OPSEU refuses to accept offer Colleges call for OPSEU to suspend strike and restart classes

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Labour Board to hold faculty vote on employer offer

OPSEU has stonewalled the bargaining process and refused to accept an offer that addresses their priorities.

“OPSEU’s insistence on continuing the strike is a terrible outcome for students and faculty,” said Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team. “We addressed all faculty priorities and the offer that is available for faculty right now – on the table – should have ended this strike.”

The colleges listened to the union and addressed its priorities with solutions on:
– Enhancing full-time employment opportunities for contract faculty
– Increasing pay
– Greater rights for contract faculty
– Better job security for contract 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.

Faculty Vote to Be Scheduled

Ontario colleges announced today that they have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the colleges’ offer.

“We need to end this strike and get students back in the classroom. We have asked the Labour Board to schedule a vote and let our faculty decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.
Colleges Ask OPSEU to Suspend Strike

The colleges have requested that the strike be suspended. This will allow faculty and students to return to class, while the vote is being organized. 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.

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 suspend the strike and not harm students with another lost week of studies.
“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 the bargaining table and now our faculty will decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve noticed the media is biased toward the colleges and not sure why. OPSEU’s press conference today is so damning, yet just try to find an unedited version of it online. People are being fed baloney and eating it up. Shame on the media for reporting biased information!!!

  2. I have to wonder what managers and administrators are doing during the strike? There are SO many of them now…what are they managing and administering? It’s too bad that colleges are now run more like a business, hiring too many managers and administrators creating a HUGE middle layer that is not needed. Presidents who make $350k plus and tried to secretly increase their salaries before the gov’n stepped in. And who, during the strike, all went to a resort for a weekend to ‘strategies’. Who do you think paid for that? They certainly didn’t pay for it themselves. What a waste of money!! Back when I went to college, there were FAR less managers and administrators and colleges provided a solid education due in part because the teachers had A LOT more say! Now it’s more about the bottom line, greed and lining the pockets of useless individuals, many of which never have any interaction with students. The full time to part time ratio is ridiculous. Part time / contract faculty have no job security; many have worked for months and even years on a contract to contract basis and without being recognized as full time, many can’t get a mortgage or loan. Curriculum created by a full time professor / instructor…they are forced to hand over their material and often it’s given to a teacher who has never taught the curriculum before. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be taught by someone who’s never taught ‘that’ course before. Why is material to be handed over….it’s because part time and contract teachers are cheaper. It’s no longer about placing knowledgeable teachers in front of the students. How shameful; it’s not right. I am NOT a teacher, but I sure do support what they are fighting for. It’s easy to blame the teachers…they are an easy target. Do your research, ask questions, and know the facts before casting blame.

  3. What an incredibly biased, misleading and inaccurate story! You literally printed the College Employer Council press release. As a media outlet, you don’t need to support one side or the other, but you owe it to your readers to at least do some basic research before printing something like this. At least read the union press release and report both sides. If you can’t be bothered to do that much, then at least get your facts straight.

  4. Shame, SaultOnline for not doing your homework.
    Negociations were in fact advancing well until discussing the very last point – academic freedom (right for profs to participate in the decisions regarding the classroom). The colleges would not or could not bend on this issue; yet instead of persisting, they *walked out*, decided to call a vote on the FIRST offer, the one that actually triggered the strike, from one month ago.

    Calling such a vote actually prolongs the strike (which they already knew). Furthermore, the colleges were in their right to call this vote well before the strike took place, yet they did not. One MUST QUESTION the timing, non?

    Hopefully, the province will force the colleges back to the table….

  5. Striking for more pay + striking for more benefits – classes (killing a semester) = a better place for the students to learn. With that kind of math, the students would be MUCH better off getting a 100% refund and going to a private college.

  6. If both sides put students first, whom they both claim to serve, and i would suggest the college is contractually obligated to the students, then there is some valuable learning for the students. Let’s have the “adults” show some real leadership and put into action all they enlighten the students on. …how to relate, problem solve, effective communication, interpersonal skills/relations, acting in good faith and so on. This is an internal issue, it’s a staffing issue. Students = pawns (who pay a hefty price (financially and otherwise) and have NO say or representation in the game being played. Time to get your house in order.

  7. I continue to stand with my Sault College instructors! If they give in now, the strike was for naught. Stay strong.

    • Ya because who cares about students eh, who cares that they’re potentially wasting another year our lives just out of pure greed eh. Communist.

    • The students are definitely getting screwed in this deal, but that shouldn’t mean the faculty should have to settle. If the colleges spent a little less time smear campaigning the faculty, and a little more time putting a half decent deal together, this thing could get resolved fairly quickly.

    • Steve Lahtimer The faculty and teachers are the ones trying to make it a better place for the students to learn. This smear campaign that is going on should help to raise the awareness of the dirty tricks and tactics that the counsel is using. No one wants the students to fall behind. I’ve been up on the picket line and they are all amazing teachers and faculty that are enduring this hardship to improve working conditions and security for future and present staff.

    • Smearing is equal from both the Council and OPSEU in this game they’re playing. They certainly haven’t made a better place to learn for the last three weeks. The Colleges should refund the tuition that is being wasted and both parties should re-think their role in the education business.

    • Cody, where you are, it is a business, where the colleges are an educational institutions. Fees have been paid for a service which is not being rendered. That constitutes fraud on both sides, which is a criminal offence. They are also paying rent, either in residence, apartments, or rooms in a house, at over 600/month. Holding our kids future hostage is not the answer. It is no wonder they drop out and end up on welfare or disability as they get discouraged by the system.

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