaching-Intensive Stream, and CLTA), Technicians, and Academic counsellors, including retroactive payments.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this agreement and/or its implementation, please do not hesitate to contact Adam Bereza, Director, Academic Relations at or extension 214.

Please accept my best wishes for the remainder of the semester.


Dr. Gillian Siddall

Vice-President, Academic and Provost



Faculty Bargaining Update - January 13, 2014

I am pleased to confirm that the University and OCADFA Bargaining Committees reached voluntary agreement this past weekend in mediation with William Kaplan for a renewal agreement. The details of this tentative settlement are confidential until ratified by the OCADFA bargaining unit and by the OCAD University Board of Governors, with both Bargaining Committees recommending its ratification. The University is scheduled to take this forward to the February 24, 2014 Board meeting, and members will be hearing in due course from OCADFA with respect to its plans for ratification.

Faculty Bargaining Update -  November 13, 2013

I am writing to update you on collective bargaining between the University and the OCAD Faculty Association. As previously communicated, the respective negotiation committees spent this past weekend in mediation with William Kaplan. I am pleased to confirm that during that session it was mutually agreed that a further mediation date be scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2014. Further update will be provided after that time. In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, binding arbitration will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2014.  

Faculty Bargaining Update - November 4, 2013

As you know, the University and OCADFA have been bargaining since January 2013 in light of the expiry of the current Memorandum of Agreement on July 1, 2013. As per its right under the MoA, OCADFA chose to invoke mediation and binding interest arbitration this past April.

While negotiations are continuing with a meeting this week, there has been no settlement reached to date. The University and OCADFA mutually agreed on William Kaplan as mediator/arbitrator, with a mediation session scheduled for this weekend, November 9th and 10th. If no voluntary settlement results from this session, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled. The arbitrator’s decision will be legally binding and will not require ratification by the OCADFA bargaining unit or by the University’s Board of Governors.

The context for faculty bargaining provincially, nationally and internationally is growing increasingly difficult, with mounting financial pressures and greater uncertainty in government direction. As discussed at the recent Town Hall, it is not yet clear how OCAD University will be impacted by the provincial government’s recently announced differentiation agenda. As per OCAD U’s experience, increasingly bargaining across the province is being settled at arbitration rather than through voluntary agreements. In other words, binding arbitration is simply becoming part of the standard toolbox for achieving issue resolution between parties rather than being viewed as an unusual measure of last resort.  

In this round of bargaining, both the University and OCADFA have come to the table with a clear set of priorities, and there exist some synergies between them. These will offer a useful starting point for mediation. While we are not in a position to discuss specific bargaining issues, we are confident that through this process, there is an opportunity for us collectively to reach an outcome that balances the institution’s fiscal realities with the needs of faculty and academic staff.

We will provide further update as the process unfolds.



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