College faculty threaten to strike
No progress on deal after talks resumed on Tuesday
The union representing Ontario college faculty has rejected the latest offer on the table and is now threatening a strike by its 12,000 members on Monday.
While no new talks are scheduled, both sides say they are willing to return to negotiations, which broke off after briefly resuming Tuesday.
The union said the offer from the College Employer Council, which represents the province’s 24 institutions, “did not address any of faculty’s key demands.”
However, the College Employer Council says it upped its salary offer to 7.75 per cent over four years, putting full-time teachers at a maximum of $115,378.
Those with a partial teaching load — between seven and 12 hours each week — would make a maximum of $154.26 an hour.
The union is seeking a 10 per cent increase over three years, the council said, which along with other demands would cost an extra $400 million a year.
The colleges have also put forward improved benefits in an offer that “is comparable to, or better than, offers accepted recently by other public sector employees such as teachers, pub- lic servants and college support staff,” the council said.
“A strike is unnecessary and would be disruptive to hundreds of thousands of college students.”
The union is also pushing for more control for faculty, in part by establishing university-style “senates,” giving them a bigger say in how institutions are run, something the colleges argue is beyond the collective agreement.
OPSEU says over the years the reliance on contract and parttime jobs for many instructors has led to an explosion in precarious work, and it is seeking more full-time positions.
The colleges, however, say the union demands would lead to the loss of thousands of positions.
“By setting a strike deadline, we are giving a clear message to the employer that we expect a fair deal for college faculty,” said JP Hornick, head of the faculty bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.