Ontario colleges continue to seek a negotiated settlement with OPSEU

(TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2010) – With its strike vote now completed, Ontario’s 24 colleges are urging the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) representing full-time faculty to return to the bargaining table and work to get a negotiated agreement.

The colleges have made an offer to faculty that increases salaries by eight per cent over four years and raises the maximum salary to $103,975, ensuring that Ontario college faculty members continue to be the best paid in Canada.

Dr. Rachael Donovan, the chair of the colleges’ bargaining team, said the colleges will be asking OPSEU to return to the bargaining table as soon as possible to work to avoid a strike.

“We are committed to negotiating a fair, affordable and practical settlement, which ensures that our students receive the highest quality of education possible,” Dr. Donovan said.

The initial results indicate that approximately 57 per cent of faculty voted in favour of a strike. Although this is a narrow vote in favour of a strike, the result still gives OPSEU a strike mandate and the ability to now call a strike at any time. However, Dr. Donovan said the priority has to be on reaching an agreement and averting a strike.

“The union must work with colleges to reach a fair, affordable and practical agreement,” said Dr. Donovan. “A strike mandate hasn’t made OPSEU’s positions any more affordable. It hasn’t given the colleges any more money.”

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