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College Faculty Strike Vote: Questions & Answers

College Faculty Strike Vote: Questions & Answers

We the North
We the North
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You may have questions about the upcoming college faculty strike vote on Aug. 28, 2014. The following are some Frequently Asked Questions with answers from your bargaining team. If you have additional questions, please contact the team at bargaining2014@gmail.com

Q: Why are we holding a strike vote?

  • To put pressure on the employer to bargain a fair contract before the collective agreement expires on Aug. 31, 2014;
  • To provide leverage at the bargaining table;
  • To prevent the employer from imposing changes to the terms and conditions of faculty employment. Such terms could bring drastic changes to your working environment.

Q: Why hold a strike vote on Aug. 28, 2014?

  • To put a strike mandate in place prior to the expiry of our collective agreement on Aug. 31;
  • To prevent the employer from imposing working conditions as they did in 2009;
  • To permit necessary work action to be taken if bargaining fails;
  • To settle a new contract before students start classes in September.

Q: Have you given up on negotiations this early?

  • Certainly not. Negotiations are continuing with both sides discussing issues;
  • A strike vote is a normal part of the bargaining process and is designed to put pressure on both sides to reach an agreement;
  • A strike vote prior to the expiry of the contract is a new strategy that responds to the 2008 changes to the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA);
  • Bargaining dates are scheduled with the employer throughout the summer, right up to and including Aug. 31.

Q: What if there is a deal prior to Aug. 28, 2014?

  • If a tentative agreement is reached by both sides at the bargaining table, a ratification vote will be scheduled.

Q: What effect does a strike mandate have on students?

  • A strike mandate does not necessarily mean we will go on strike. It is a tool to motivate productive bargaining;
  • No semester has ever been cancelled because of a strike;
  • We are bargaining to protect quality education, which is a long-term investment for our students.

Q: Will there be a strike?

  • We are at the bargaining table to negotiate a new contract. Faculty want to be with our students this fall as planned. Nobody wants to go on strike;
  • A strong strike mandate is the best way to reduce the possibility of a strike;
  • The employer's willingness to bargain is really the deciding factor;
  • The employer could lock out faculty after our contract expires Aug. 31, 2014.

Q: What are the main issues in bargaining?

  • Stop the erosion of quality education in Ontario colleges;
  • Reduce the inequities faced by partial-load faculty;
  • Credit the time required for all work done by teachers (full-time and partial-load), counsellors, and librarians;
  • Increase job security for both partial-load and full-time faculty;
  • Prevent the contracting-out and privatization of academic work such as teaching and counselling;
  • Place academic decision making where it belongs: in the hands of college faculty
  • Provide a fair salary increase reflective of our expertise and professional work. Faculty wages have been frozen for two years.

Download the Question & Answer document