The Canadian Press
TORONTO–The union representing faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges says they have voted in favour of a strike mandate should upcoming contract talks fail to result in a new agreement.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said 68 percent of its members voted in favour of a strike mandate ahead of collective bargaining scheduled to resume next week.
The current contract agreement for 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians expires Sept. 30.
No strike or lockout deadline has been set.
OPSEU said key issues in the talks include the role of faculty in academic decision-making and fair treatment for contract faculty.
Union bargaining team chair J.P. Hornick noted in a release that the College Employer Council so far has ignored all 16 proposals “to improve the quality and fairness of the college system in Ontario.”
“Hopefully, this strike vote will be the incentive the colleges need to start negotiating for real,” Hornick said.
The union said 81 percent of college teaching is done by contract faculty, who have no job security and are paid significantly less than full-time permanent faculty.
Support staff at the 24 colleges ratified a four-year contract extension late last month.
The colleges teach about 220,000 students across Ontario.