Your Union wants you to be better informed about your Collective Agreement Rights. We’ve done blog posts on various topics and clauses, and our infosessions will start back up again in May-June. For now, enjoy our latest installment of “Know Your Rights” written by the very fabulous Kelly Pitman who in addition to being our Contract Negotiation Chair and Lead Bargainer in this round of negotiations also sits on the Contract Management Committee. There are more opportunities to observe bargaining this round, so get in touch with her if you’d like to learn more about it!
Know Your Rights: Appraisals
This is a message from the CCFA Contract Management Committee.
The appraisal process for CCFA members is covered in Clause 28 of the CCFA Local Agreement. We urge you to read the section that applies to you to get the full picture of your rights and obligations:
- Continuing Employees: Clause 28.02
- Probationary Employees: Clause 28.03
- Term Employees: Clause 28.04
In the meantime, here are some highlights.
The employer is supposed to make sure that all faculty members know the methods and criteria for appraisals.
You should know how the appraisal process will work and what a successful appraisal looks like. If this information is not available in your school, please contact the union.
The methods and criteria for appraisals are supposed to be fair and reasonable.
The CCFA is in a long-running argument with college administration about this requirement because some schools are now gathering information from students electronically, even for face-to face classes, which dramatically reduces sample sizes and allows students who do not attend class to evaluate their instructors. In addition, when appraising teaching faculty, the employer too often relies primarily on student feedback and interprets student comments in ways that are neither fair nor reasonable.
There are three required components for faculty appraisals:
- student feedback (if relevant)
- departmental feedback (often the chair but doesn’t have to be)
- self-evaluation on overall service to the college
Faculty members are also allowed to submit other materials at their own discretion. The union recommends that you provide evidence of all the great work you are doing, perhaps by creating a portfolio as you go. Otherwise, scanty student feedback can dominate the appraisal process.
Please read the appropriate part of Clause 28 of the CCFA Local Agreement that details when you will be appraised:
- Continuing Employees: Clause 28.02(b)
- Probationary Employees: Clause 28.03(b)
- Term Employees: Clause 28.04(b)
The employer can gather feedback for appraisal only at the times identified for appraisal in the Collective Agreement. You can gather feedback, for your own edification, in semesters in which you are not being appraised. The employer cannot.
The Dean or Director’s job is to review the components of the appraisal, identify strengths and point out areas for improvement. The Dean or Director decides whether the appraisal is successful.
However, you must be given an opportunity to state in writing whether you agree/disagree with an appraisal and to add explanatory or qualifying statements. If you haven’t gotten or don’t get this opportunity, contact the union.
Do not sign that you agree with your appraisal if you really don’t. This is important. If you have officially agreed with an appraisal, the union cannot easily grieve it on your behalf.
If you do disagree with your appraisal, contact the union for advice or representation.
For any questions or concerns about appraisal or other aspects of your employment, your union contact is Jeanne Iribarne, Chair of the Contract Management Committee, at ac.ytlucafnusomac@cmc.
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