Strike vote planned for next week

Dec 3, 2021 | Campus News, Headlines, News

A cooling-off period in the college faculty bargaining process continued this week, with a strike mandate vote planned for next week.

The CAAT-A bargaining team and the College Employer Council (CEC) have been haggling over a new collective agreement since earlier this year, but negotiations broke apart most recently on Nov. 19 when conciliation failed.

Union leaders have previously told Humber Et Cetera a strong strike vote would not necessarily result in a faculty strike that would disrupt college classes.

A vote is required for the college academic wing of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to take any labour action and avoid a position more vulnerable to action from the employer council.

The online vote from Dec. 9 until Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. was organized by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, as is required.

CAAT-A’s JP Hornick told Humber Et Cetera that the fall semester remains safe from interruption despite the strike vote. However, labour action could still occur in the winter semester.

The employer council, or CEC, has insisted that faculty are unwilling to engage in bargaining while the union maintains the employer council repeatedly leaves the talks.

During the last round of collective bargaining in 2017, the process escalated to a strike that lasted five weeks that ended when the then-Liberal government legislated faculty back to work through binding arbitration.

Though the faculty were forced back to campus, many of the union’s demands were met by the arbitrator and the process was largely regarded as a success by faculty.