TORONTO – The union representing faculty in Ontario’s 24 community colleges is calling on the employer to return to the bargaining table if a majority of their members reject the last received offer received from the Colleges on February 10.
Ted Montgomery, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team for the faculty, says that the team has recommended members reject the offer, and wants to negotiate a fair collective agreement for the faculty.
“The offer from the employer is not acceptable,” Montgomery said. “However, we are emphatic that a settlement can be reached at the negotiating table without any work stoppage that will affect the students’ year.”
Montgomery is again urging the Colleges to submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration if a settlement cannot be reached.
“Our union only wants improvements that will enhance and ensure quality education for Ontario’s college students,” Montgomery said. “We are ready to bargain, and ready to go to binding arbitration if bargaining fails.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the decision whether or not to stop classes for 200,000 students rests solely with the Colleges.
“Our union is ready to bargain, or arbitrate,” Thomas said. “We have the students’ best interests at the forefront, and we have the solutions to prevent any interruption to the school year. If our members vote to reject this offer, we are ready and willing to settle this agreement…providing the Colleges come back to the bargaining table.”