Ontario college faculty ask for Sept. 6 strike vote

Hoping for management to negotiate more seriously

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents more than 10,000 college faculty across the province, has asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a Sept. 6 strike vote in the hope it will force management to start negotiating more seriously.

The current collective agreement is set to expire in three weeks. The issues under discussion in the negotiations are more academic freedom, fair treatment for partial-load employees, and updates to the workload formula to deal with the increase in online courses.

Before faculty could go on strike, they would need to request a “no-board report” from the Ministry of Labour. Once it is issued, a 17-day cooling-off period must pass before a strike could take place. Such a report has not been requested.

Carolyn Gaunt, faculty team bargaining co-chair, says more than two months have passed and the key issues have not been addressed.

“A number of Ontario’s university academic unions, including those at York University and the University of Toronto, have recently come to reasonable settlements with their employer,” she said in a press release. “We expect the same.”

College faculty called on the Ministry of Labour in July to provide a conciliator after talks stalled. Conciliation is currently underway.

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