Under the new Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA), 2008 bargaining between the College Compensation and Appointments Council (the Council) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) would begin 90 days prior to the end of a collective agreement.
With the full-time academic staff’s (full-time teachers, Counsellors, Librarians and partial load teachers) collective agreement expiring on August 31, 2009, bargaining began in June of 2009. Both sides met throughout the summer in an effort to reach a new agreement, but unfortunately, both sides could not find enough common ground on the major issues of a new agreement (e.g. financial and workload). After a mandated month long recess during September, by the Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator, both sides went back to the table in October with the hope of reaching a new deal.
After a few more bargaining days in October and November, talks finally came to a head and both sides have pulled away from the bargaining table. On Thursday, November 12, 2009, the Council, representing the colleges, decided to utilize a new clause within the CCBA to implement a new terms and conditions.
On December 1st, 2009, both OPSEU and the Council met with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to seek a date for OPSEU to hold a strike vote. A date of January 13, 2010 was given for the province-wide academic strike vote.
In a last ditch effort before the holidays, both sides went back to the bargaining table on December 14th and 15th, but again, weren’t able to reach a new agreement.
History: a look back at academic bargaining
Over the last 43 years, Ontario college full-time academic staff have only gone out on strike three (3) times.
1984 – Academic staff were legislated back to work including binding arbitration after 23 days
1989 – Parties agreed to binding mediation/arbitration after 20 days
2006 – Parties agreed to binding mediation after 18 days