CEC Responds to OPSEU re Layoffs
May 25, 2020
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Rd.
Thank you very much for your email & letter.
We are in full agreement with your statement that we are in uncertain, and indeed unprecedented times. The anxiety facing everyone in our sector, and society as a whole is very real.
As you know, we are in the third month of closed campuses, distance learning, and reduced services. As I stated in my earlier letter, the pride, work, dedication, and commitment of so many in the Ontario College system to provide safety and ensure colleges can continue to deliver their ongoing world class programs so students can continue their learning and career advancement is nothing short of remarkable.
College stakeholders, from the staff that are able to keep school facilities and operations running, professors and instructors providing remote learning, executives and administrators overseeing safe operations, and OPSEU leadership working collaboratively to meet this mandate, demonstrate commitment, dedication and pride to our system and society, from rural communities to the urban centers.
We agree that layoffs should be a last resort and the colleges have indeed delayed these decisions and sought ways to minimize the economic realities they face. We agree these are real people with real families who live in our communities and provide to the strength of our college system. It was for these reasons we worked hard with your team to develop an agreement we could jointly present to local colleges with a view to minimize the impact of the economic realities this pandemic is causing.
We appreciate the work to find a solution to securing the integrity of post-secondary education as colleges are vital to both a highly skilled workforce and the sustenance of local economies.
We look forward to continuing to work with you in these unprecedented times and wish you continued health and safety.
Chief Executive Officer