TORONTO – The union bargaining team for Ontario public college faculty has tabled its final offer to the College Employer Council in a bid to avert a strike at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
The union offer is built around three critical proposals to improve education quality for students and treat faculty fairly:
- a 50:50 ratio of full-time to contract faculty, which currently sits at over 70% contract faculty;
- increased job security for partial-load faculty, who currently work on one-semester contracts; and
- academic freedom to give faculty a stronger voice in academic decision-making.
“This is a fair and reasonable offer that addresses the top concerns of faculty across the province while taking into account the employer’s concerns about costs,” said JP Hornick, chair of the bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). “If the Council team cannot accept this final offer, it is because they are more interested in profits and power than the well-being of our students and the college system.
“Faculty want to be back in their classrooms on Monday, not on the picket line,” she said. “We urge Council to see this offer for what it is: a fair path to a settlement that is acceptable to both sides.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas commended the bargaining team’s proposal.
“This is a strong proposal that will improve education, which all members of the college community want. It will also make the jobs of contract faculty members less precarious, which is something the province is trying to do for all workers,” he said. “I encourage the colleges to close this deal now.”
College faculty will continue lobbying for balanced input into academic decision-making as well as equal pay for equal work for all contract faculty, Hornick said.