Conciliation fails to achieve new deal for Ontario college faculty

TORONTO, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - Ontario's public colleges and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) face new pressure to reach a negotiated settlement for full-time faculty after three months of provincial conciliation talks failed to achieve a deal.

"The lack of progress is very frustrating for everyone, but especially for our students and faculty who need certainty and should not be burdened with the threat of a labour disruption," said Rachael Donovan, chair of the colleges' bargaining team. "We haven't given up on reaching a negotiated settlement but both parties need to work together to reach a deal soon."

The two sides have met for 25 days of face-to-face bargaining since early June and had the assistance of a Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator from August through October. The key issues in the discussions are wages and workload.

OPSEU's latest salary proposal would increase the new maximum salary for full-time faculty by 14 per cent over two years, to $109,915 by next September. The union's proposal includes a four per cent increase per year for two years (retroactive to September 1, 2009) and a new step in the salary grid each year for two years.

The colleges have tabled a four-year monetary offer that increases salaries by 1.5 per cent, 1.5 per cent, two per cent and two per cent in each of those years. The new maximum salary would be $103,464 by September 1, 2012.

On workload, the colleges have tabled several proposals that are grounded in the four main recommendations of the Joint Workload Taskforce Report, a report that was ordered by the arbitrator who settled the terms of the last collective agreement following a faculty strike in 2006.

The colleges' proposals would provide more flexibility for faculty workload, ensure that all faculty are able to participate in the establishment of evaluation methods, increase out-of-class time or other types of assistance to teachers who have large numbers of students to teach, and improve professional development opportunities.

These proposals do not increase the workload that can be assigned.

Bargaining talks are scheduled to resume Nov. 10.


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

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