THUNDER BAY – During the latest round of negotiations between the College Employer Council (CEC) and the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union, a revised offer was presented to OPSEU by the CEC, which addresses the priorities of the Union. Negotiations ended due to a lack of agreement on the issue of academic freedom. The CEC proposal guarantees academic freedom.
In response to the unsuccessful negotiations, Colleges will be calling for a faculty vote on the current offer in an effort to end the strike. This is the faculty’s collective agreement and faculty should have the right to decide. The faculty vote will be crucial for faculty, students and the wider college community to resolve the strike
Colleges asked OPSEU to suspend the strike and let faculty and students back in the classroom. Suspending the strike will also allow voting at college campus locations so that the largest number of faculty are able to exercise their right to vote. OPSEU rejected this request.
What this means is that the strike will continue for the remainder of this week, while a vote for the offer is being arranged by the Ontario Labour Relations Board for full-time and partial-load faculty. The vote will be decided by a 50% + 1 majority of those who show up and cast their vote. If the majority of faculty accept the offer, then the strike will end. If the majority of faculty reject the offer, then the strike will continue.
The current offer is posted at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike.