Conestoga news

October 15, 2017 9:28 PM

Faculty strike begins on Monday, October 16

OPSEU CAAT Academic, the union representing faculty at Ontario's 24 public colleges, will be on strike as of Monday morning, October 16, 2017.   

The following information has been provided by the College Employer Council, the organization representing Ontario colleges:

“This strike is completely unnecessary and unfair to hundreds of thousands of students. We should have  had a deal based on our final offer. It is comparable to, or better than, recent public‐sector settlements  with teachers, college support staff, hospital professionals, and Ontario public servants - most of which  were negotiated by OPSEU,” said Sonia Del Missier. “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.” 

The colleges cannot accept the union’s demands that would ultimately add more than $250 million to  annual costs, eliminate thousands of contract faculty jobs, and jeopardize the quality of college  programs.  

Union demands unaffordable and unrealistic:

  • Unaffordable ‐ Demands remain unaffordable by adding more than $250 million annually through salary increases and staffing ratios. 
  • Staffing ‐ Moving to a staffing ratio would increase costs through new positions and reduce the colleges’ flexibility in meeting the programming needs of our students.
  • Salaries ‐ The union is demanding 9% over three years for a new full‐time faculty maximum of more  than $116,000, which is out of line with comparable public‐sector settlements.
  • Contract Faculty Job Loss - Staffing ratios demanded by the union would lead to a net reduction of 3,350 contract faculty jobs.  
  •  Academic Control - The union continues to demand academic control by individual faculty members.  Faculty are critical to academic decision making but they are not the exclusive voice.  College programs require consistent delivery to meet provincially mandated standards and the  requirements of accreditation bodies and industry partners. 
  • Staffing Ratios- would add hundreds of millions of dollars in costs, reduce program flexibility, and  eliminate thousands of contract faculty jobs.
    • Currently more than two out every three hours in the classroom are taught by OPSEU Academic Bargaining Unit members.
    • Full‐time faculty are responsible for 49% of all teaching contact hours, and partial‐load faculty are responsible for 22% of all teaching contact hours.

Colleges’ Final Offer:  

  • 7.75% salary increase over four years raises new full‐time faculty maximum to $115,378 
  • New partial‐load hourly maximum of $154.26 
  • Improved conversion of contract faculty to full‐time positions 
  • A plan to respond to Bill 148 when it becomes law 
  • More faculty autonomy over personal workloads 
  • Enhanced benefits, and  no concessions  

For information about services impacted by the faculty strike, visit the updates page on the Conestoga website.