Ontario college faculty ratify new agreement

Ontario community faculty members prepare for the next round of bargaining, intent on changing management's mind on a number of critical issues in the teaching and learning environment.

logo for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE)Toronto (11 Oct. 2012) - The agreement reached at the bargaining table by faculty members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has been ratified. This agreement will expire on August 31, 2014.

The union faculty team accepted the proposed settlement in light of threatened legislation from the Ontario government. On August 27, the government amended the draft legislation for secondary and elementary teachers removing any improvements for teachers.

Earlier drafts included gains made by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO). Teachers would have the right to determine diagnostic testing of their students, and long-term occasional teachers would be entitled to new full-time postings based on their seniority.

When the government removed those gains from Bill 115, the only remaining provisions froze salaries, required three days of unpaid leave and gutted the sick leave plan.

It was clear that this government is targeting teachers and was not going to allow any strikes. The pending faculty strike vote had a significant impact in college negotiations.

The colleges withdrew all of their concession demands including the introduction of facilitators as a new teaching classification as the strike vote approached. Minor gains were made for partial-load members and the role of coordinators has been clarified.

Faculty members are preparing already for the next round of bargaining to advance an agenda that addresses academic freedom, on-line teaching, salary recovery, and more. Problems around workload and online learning will not go away. The problems affecting partial-load faculty (job security, adequate recognition of their full workload, etc.) will continue to grow. The gap in salary between college faculty and the university comparator group will continue to widen.

Faculty have clarified the priority issues, identified concerns and are ready to defend Ontario students and the quality of education in the province.

NUPGE

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

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