TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - More than 11,000 faculty at Ontario's 24 colleges have a new collective agreement following a ratification vote on September 23, 2014. The three-year contract is effective from September 1, 2014 to September 30, 2017.
While faculty are pleased that negotiations were settled without any disruption to the school year, the low 61% vote in favour of ratification indicates continued concern regarding issues affecting the college system.
"College Faculty have ratified this agreement, however the government can expect to hear more from OPSEU on the subject of post-secondary education. If our new Premier is truly committed to a quality college education system, she is going to have to make proper funding a priority," said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
"Downloading the cost of education onto students and their families does nothing to improve Ontario's economy or create a strong well-trained workforce," said Thomas.
The new agreement provides some improved job security and includes a letter of understanding preventing full-time faculty positions from being contracted out to private companies.
"There is a strong push being made by Ontario Colleges to follow the US model of privatizing post-secondary education and funding cuts that downgrade the public system. I think we can all say that is not a model we want to follow. College Faculty will continue to push back against anything that compromises quality education at Ontario Colleges," said David Fasciano, College Academic Bargaining Team Chair.
"Faculty feel a tremendous weight of responsibility to protect the Ontario College system from the dismantling of quality education. We struggle every day with the effects of systemic underfunding, a growing part-time work force, escalating tuition fees and increasing corporate control over course offerings and curriculum," said Fasciano. "We will continue to work to protect the quality college education that faculty provide and students enjoy."
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936, firstname.lastname@example.org; David Fasciano, OPSEU local 673 at Collège Boréal and College Academic Bargaining Team Chair: 705-698-3267