Ontario Moves On College Bargaining Rights

    McGuinty Government Introduces Legislation On Part-Time Collective

    TORONTO, June 10 /CNW/ -


    Part-time college workers in Ontario are one step closer to having
collective bargaining rights.
    New legislation introduced today, would, if passed, replace the current
Colleges Collective Bargaining Act
and give part-time and sessional college workers the right to bargain
collectively for the first time in Ontario. Collective bargaining processes in
colleges would also be modernized and brought more in-line with those in most
other Ontario workplaces.
    The proposed legislation would mark an important step forward in
modernizing the province's college system and ensuring strong, stable learning
environments and a quality education experience for students.
    The proposed legislation would implement recommendations made by Kevin
Whitaker, Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, who was appointed by
the government to review college collective bargaining.


    "This bill would help foster good labour relations in colleges and mark
an important step in our plans to ensure high-quality postsecondary education
is available to all Ontario students," said Minister of Training, Colleges and
Universities John Milloy
    "A healthy and robust collective bargaining process serves the interests
of students, college employers and workers. The Ontario government's proposed
legislation encourages all parties in the college sector to take greater
responsibility for finding solutions to workplace challenges," said Kevin
Whitaker, Ontario Labour Relations Board Chair and author of the Whitaker
Report on college collective bargaining.


    -   There are more than 17,000 part-time faculty and support staff
        working in Ontario colleges, representing about half the total

    -   Ontario colleges serve about 250,000 students, including regular
        postsecondary studies, apprenticeships and training programs.


    Learn more about Ontario's colleges

    Explore what you can do after high school

                                                      Disponible en français



    The McGuinty Government has introduced legislation which, if passed,
would extend collective bargaining rights to part-time college workers.
    Under the proposed legislation, part-time college workers would be
included in collective bargaining processes. Full-time college workers already
have access to collective bargaining under current legislation. Collective
bargaining in colleges is covered by the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act.
Most other Ontario workplaces are covered by the Labour Relations Act for
collective bargaining.
    In August 2007, the government announced its intention to introduce this
change as part of its plans to modernize the college system and ensure
students get the high-quality education they deserve from stable and well-run
    Kevin Whitaker, Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, was
appointed by the government to conduct a review of the Colleges Collective
Bargaining Act. A public review process took place and on February 1, 2008, a
final report was submitted to the government. Included in the report were
recommendations on how to amend the Act and extend collective bargaining
rights to part-time college workers to modernize the collective bargaining
process and better serve the needs of students, colleges and workers.
    In addition to extending collective bargaining to part-time workers, the
proposed legislation would amend bargaining processes at colleges, making them
more consistent with the Labour Relations Act. Proposed changes would:

    -   Establish two new bargaining units for colleges, one for part-time
        and sessional academic staff and one for part-time support staff
    -   Create a certification process allowing part-time workers to choose
        their bargaining agent
    -   Establish a new employer bargaining agent to represent all colleges.
        This responsibility is currently held by the College Compensation and
        Appointments Council, a government-appointed agency
    -   Allow the Minister of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer or
        mediator during contract negotiations, as is the practice under the
        Labour Relations Act
    -   Change the collective bargaining process for the sector, giving the
        parties more ownership over the process.

    Proposed changes to the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act would improve
the collective bargaining process at colleges and fulfill the government's
commitment to extend collective bargaining to part-time college workers.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416)
326-5748; Greg Flood, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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