Toronto – Fifteen months after the commencement of a round of bargaining that included the largest work-to-rule faculty job action in the history of Canadian Colleges and Universities, labor negotiations between OPSEU/SEFPO’s college faculty division and the College Employer Council (CEC). have come to an end.
Arbitrator William Kaplan has awarded a new collective agreement that will govern faculty working conditions at Ontario’s 24 public colleges until September 30, 2024, and includes significant improvements in the areas of equity and job security for contract faculty. It also acknowledges the need to update the Colleges’ 35 year-old formula for measuring faculty workload.
“This new Collective Agreement makes significant gains beyond what the Employer was offering during bargaining,” said Union bargaining team co-chair Ravi Ramkissoonsingh. “The CEC’s lack of interest in bargaining these important issues was clear from day one. We’re glad that a neutral arbitrator was willing to award our members’ reasonable demands, which the CEC repeatedly refused to agree to.”
This round of bargaining was marked by a massive shift to online classes during the pandemic and provincial laws that limit the free and fair collective bargaining of public service employees.
“Despite the unconstitutional constraints of Bill 124, this may represent the most significant gains that any postsecondary faculty association has achieved in bargaining since the pandemic began,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “This agreement puts us on a clear path to improving the working conditions of Ontario College faculty and the learning conditions of Ontario College students. It’s a testament to what our members can achieve when they stand up for their needs and their students’ needs.”
OPSEU/SEFPO represents approximately 180,000 Ontario employees. Its College Faculty division represents approximately 14,000 full-time and partial-load professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians at Ontario’s 24 public Colleges.
For more information: Bargaining team co-chairs Ravi Ramkissoonsingh, 905-933-7671 or Jonathan Singer, 416-276-5084.