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What is Colleges Ontario hiding about the McDonald’s deal?

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Toronto – Fresh questions are being raised by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) about the deal between Colleges Ontario and McDonald’s restaurant corporation in the wake of Colleges Ontario’s refusal to disclose details.

RM Kennedy, chair of OPSEU’s College Academic Divisional Executive, requested information on the deal from Colleges Ontario, but received no response.

“This deal is based on a startling claim that the corporate training provided by McDonald’s is equivalent to the entire first year of a college diploma,” noted Kennedy. “We’re just asking Colleges Ontario to show us how that assessment was made.

“Colleges already have a well-established system for assigning credits to students for previous experience. Under the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process, faculty review a student’s work and life experience to determine credits they qualify for. In this case, however, the deal cuts faculty out and allows a corporation to decide what graduates should know, without transparency or oversight. We don’t know what McDonald’s teaches in their program, or whether the instructors are experts in these fields. The public and future employers have a right to know if meaningful learning has, in fact, occurred.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has raised concerns in recent weeks about the negative impact of this deal on the value of students’ diplomas. He points out that this latest development is part of a disturbing trend of secrecy on the part of the Ontario government.

 “The union has been clear about our concern for students, who will pay the price for this deal with diplomas that aren’t valued by employers and won’t meet the needs of the business world and our communities,” said Thomas. “As we look closer, what’s beginning to really trouble me is the refusal to disclose the terms of this deal to the public. This is another example of deals negotiated in secret closed-door meetings, behind the backs of Ontarians.

“If Colleges Ontario, and the Liberal government, believes this agreement is such a great deal for Ontarians, why don’t they want the public to see it?”

For more information: Craig Ashbourne, A/Communications Officer, OPSEU, 226-821-1725