"Downloading the cost of education onto students and their families does nothing to improve Ontario’s economy or create a strong well-trained workforce,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
Toronto (25 Sept. 2014) — More than 11,000 faculty at Ontario’s 24 colleges have a new collective agreement following a ratification vote on September 23. The three-year contract is effective from September 1, 2014 to September 30, 2017. Faculty are members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
Despite ratification results, concerns still remain about issues affecting the college system
While faculty are pleased that negotiations were settled without any disruption to the school year, the low 61 per cent vote in favour of ratification indicates continued concern regarding issues affecting the college system.
“College faculty have ratified this agreement; however, the government can expect to hear more from OPSEU/NUPGE on the subject of post-secondary education. If our new Premier is truly committed to a quality college education system, she is going to have to make proper funding a priority,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
“Downloading the cost of education onto students and their families does nothing to improve Ontario’s economy or create a strong well-trained workforce,” said Thomas.
New contract protects against privatization
The new agreement provides some improved job security and includes a letter of understanding preventing full-time faculty positions from being contracted out to private companies.
“There is a strong push being made by Ontario Colleges to follow the U.S. model of privatizing post-secondary education and to cut funding which downgrade the public system. I think we can all say that is not a model we want to follow. College faculty will continue to push back against anything that compromises quality education at Ontario Colleges,” said David Fasciano, Chair of the College Academic bargaining team.
“Faculty feel a tremendous weight of responsibility to protect the Ontario College system from the dismantling of quality education. We struggle every day with the effects of systemic underfunding, a growing part-time work force, escalating tuition fees and increasing corporate control over course offerings and curriculum,” said Fasciano. “We will continue to work to protect the quality college education that faculty provide and students enjoy.”
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