Your Union Local through the Union College Committee (UCC) has been negotiating with management for some time now to sign a Voluntary Recognition Agreement (VRA) that would guarantee our collective bargaining rights in case of a provincially legislated status change to create Sheridan University. Unfortunately, after legal counsel, management has recently informed the Local, that no VRA is necessary and that they do not have the legal authority to enter into such an agreement. This means if Sheridan is ever legislated into becoming a university our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) would be deemed null and void and we would have none of the protections we have bargained for over the years, and management could restructure the college as they wish. Faculty must stand united against this job security and quality of workplace threat.
A VRA is a legal document that management and the union would jointly sign. In the chance that we would be legislated into becoming a university, it would secure our rights under our current Collective Agreement until a new Sheridan University Bargaining Agreement is jointly ratified.
Given all of the above, our Local Faculty Union is strongly of the opinion that management is operating in an uncertain environment where it is still possible that they will seek legislation to have the province make Sheridan a university. As a result, the Union must move with all caution to keep our CBA in force no matter the path the Journey takes. One option on the table is for all of our full-time and partial-load members to sign new OPSEU membership cards, which would provide us with a demonstration of majority support to pursue a new Collective Agreement as an independent university Faculty Union Association, should that prove to be necessary. In this sense, a VRA is an insurance policy.
Two university presidents have indicated that we may need legislation:
Management’s new plan to achieve university status via a name change only has run into some road blocks. The recent Self-Study Feedback Report authored by two respected university presidents retained by Sheridan to provide input to the Journey has indicated in a number of places that Sheridan may well need to seek new provincial legislation to ensure acceptance by Universities Canada which is the governing approval body for institutions seeking university status.
The bottom line: