Despite making additional revisions to its bargaining position,
the union representing 9,000 community college faculty says
management’s decision to break off negotiations leaves it no
choice but to mobilize for a Jan. 13 strike vote.
“For the second time in two weeks our bargaining team came
forward with significant modifications to our position only to
be met with management’s refusal to negotiate in good faith,”
said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union, which represents faculty at 24
community colleges. “That’s not bargaining.”
Faculty had previously tabled modifications to their bargaining
position on Nov. 30. College negotiators responded by insisting
the union withdraw 69 demands.
“I’m deeply disappointed that management negotiators have
squandered the last two days by their refusal to bargain. Our
team arrived at the table on Monday prepared to make progress,
but any hopes we had of reaching a tentative settlement were
derailed almost from the start,” said Ted Montgomery, chair of
OPSEU’s bargaining team.
“Their refusal to bargain is forcing a needless disruption of
the students’ studies,” added Montgomery.
Faculty have maintained all along that in this round of
bargaining the key issue is improving the quality of education
by implementing the recommendations of an independent task force
established after the last round of bargaining in 2006.
“Management has seriously distorted the cost of a settlement,”
said Montgomery. “We have tabled an offer that is affordable and
which should have been acceptable.”
As a result of today’s lack of progress at the bargaining table,
the union has been left with no choice but to step up its plans
for a strike vote on Jan. 13. No further talks are scheduled.