College faculty reject contract, call on employer to get back to the table
TORONTO - Ontario college faculty have rejected a contract offer from their employer and are calling on the College Employer Council to come back to the table this afternoon and finish the job of negotiating a collective agreement.
In voting this week, 86 per cent of faculty voted to reject Council's November 6 offer. Ninety-five per cent of the 12,841 people on the voters' list voted.
Actual numbers: 10,477 voting 'reject' and 1,663 'accept'. Another way of putting it: 81.6% of all faculty rejected the CEC's most recent final offer.
"No one is surprised that college faculty rejected the Council's forced offer. It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality," said JP Hornick, chair of the faculty bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). "We stand with hundreds of thousands of college students when we say 'enough already.'"
"Let's get back to the bargaining table and complete these negotiations."
The forced offer vote was a one-time option allowed under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act.
"It is unfortunate that Council extended our strike and kept students out of class for an extra two weeks by calling for this vote," said Hornick, "but now that it's over, it's time to move on."
"With cooperation from Council at the bargaining table I believe we can settle this strike in short order."
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas congratulated faculty for standing up for a better college system by rejecting the offer.
"Calling for this vote was a bully move by Council," he said. "At a time when we were only a few steps away from getting a deal, they overplayed their hand and robbed students of two weeks of their education.
"Council's bargaining team should either settle this strike immediately or resign and be replaced by competent negotiators."