OPSEU stonewalling talks: Ontario colleges - 1310 NEWS
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OPSEU stonewalling talks: Ontario colleges

College faculty walk the picket line at Algonquin College, Monday, October 16, 2017. (Jason White/1310 NEWS)

TORONTO — Ontario colleges say OPSEU is stonewalling the bargaining process, as the strike by college faculty entered its 22nd day Monday.

A press release issued Monday also claims OPSEU refused to accept an offer that addresses their priorities.

“OPSEU’s insistence on continuing the strike is a terrible outcome for students and faculty,” said Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team. “We addressed all faculty priorities and the offer that is available for faculty right now, on the table, should have ended this strike.”

The press release states that colleges listened to the union and addressed its priorities with solutions on enhancing full-time employment opportunities for contract faculty, increasing pay, sgreater rights for contract faculty, better job security for contract faculty, academic freedom guarantees, and faster compliance with Bill 148.

The government also agreed to establish a task force on the future of Ontario colleges that will look at various issues, including staffing models and the issue of precarious work.

Ontario colleges announced Monday that they have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the colleges’ offer.

“We need to end this strike and get students back in the classroom. We have asked the Labour Board to schedule a vote and let our faculty decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.

The colleges have requested that the strike be suspended — allowing faculty and students to return to class while the vote is being organized.

It is expected that the vote will take between five and ten days to organize.

“An employer vote is never a preferred path, because a settlement should be reached at the bargaining table. But we have exhausted all efforts at the bargaining table and now our faculty will decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.

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