OPSEU college faculty ratify new collective agreement

"College faculty have refused to allow the employer to disrupt the school year for hundreds of thousands of students," said college faculty bargaining Co-chair, Carolyn Gaunt.

College Faculty negotiations 2012 Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE)Toronto (14 Sept. 2012) - Faculty at Ontario’s 24 colleges have ratified a new collective agreement. The vote held on September 10, delivered 88.8 per cent approval.

The agreement includes improvements to job security for vulnerable partial-load workers and makes progress in clarifying the role of coordinators, who may not supervise other bargaining unit members.

"I commend the College faculty bargaining team and all of our faculty members on the achievement of this new agreement,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), the union which represents the faculty members. "They have successfully defended our education system against some truly terrible proposals by the College Employer Council, which would have undermined Ontario's colleges for years to come.”

"College faculty have refused to allow the employer to disrupt the school year for hundreds of thousands of students," said College Faculty Bargaining Team Co-chair, Carolyn Gaunt. “This new contract is an indication of the depth of our commitment to quality education in Ontario.”

The new two-year agreement includes no wage gains. Settlement became possible, however, when the College Employer Council withdrew all of their demands from the table. This was prompted when faculty scheduled a strike vote.

"The most offensive management proposal was the introduction of ‘facilitators’ as a new teaching classification," said Gaunt. "We have effectively put a stop to this terrible idea. Management would have created a whole new way to hire low-paid contract teaching staff. Education workers and students deserve better."

The previous collective agreement expired on August 31, 2012.

OPSEU/NUPGE represents more than 10,000 faculty members at colleges across Ontario. Faculty members include counsellors, instructors, professors and librarians.

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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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