Colleges concerned that union is moving to strike

    
                     Strike vote set for January 13, 2010

    Union seeks $218 million increase to annual teaching, staffing and salary
                                    costs
    

TORONTO, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges reacted with concern and disappointment with today's news that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will be seeking a strike mandate from college faculty on January 13, 2010. OPSEU will be asking faculty to strike in support of the union's proposals that would add more than $218 million in annual costs to the colleges.

"The parties met on November 30, 2009 to finalize a deal. We asked the union to table its best offer and they responded with proposals that reduce the amount of time teachers will spend in the classroom, introduce significant staffing changes, and increase salaries and benefits that in total would add more than $218 million in annual costs," said Dr. Rachael Donovan, chair of the colleges' bargaining team.

"To put the $218 million of additional costs in perspective, the colleges' total annual wage costs for full-time faculty is $620 million. The union's positions would add an unmanageable burden to our college system," said Dr. Donovan. "On salary, the union has proposed a 9.7 per cent increase over three years that would increase the new maximum from $96,529 to $105,951 - a $9,422 increase."

"During these tough economic times, the colleges are in no position to afford these demands," said Dr. Donovan. "The colleges have consistently and clearly stated that a negotiated settlement has to be affordable."

"Seeking a strike mandate won't help the parties secure a deal. Threatening to go on strike won't move the two sides closer, it doesn't change the economic realities," said Dr. Donovan. "It is important that our faculty be aware that a successful strike vote will endorse the union's bargaining team position, which is not affordable.

"The union knows that a strike will harm our students by trying to limit their ability to complete the academic year."

    
    Additional Information

    Main Cost Drivers In OPSEU's Best Offer
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Item                           Additional Annual Cost
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Teaching Hours Reduction       $96 million
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Staffing Changes               $71 million
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Salary and benefits            $51 million
    ------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL                          $218 million
    ------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE COLLEGE COMPENSATION AND APPOINTMENTS COUNCIL

For further information: For further information: Don Sinclair, Executive Director, Colleges Compensation and Appointments Council, (416) 325-2908

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COLLEGE COMPENSATION AND APPOINTMENTS COUNCIL

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