The College Employer Council called on the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a forced vote on its latest offer at the bargaining table to striking Ontario college faculty on Monday.
The most recent offer by the colleges does not meet the requirements demanded by the faculty union.
The Ontario Public Sector Employees Union says the move will delay an end to the strike.
A vote would mean striking faculty would decide, likely through a simple majority, whether they would override the union negotiating team to accept the latest offer tabled by the colleges.
If striking faculty, librarians and counselors were to vote yes to the deal, the strike would end and union negotiations would be defunct.
Union negotiating chair JP Hornick called on faculty members to reject the offer.
Hornick called the move a “reprehensible stunt”. She had previously warned faculty the forced vote might happen.
The colleges expect it would take five to 10 days for the labour board to call a vote, with Hornick saying it will take two weeks.
The council called on the union to disband the strike while the vote is being prepared.
Vice Provost John Walsh said over the weekend in an email to students that Guelph-Humber was hopeful for the strike to end early this week, but it appears that will not occur.
The strike kicked off on Oct 16 after bargaining between the College Employer Council and OPSEU fell apart.
However, both sides returned to the bargaining table on Thursday in hopes of finding a bargain to agree on.
Humber post-graduate journalism student Brandon Maron said the strike had lasted too long and that it was time for students to return to class.
“I think they’re were right to be striking at the beginning, but now I’m not so much on their side because now it’s gone a bit too far,” Maron told the Post.
Not all students take Maron’s stance, however.
Humber Lakeshore student Paula Greenberg described the forced vote as a “bully tactic” and hoped that union members reject the deal or “this fight fight was for nothing.”
“What’s incredible is that the CEC is just offering the same crap deal they proposed on Oct 16,” said Greenberg.
“It is very disappointing that the council is asking us to vote on an offer that they know is unacceptable to us,” Humber College professor Tyler Shipley said after the Council statement.
“They are wasting everyone’s time here,” Shipley made clear.
“It is evident to anyone paying attention that this council cares more about saving money then it cares for the students and teachers who are at the heart of our colleges.”
Guelph-Humber student frustrations
Many University of Guelph-Humber students have been critical of how the school’s administration has handled the strike.
GH closed down all on-campus classes for three weeks, saying it couldn’t offer its programs in full without the college faculty from Humber, before restarting university classes digitally a week ago.
“Guelph-Humber should really work on making this entire situation easier on the students,” GH Media Studies student Christopher Megally told the Post.
“The fact that my assignments are worth a ton more hand all my midterms will potentially be crammed within a few days is nonsense,” explained a frustrated Megally, saying that he expected “more common sense from higher ups.”
The Post got permission from student Sanjay Singh to share a post from the GH class of 2020 Facebook group where he called for a refund.
“I know for a fact I am not going to pay [$5,000] for some online bull—-,” posted Singh, a second year in the business program.
“We already missed [one] quarter of the semester it doesn’t seem worth it anymore,” reads the post that received over 40 likes and comments of support from fellow students.
Despite a petition started by a pair Humber College students that calls for college refunds, the University of Guelph made it clear to the Post that it is high unlikely the institution would refund students for lost day.
University professors at GH are still receiving full pay, according to Post reporting.
More details to follow. Refresh for the latest. ■
Arbitration awarded in Ontario college faculty dispute
Arbitrator William Kaplan handed down an award on Wednesday, announcing binding arbitration that puts an end to the dispute between Ontario’s 24 public colleges and the union that represents faculty, librarians and counselors.
The college faculty union described a major win in regards to “academic freedom”, which will allow faculty to speak freely without fear of reprisal.
The award also includes improved job security for partial-load and full-time faculty, according to a statement from the union.
A new government-run task force will also be put in place to carry out recommendations regarding “faculty complement, precarious work, college funding, student success, and governance issues.
Collective bargaining started for a new agreement between the College Employer Council and the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union in July, but failed to come to an agreement by 12:01 a.m. deadline on Oct. 16, resulting in a strike by the union.
“Today’s award from arbitrator William Kaplan could have been bargained between the colleges and faculty a long time ago,” said JP Hornick, chair of union bargaining team.
“With any reasonable amount of cooperation from the colleges, there would never have been a strike, students would not have had to worry about losing their semester, and faculty would never have lost five weeks’ pay.”
