For the second time in just under a month, faculty at Ontario’s 24 community colleges are going to the polls. This time the question is whether or not to accept the College Appointment and Compensation Board’s final offer. Accepting the offer would most likely avert a strike. After the bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union rejected management’s proposal, and refused to bring it to members for ratification, the college’s arranged a vote under the auspices of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
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OPSEU continues to advise members to vote “no” to the offer, arguing that a better deal can reached at the bargaining table. The union has given a Feb 17 strike deadline. In a release issued Tuesday, Ted Montgomery, chair of of the union’s bargaining team said “The offer from the employer is not acceptable.” He added, “However, we are emphatic that a settlement can be reached at the negotiating table without any work stoppage that will affect the students’ year.”
College management says that a rejection of their proposal will most certainly mean a strike. In a statement released Monday, the college’s emphasized that this is their final offer. “If the majority of faculty rejects the offer, there will be a strike because this is the colleges’ final offer,” the statement read.
On Jan 13, faculty voted narrowly to give the union bargaining team a strike mandate.
A strike would affect 500,000 students.
Results of the vote are expected shortly after 9:00pm. Watch Maclean’s On Campus for full coverage including results and reactions from the college sector.