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Taking Ford to court over broken agreement

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

The Toronto Star reports that OPSEU is taking the provincial government to court after it scrapped the College Task Force.  The Task Force was a key part of the arbitrator’s decision last year, ending a bitter dispute between faculty members and Ontario’s 24 colleges that culminated in a record-long, five-week strike.

“The government has no right to change a collective agreement after it’s enforced,” said OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas. 

“They were doing fantastic work,” says Thomas, adding the task force included faculty, college representatives, students, and industry experts. “The work of the task force should not be lost, it was extremely valuable … The simple solution would be for Doug Ford to say, ‘Hey, let the task force finish its work.’”

JP Hornick, who’s head of the faculty bargaining team for OPSEU and a co-applicant of the Charter challenge, said in a statement the province has “put quality education in jeopardy.”

“College faculty are not going to just let this go,” said Hornick. “We are determined to fix the college system, whatever it takes, however we believe that the collaborative, evidence-based process the task force established is the best way forward.”

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