Results still uncertain
The vote on management’s offer last received is not yet completed. The vote was conducted under section 17(2) of the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act. Segregated and mail-in ballots will need to be counted to determine the final result, depending on the number of ballots mailed in.
Eight thousand, three hundred and sixty valid ballots have been counted and the unofficial results at this time are 4,285 to accept and 4,075 to reject the offer. However, over 350 mail-in ballots were sent out and another 141 ballots have been segregated. Overall, there may be over 500 ballots yet to be counted, depending on the mail-in rate of return. Accordingly, there can be no definitive statement of results. The official count is scheduled for February 24th.
Given the uncertain results, the Union has postponed the strike deadline indefinitely until the final results are in.
There are serious irregularities with the voting process conducted by the colleges. The colleges are attempting to hide the mail-in voters’ list from the union. Some colleges posted the vote as a “final offer” vote. Section 17(2) of the CCBA is explicit that the vote is on “the offer last received.” The colleges are free to describe their offer in the way they like, but not characterize the vote itself in a prejudicial manner as was done at some colleges in order to influence voters. The Union will be bringing these matters to the attention of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Fourteen of the 24 colleges voted to reject the offer. Only ten colleges voted to accept.
The number of eligible voters was increased by over 750 – a seven per cent increase – between the January 13th strike vote and the February 10th offer vote. It is not possible to definitively quantify how many of these temporary hires voted or how they voted.
The Workload Task Force studied the college system and made unanimous recommendations for a better college system in the future. The Union is disappointed that the colleges were unwilling to follow the recommendations of the Workload Task Force to improve the quality of education for future college students.