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October 16, 2017 10:19 AM

Understanding the issues: Faculty strike at Ontario's colleges

Faculty at Conestoga and Ontario’s other public colleges are on strike as of October 16, 2017. The colleges remain open, but classes are suspended. 

We appreciate that this is a difficult and frustrating situation for students and families, and hope the matter can be resolved quickly. The fastest way to resolve the strike is for the union to accept the colleges’ final offer, or, at the very least, put the colleges’ final offer forward to its members for a vote.

Information being distributed on picket lines contains misleading assertions that will not resolve the labour dispute. Here are the facts:

  • Currently, almost 70% of teaching contact hours at Conestoga are taught by full-time faculty. The college has invested in more than 100 new full-time faculty positions in the last five years. Across the Ontario college system, full-time faculty are responsible for 49% of all teaching contact hours.
  • Together, full-time and partial-load faculty are responsible for 95% of all teaching contact hours at Conestoga. Partial-load employees teach 7-12 hours per week and are eligible for benefits. Under the colleges’ new offer, they could earn up to  $154.26/hour.

  • Faculty at Ontario colleges play an important role in academic decision-making, but they are not the exclusive voice. Our programs require consistent delivery to meet provincially mandated standards and the requirements of accreditation bodies and industry partners.
  • The colleges’ final offer would invest more than $70 million to faculty salaries through a 7.75% increase over four years. The offer is comparable to, or better than, recent public-sector settlements with teachers, college support staff, hospital professionals, and Ontario public servants.  It includes:
    • 7.75% increase over four years for full-time faculty, resulting in salaries of up to $115,378 
    • Salaries of up to $154.26/hour for partial load faculty
    • Improved conversion of contract faculty to full‐time positions
    • More faculty autonomy over personal workloads
    • Enhanced benefits and no concessions.

Read the full offer at www.thecouncil.ca

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