'Imposing a collective agreement is wrong, and it should stop now. If they want a strike, they will get a strike the likes of which they have never seen before.' - Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Toronto (27 Nov. 2009) - Delegates attending the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) convention have unanimously condemned the province's colleges for their failure to bargain in good faith in negotiations with 9,000 faculty members.
"It's union-busting," said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
"Imposing a collective agreement is wrong and it should stop now. If they want a strike, they will get a strike the likes of which they have never seen before," Thomas told delegates.
An emergency resolution, brought forward by OPSEU, attacked the province's 24 community colleges for unilaterally imposing terms of employment for community college faculty members – effective Nov. 18.
The resolution called on Premier Dalton McGuinty and Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy to direct college negotiators to return to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith.
The resolution also noted that the council representing management at the colleges had suspended all joint union-management committees, effectively preventing grievances from going to arbitration. The council has also refused to let faculty members vote on its actions.
More than 15 delegates spoke in favor of the resolution, including representatives from other OPSEU sectors and major unions within the OFL.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE