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OFL delegates unanimously condemn colleges for contract imposition and walking away from talks

Podium with mic

TORONTO – Delegates attending the Ontario Federation of Labour convention today unanimously condemned the province's colleges for their failure to bargain in good faith in negotiations with 9,000 faculty members.

"It's union-busting. Imposing a collective agreement is wrong, and it should stop now. If they want a strike, they will get a strike the likes of which they have never seen before," Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of OPSEU, told hundreds of cheering delegates.

An emergency resolution, brought forward by OPSEU at the convention, attacked the Colleges for unilaterally imposing terms of employment for community college faculty effective Nov. 18, 2009. It called on Premier Dalton McGuinty and Training, Colleges and University Minister John Milloy to direct College negotiators to get back to the table and negotiate in good faith.

The resolution also stated that the Council, representing management at 24 community colleges in Ontario, had suspended all joint union/management committees, effectively preventing all grievances from going to arbitration.

And it noted that the Council refused to take its imposed terms of employment to faculty members for a vote.

More than 15 speakers took to the floor in support of the resolution, including labour representatives from other OPSEU sectors, Steelworkers, CUPE and other major unions.