TORONTO, Aug. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a strike vote for September 6, 2012.
With just three weeks remaining before the expiry of the current collective agreement, the union hopes that scheduling a strike vote pushes management to start negotiating more seriously.
"OPSEU is calling on this employer to wake up and see that their games and delays are unacceptable," says OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "We stand with our members one hundred percent, and will do everything in our power to ensure there is a swift resolution to these negotiations."
"The colleges are running out of time," says Carolyn Gaunt, Faculty Bargaining Team Co-chair. "They have had two and a half months to negotiate, and they still haven't addressed our key issues. What are they waiting for?"
"A number of Ontario's university academic unions, including those at York University and the University of Toronto, have recently come to reasonable settlements with their employer. We expect the same," says Gaunt.
College faculty called on the Ministry of Labour in July to provide a conciliator after talks stalled. Conciliation is currently in progress.
Key issues in negotiations are better treatment of partial-load faculty, academic freedom so that teachers rather than management determine how courses are delivered, and an updating of the workload formula to address increased online learning.
OPSEU represents more than 10,000 faculty members at colleges across Ontario. Faculty members include counsellors, instructors, professors and librarians.
For further information:
Carolyn Gaunt, College Faculty Bargaining Team Co-chair: 705-929-2756 (c)
Ted Montgomery, College Faculty Bargaining Team Co-chair: 416-578-4255 (c)
Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications Officer (bilingual): 416-557-7936 (c)