OPSEU CAAT-A Strike Vote: 59.4% of Ballots Cast Support College Strike
TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2021 /CNW/ - After three days of virtual voting, the results are in: 59.4% voted in favour of a strike. Of full-time and partial-load professors, instructors, librarians, and counsellors, only 68% cast their ballot. Accordingly, the strike vote demonstrates that approximately 40% of faculty voiced their support for a strike.
"On December 7, prior to the strike vote, the CEC announced it would introduce wage and benefit enhancements, as well as other improvements contained in its offer. We do not understand why, less than 2 hours after the strike vote results were released, the CAAT-A team issued an ultimatum that if the CEC introduces these terms and conditions, they will provide 5 days' notice for all possible labour action," said Graham Lloyd, CEO of CEC. "We believe that employees have waited long enough to receive wage increases and benefit enhancements. Introducing these improvements does not prohibit further negotiation. We will be introducing the terms and conditions as promised last week".
Today, the CEC initiated the introduction of the following terms and conditions of its proposal to improve working conditions for individual employees.
- Maximum annual wage increase, retroactive to October 1st 2021, as currently allowed under Bill 124. Retroactive payments will be processed as soon as possible.
- Medical cannabis coverage prescribed by a licensed physician to a maximum of $4000/year, subject to prior authorization by the insurer.
- Permit Indigenous teachers to bring an elder or traditional knowledge keeper to the WMG as an advisor.
- Permit Indigenous employees to bring an elder or traditional knowledge keeper to grievance meetings as an advisor.
- Coordinator duties will be documented before an employee accepts a coordinatorship. Such acceptance will remain voluntary.
- Update the counsellor class definition.
- Partial Load employees will accrue service for statutory Holidays on which they were scheduled to teach.
- Partial Load registration date change from October 30th to April 30th.
- Extend Partial Load registration preference to courses which a partial load employee taught while part-time or sessional.
- Partial Load priority will continue for a course even if the course code changes, unless there has been a major revision of the course or curriculum.
Notwithstanding the introduction of terms, the CEC has not left the table. The CEC has been clear about the items we cannot agree to as well as the areas that still show room for common ground. With this ultimatum, the CAAT-A team has told us once again, that they are unwilling to move further on their demands.
"We share an interest with the CAAT-A team on working together on issues of EDI, Indigeneity, and workload. This work is far too important and nuanced to have an outside third party impose terms at binding arbitration," said Dr. Laurie Rancourt, Chair of the CEC Management Bargaining team. "It is critical work that the parties must do themselves in order to reach meaningful and sustainable solutions. The CAAT-A team insists on including collective agreement language providing for third party binding arbitration to impose outcomes in these matters. Until this position, as well as their demands that contravene Bill 124 are dropped, we see no path to a settlement."
During the pandemic, the Colleges have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to labour stability for faculty. Faculty have not been laid off and new full-time positions have been filled. Given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the CEC urges the union to consider the complexity of the moment and to return to the table with a moderated position that will lead to a negotiated settlement.
We urge the CAAT-A team not to jeopardize student learning during the winter semester. It is in everyone's best interest to conclude negotiations without a strike.
To review the CEC's proposal please visit www.CollegeEmployerCouncil.ca