Strike Questions and Answers
1. If a strike is called, when
will it begin?
Tuesday, March 7.
2. Does the bargaining team have
any more bargaining dates with the employer?
Yes. The bargaining team will be
negotiating with the employer, Mar 2 Ė 6
3. Is a strike inevitable?
If management continues to stonewall
at the bargaining table, then they may plunge the college system
into a strike. However, we believe a strike can be avoided if
management starts bargaining responsibly.
4. What are the issues?
Faculty care about quality education.
We want improvements to the workload formula so there are smaller
classes, more full-time teachers and more faculty time for students.
As well, we want appropriate pay rates between high schools and
universities so colleges can attract and keep faculty
5. What has the government said
about post-secondary education?
On May 13, 2005, Premier Dalton
McGuinty announced the governmentís investment of $6.2 billion in
post-secondary education over five years. He said: ďAn investment in
education is an investment in our future prosperity. Ö Thatís why
weíve made success for students our highest priority. Which brings
me to what Ontarians demand in return for this massive investment.
And itís this: more access, higher quality and better
accountability. Ö By quality, we mean more faculty at colleges and
universities to accommodate higher enrolments and help students
succeed, more faculty time for students, more students completing
their undergraduate programs and going on to grad school and easier
movement for students between colleges and universities.Ē
6. If a strike is called, is
everyone in the bargaining unit on strike?
Yes. All full-time faculty and
faculty with partial-load assignments are on strike. It is a
violation of the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) for
bargaining unit members to do bargaining unit work during a strike.
The union will monitor any violations of the CCBA and take the
7. Can I offer to teach my
students through Blackboard, WebCT or any other form of electronic
learning during a strike?
No. This is considered
strike-breaking and is a violation of the CCBA. The union will
monitor and act upon any violations of the CCBA.
8. Where will I read about what is
happening before and during a strike?
www.opseu.org for updated information. Your localís website is
another excellent source of information. Donít believe the rumours
or what you see in the media. Always check with your local first.
You can also contact the union at
9. Should I contact my MPP and
write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper?
Yes. It is important MPPs hear from
faculty. For a sample MPP letter, go to
caatabargainingindex.htm. To e-mail MPPs and local media, go to
10. Will I receive strike pay?
a) if you signed an OPSEU
b) you filled out a Members
Personal Information Form (MPIF);
c) you perform strike duties
(i.e. picket duty) for 20 hours a week;
d) the strike lasts more than
one day. In a strike lasting more than one day, you get paid from
the first day out.
To fill out a MPIF form and sign up
for strike duties, please talk to your Local.
11. What is strike pay?
Weeks 1-3 (per day)
Weeks 4 + (per day)
12. What is a dependent?
A dependent is:
∑ a non-income-earning spouse
(excluding a spouse on strike);
∑ a child under 18 (or under
26 if attending school full time) OR a dependent child as defined by
the collective agreement or the benefit plan;
∑ a disabled family member; or
∑ an elderly family member who
normally receives financial support from the striking member.
If both spouses
are on strike, both may claim the dependents.
happens to my benefits coverage during a strike?
Your benefits coverage will continue
at no cost to you. OPSEU will cover all insured benefits you had
prior to the strike, including basic life insurance, supplementary,
dependent and employee pay-all option life, (if you had this
coverage prior to the strike), accidental death and dismemberment,
extended health care (including vision and hearing), dental, and
long term disability.
14. What happens to my benefits
coverage if Iím a partial-load faculty?
All partial-loads are covered for
extended health care, at no cost to you.
15. What happens to other
employer-provided benefits, such as maternity/paternity leave
top-up, vacation, bereavement leave and short-term sick pay? Would
they continue during a strike or lockout?
No, they will not. In the event of a
strike, your collective agreement no longer applies.
happens to my vacation?
You are considered
to be on strike. Your collective agreement no longer applies. The
employer will not pay you vacation pay.
happens if Iím on short-term sick leave when a strike starts?
Once a strike
begins, the collective agreement no longer applies. The employer
will stop paying your short-term sick leave benefits. But you may be
eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits if you were
on sick leave prior to the start of a strike. Be sure to keep a copy
at home of any medical certificate(s) related to your sick leave
that you gave to your employer. However, while a simple doctor's
note can be sufficient to establish a sick leave with the employer,
EI will require a more detailed report to be completed by your
doctor and they will make an independent decision about your
eligibility for EI sickness benefits. In other words, being on sick
leave prior to the strike does not guarantee getting EI benefits.
18. What happens if I am currently
on maternity/paternity leave and there is a strike?
You will continue to receive your EI
entitlements, but no top-up from the employer. You will also receive
strike pay if you perform strike duties.
19. What happens to my
maternity/paternity leave if my leave starts during a strike? Will I
get my EI entitlements?
Yes, if you can show you were
arranging the leave before the strike. Write to the employer now,
stating your intent. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself at home. As
well, you will receive strike pay if you perform strike duties.
20. If I am on LTIP before a
strike or lockout, do my LTIP benefits continue?
Yes, because LTIP is not paid
directly by the employer.
21. If Iím getting WSIB benefits,
will they continue during a strike?
Yes, provided you continue to qualify
medically and co-operate with WSIB-approved programs.
22. What if I am on a professional
development leave this semester?
You are considered on strike and your
collective agreement no longer applies. You will not receive any pay
from the employer.
23. I am on a prepaid leave this
semester. How will the strike affect me?
Because your pay is actually the
return of money you have set aside, the strike will have no effect
on your income. In terms of benefits, if you were paying the
employerís and memberís share of the premiums prior to the strike,
you will continue to pay and receive benefits during a strike.