As of Saturday, December 11, 2021, the bargaining team representing full-time and partial-load professors, instructors, librarians, and counsellors, known as CAAT-A, received a strike mandate. On Sunday December 12, the CAAT-A team provided notice for labour action, which can start as early as Saturday, December 18, 2021.
Ontario colleges have always been committed to ensuring labour stability for all members of the college community. Throughout the ongoing collective agreement negotiations, the College Employer Council (CEC) has been clear with the CAAT-A bargaining team about areas that still show room for common ground and which unreasonable and unlawful demands cannot be agreed to. As of Monday December 13, the CEC has introduced terms and conditions to improve the working conditions for individual employees.
Following are frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the strike mandate. The FAQs will be updated as events unfold and will be communicated to you directly.
Strike Mandate FAQ
- Labour action does mean strike. Strike action can take various forms, which include: work-to-rule, rotating strikes, all the way up to a full walk out.
- Only the CAAT-A team can determine what forms of strike action will occur and when.
- Introducing terms and conditions means the Colleges will be making changes to the employment contracts of the bargaining unit members.
- As of Monday December 13, the CEC has introduced terms and conditions to give employees raises, improved benefits, and other improved working conditions.
- This does not affect the delivery of your program or your classes, nor does it lock anyone out of the College.
- Introducing terms and conditions will not affect the ability of full-time and partial-load professors and instructors to teach. Nor will it affect the way in which a class is delivered.
- Introducing terms and conditions will not affect when grades are submitted.
- Only strike actions can affect grades being submitted on time.
- The Colleges cannot force faculty to go on strike.
- The CAAT-A team has already provided notice of its intention to engage in strike action.
- We do not know what form that strike action will take.
- Only the CAAT-A team can determine what form (work-to-rule, rotating strikes, walk-out etc.)
- The Colleges are not escalating. We have never left the table.
- Less than 24 hours after receiving a strike mandate, the CAAT-A team escalated by providing notice of strike action.
- We believe that employees have waited long enough to receive wage increases and benefit enhancements. Introducing these improvements does not prohibit further negotiation.
- We urge the CAAT-A team to remove the unlawful and unreasonable demands from their proposal and rejoin us at the table to continue negotiations.
- The Colleges do not want there to be a strike.
- The Colleges have made multiple offers in attempts to resolve all issues.
- Voluntary binding interest arbitration is not the answer to concluding negotiations nor is it always what happens after a strike.
- The parties have the responsibility to bargain and negotiate a settlement that both parties can live with. The CAAT-A team has proposed to delegate its obligation to a third party and have an agreement imposed.
- Throughout the ongoing collective agreement negotiations, the CEC has been clear with the CAAT-A bargaining team about areas that still show room for common ground and which unreasonable and unlawful demands we cannot agree to.
- The CEC is not prepared to have an arbitrator “split the difference” on key issues.
- In response to the union’s request for voluntary binding arbitration, the CEC had proposed final offer selection which built in the opportunity for mediation and if an agreement could not be reached the selection of one proposal in its entirety.
- The CEC believes its offer is fair and reasonably addresses the issues presented by the CAAT-A team.
- The CAAT-A demands do cost money and contravene Bill 124.
- The CAAT-A team wants to reduce faculty workload by as much as 40% which would mean that a College education would cost substantially more and would not be sustainable for the College system.
- The CEC has not walked away from the table.
- The CEC remains engaged in the negotiation process and, once again, advanced a revised proposal on November 23 which the CAAT-A team has yet to acknowledge or respond to.
- We have offered through the conciliator to meet with the CAAT-A team once they remove the unreasonable and unlawful demands from their proposal.
- The CEC website contains information on the bargaining process and an ongoing archive of proposals from both parties.
- Additionally, all news updates are published across CEC social media channels and the website.
- Please visit www.CollegeEmployerCouncil.ca or follow the CEC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube.