Friday, September 22, 2017
Negotiations between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) representing college faculty and the College Employer Council representing Ontario’s 24 publicly funded colleges are ongoing. Members voted in favour of a strike on Thursday, September 14.
The strike vote result increases the likelihood that college faculty are on the path toward a strike, although conducting a strike vote is normal in college faculty bargaining and does not necessarily mean there will be a strike.
By voting to strike, college faculty have given OPSEU a mandate to call a strike if negotiations break down. The colleges remain committed to achieving a negotiated settlement, which is fair to faculty while being affordable and responsible for the colleges. Both sides returned to the bargaining table earlier this week.
“No one wants a strike, but unfortunately the parties at the bargaining table remain far apart with two very different visions for Ontario’s college system,” said Dr. Fred Gibbons, President and CEO of Northern College. “The colleges’ vision is one that celebrates 50 years of excellence, 50 years of great service to students and the province of Ontario, 50 years of a unique model in post-secondary education – the envy of many other jurisdictions. The colleges have changed a lot in 50 years because we have always focused on innovation and investment in teaching and learning.”
Regardless of how events unfold, Northern is doing everything possible to ensure that each student will have the opportunity to complete the year and that there are minimal disruptions. No Ontario college student has ever lost a year because of a strike.
In the event of a strike, the College will continue to operate, allowing students to have full access to facilities and services to continue with curriculum, such as the Learning Resource Centre, Advising Services, the Wellness Centre, and tutorial assistance.
Northern College is committed to keeping students, staff, community members and partners informed on the status of the 2017 OPSEU collective agreement bargaining process. The latest news and information will be provided up to, and during any post-labour disruption on social media platforms and at www.northernc.on.ca.
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