“Throughout bargaining, which began in July, the College Employer Council had ample opportunity to bargain a deal,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas in a statement.
Details for the arbitration agreement were posted online on the College Employer Council’s website.
An OPSEU press conference following the arbitration award was positive in regards to what was accomplished, but made clear that further improvements for precarious work and other issues still have happen.
When asked whether the strike process was “worth it”, OPSEU negotiator Nicole Zwiers said “a strike is always so costly”, however she explained that for the union there was “there was no other option”.
Zwiers hosted the conference with OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas.
“The colleges are Crown agencies and the government could have – and should have – stepped in and forced them to bargain,” Thomas said regarding the strike.
“It is too late to prevent the strike, but it is not too late for the government to step in and change the leadership on the Council.”
The College Student Alliance made clear in a tweet that if it’s previous demand of binding arbitration on Nov. 7 was agreed to by the two sides, a bargain could have been struck “weeks ago”.
“It’s both disappointing [and] frustrating students were ignored.”
The University of Guelph-Humber was shut down on Oct. 16 due to Humber College faculty that teach at the university and the campus being behind a picket line, with the administration saying that, without college faculty, they could not offer programs in full.
University courses resumed on Oct. 30 via a digital format, angering many students who disagreed with the way Guelph-Humber operated during the strike.
University courses returned to campus a month ago, with college courses returning with the rest of the province the day after on Nov. 21.
More details to follow. Please refresh for the latest.
Binding arbitration expected in college dispute
Binding arbitration is expected Wednesday morning in the dispute between the 24 public colleges and the union representing faculty, librarians and counselors.
The Ontario Public Sector Employees Union will be holding a press conference at 11:45 a.m. that can be live streamed via their official Facebook page.
More details to follow. The Post will be covering the announcement online. Image 1 from previous files. Follow our Twitter here. ■
Ontario college arbitration to be awarded this week
The union representing faculty that went on strike earlier this fall and negotiators for Ontario’s 24 public colleges released a joint statement on Sunday saying that binding arbitration occurred with an award release this week.
“The arbitrator’s award will form the new collective agreement for Ontario college faculty,” reads the statement released by the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union and the College Employer Council.
The provincially-appointed arbitrator has imposed a media blackout until the award is released, and thus, the details of of the binding arbitration become clear.
OPSEU and the colleges “participated in mediation from [Dec.] 14 through [Dec.] 16.”
The arbitration followed back-to-work legislation that was passed by Queen’s Park on Nov. 19 of this year.
The legislation came after a dramatic forced vote requested by the College Employer Council where a majority of the 12,000 striking faculty voted no to agreeing with the a final offer from the colleges with the encouragement of OPSEU.
The strike launched on Oct. 16 when a midnight deadline could not be reached for a collective bargaining agreement between the colleges and the union.
For five weeks, some full and part-time college students across the province were out of classrooms and faculty, librarians and counselors were on the streets in mass picket lines.
The University of Guelph-Humber had university courses shut down for two weeks before they resumed online in a digital format, much to general student disappointment.
University classes returned to the classroom on Nov. 20 and college courses resumed the day after.
More details to follow. Image 1 of picketing faculty from The Globe and Mail. ■
French-language university supported by feds, province
A full turn-about by the Ford government.
A new era for IGNITE
The next generation of directors will have new challenges.
‘Captain Marvel 2’ officially in development
Carol Danvers’ sequel has officially been greenlit at Marvel Studios and is aiming for a 2022 release. Debuting twice in...
Constitution formally replaced with ‘By-law No. 1’
It awaits AGM approval.
‘Clone Wars’ trailer drops ahead of final season
The anticipation builds for a finale.
Campus4 months ago
Federal debate at University of Guelph scrapped over PPC policies
Campus6 months ago
First Year Experience launches blog to help students
Security2 years ago
FBI Says Restart Your Router!
Campus10 months ago
Humber College confirms ‘tragic death’ on residence
Style2 years ago
30 student discounts every student needs
Canada Votes 20194 months ago
Johnson-Figueredo: No, a gun ban will not curb violence
Campus6 months ago
Humber College outlines how student fees will work
Entertainment2 months ago
What's coming to Disney+ this month