'Terrible outcome for Ontario students and faculty' The College Employer Council

A terrible outcome for students.

That's how Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team describes today's development that talks have broken down in the College teacher strike.

Officials representing the College's say a faculty vote will be scheduled by the Labour Board as the Colleges make significant moves to settle the four-week labour dispute.

They say they have addressed many issues and they are extremely disappointed that OPSEU would not accept an offer of settlement.

They say it is a terrible outcome for students and faculty that OPSEU was unwilling to reach an agreement.

To read how OPSEU feels about today's decision click here.

Here is the entire statement from the Colleges’ Bargaining Team:

Colleges make significant moves to settle / OPSEU continues strike

We are extremely disappointed that OPSEU would not accept an offer of settlement. It is a terrible outcome for students and faculty that OPSEU was unwilling to reach an agreement.

We addressed all faculty priorities and the offer that is available for faculty right now – on the table – should have ended this strike:

• Enhancing full-time employment opportunities

• Additional pay increases for partial-load faculty

• Greater rights for partial-load faculty

• Better job security for partial-load faculty

• Academic freedom guarantees, and

• Faster compliance with Bill 148

Furthermore, the government has agreed to establish a task force on the future of Ontario colleges that will look at various issues, including staffing models and the issue of precarious work.

- Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team

A Better Offer - Additional Improvements

The colleges tabled additional rights, security and pay for partial-load faculty, provided new academic freedom guarantees, and confirmed that the government will establish a task force on the future of Ontario colleges:

• Grants partial-load faculty the same rights as full-time faculty to apply for new full-time positions

• Gives partial-load faculty priority to teach future course offerings

• Increases partial-load salaries by doubling the speed of progress through the salary grid

• Ensures that every college will have an academic freedom policy that recognizes that academic freedom is fundamental to the colleges’ commitment to academic excellence and will include the right to enquire about, investigate, pursue and speak freely about academic issues without fear of impairment to position or other reprisal.

• The government has agreed to establish a task force on the future of Ontario colleges that will look at various issues, including staffing models and the issue of precarious work.

Builds on a Fair and Affordable Offer

The improvements build on other improvements already in the colleges’ offer, which provides better access to full-time jobs and increased pay.

Better Access to Full-Time Jobs:

• Requires that colleges give preference to creating full-time jobs over partial-load and sessional jobs.  Increased Pay for Full-Time and Partial-Load Faculty:

• 7.75% salary increase over four years

• New full-time faculty salary maximum of $115,378

• New partial-load maximum of $154.26 per hour

• Improved benefits

Faculty Will Decide

Ontario colleges have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote. The vote will let our faculty decide on the colleges’ offer and end the strike.

Colleges Ask OPSEU to Return Faculty to Classes Immediately

The colleges have requested that the strike be suspended and let faculty and students return to class. Suspending the strike will also allow voting at college campus locations so that the largest number of faculty are able to exercise their right to vote.

Return to Work Protocol

Faculty need to get back in the classroom as quickly as possible. The return to work protocol is consistent with the protocols that the union and colleges successfully negotiated during the last two work stoppages.

What Happens Next?

The Labour Board will determine the vote date. It is expected that the vote will take between five and ten days to organize. This length of time is why the union should allow faculty to return to class and not harm students with another lost week of studies.

The Labour Board will send a package of information directly to each faculty member with the offer and voting instructions. Please watch your email for this important information.

An employer vote is never a preferred path, because a settlement should be reached at the bargaining table. But we have exhausted all efforts at bargaining and now our faculty will decide.

The colleges’ offer has been posted at www.thecouncil.ca. Please take the time to review it. More information on the vote will be provided as soon as it is available.