Sulaiman ‘Sully’ Akbari
Ontario’s 24 colleges and their unionized faculty will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 15.
The deadline comes after the conciliator issued a ‘no-board’ report on Sept. 21 at the request of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
“The colleges have not made any movements since August on their offer to faculty, which has been rejected three times now,” said J.P. Hornick, chair of the faculty bargaining team for Ontario public colleges.
This is because the colleges have been refusing to address any faculty issues, therefore the no-board report was made to hopefully speed progress on both ends, the union states.
“The key issues are about quality and fairness with faculty and also about establishing a balance between college faculty and students,” she said.
There would be stability for students’ learning and flexibility with staffing by having a balanced contract faculty, she said.
“If a deal gets done, our new proposal will create nearly 4,000 faculty jobs, which will provide a balance with full-time staff and part-time staff,” Hornick said.
Meanwhile, part-time faculty begins voting beginning Monday until Oct. 13 whether to join the union.
College faculty have gone on strike three times — the most recent in 2006 — with none of them lasting more than three weeks. None cost students their academic progress although adjustments were made to the school year.