Col­lege fac­ulty threaten to strike

No progress on deal af­ter talks re­sumed on Tues­day

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Toronto -

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.


JP Hor­nick

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