You received communications yesterday from the College President and a copy of the College Council Academic Bargaining Update. There is at least one inaccuracy in their communication. They have represented that the settlement offer from the College Council currently on the table includes “no concessions”. The union finds it extremely difficult to see how a continuation of the moratorium on article 2 (the union’s ability to grieve in order to combine non full time work into full time positions) – does not amount to a concession.
The union also takes exception to their representation that the constitutionally recognized right to strike, as endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada, will have no impact on a resolution of the labour issues currently at issue between the colleges and the union. In particular the comment: “whether the faculty vote in favour of striking or not, the outcome won’t change the colleges’ view on these key issues or the colleges’ ability to accept the changes being proposed”. The union finds it disrespectful to all faculty members that they would diminish the import of a strike particularly when it is a legitimate mechanism available to unionized employees in order to address a labour dispute following the expiry of a collective agreement.
Finally, a strong strike vote doesn’t mean we are going on strike. On the contrary: strong strike votes typically encourage employers to bargain. That is what our team is trying to do; bargain a fair contract for faculty.
Please read the latest bulletin#7 from our Bargaining Team and also visit our website at: www.collegefaculty.org for more information and to sign up for direct messages from the bargaining team.
This Thursday September 14th vote may be the most important strike mandate vote in a generation. The arithmetic of the vote is simple: every faculty member who votes YES gives the team more power to negotiate the best deal possible.
Polling times and locations are in a separate post.
Tom Tomassi, President
OPSEU Local 556