More than 12000 Ontario college faculty will strike Monday after negotiations fail

Ontario College of Teachers strike

At this time, George Brown, Seneca College, and Humber College, have all announced that they will be cancelling all classes until further notice.

The College Employer Council, representing college management, has called the strike "completely unnecessary", saying the union's demands would add more than $250 million to annual costs.

The issue at hand is the lack of secure employment offered by Ontario colleges, which heavily utilize contact teaching staff - faculty members who are paid less than full-time permanent staff members and have no job security. On Saturday, OPSEU sent a counter-offer and was still waiting for a response late Sunday evening.

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"Unfortunately, Council refused to agree on even the no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and academic freedom", said OPSEU spokesperson JP Hornick in a written statement.

This strike will affect 500,000 Ontario college students and involves more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians.

Sonia Del Missier, chair of the Colleges' bargaining team, said in a news release that their offer on Tuesday was fair to their faculty and reflected what they had heard at the bargaining table. Georgian College has 11,000 full-time domestic students and 1,500 worldwide students.

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Sixty eight per cent of union members voted in favour of a strike mandate last month.

About 12,000 faculty will be on the picket line Monday morning after talks between OPSEU and the College Employer Council failed to produce a tentative collective agreement.

The council, however, has said the colleges' final offer is comparable to, or better than, offers accepted recently by other public-sector employees, such as teachers, public servants and college support staff. "The residences will also remain open for students living there", it said on the page. An additional 368 faculty members teach on a part-time basis and are not members of the faculty union.

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