Tag Archives: Strike

Ontario, unions may clash over deficit cuts

Job Losses Likely; All options are on the table: Finance Minister

By Mohammed Adam, Canwest News Service

The gathering storm could engulf Ontario’s 1.2 million public-sector employees as municipalities, hospitals, school boards, colleges and universities brace for provincial cuts that could trigger local austerity measures, and set workers on a collision course with their employers.

Ontario’s 24 community colleges are now in a tug-of-war with the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union, which has rejected a three-year, 5.9 per cent pay increase. About 9,000 college teachers and ancillary workers have given OPSEU a strike mandate, and the teachers could hit the picket lines next month.

In the early 1990s when Jean Chretien’s Liberals faced a large deficit, they cut programs and reduced the federal public service by about 55,000 employees, many through attrition.

About the same time in Ontario, Mr. Rae forced public-sector workers to take 12 days of unpaid time off to avoid cutting 40,000 jobs.

His party suffered and he still carries the scars, even though he is now a federal Liberal MP.

His Tory successor Mike Harris’ approach, which was met with a rash of strikes, was no-holds-barred funding cuts to everything from education to welfare, transit and municipal transfers.

Posted by Jane Campus

More Strike FAQs

If you have a question that isn’t listed below, please let us know and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Q –When did the professors’ collective agreement expire?
A –The current collective agreement for the full-time academic bargaining unit expired on August 31, 2009.  To date, they are working under new terms and conditions imposed by the colleges on November 18, 2009.

Q -Who would be going on strike?
A –In the event of a strike, it would be the nearly 9,000 full- and partial load professors, librarians, counselors that would be on the picket line.

Q -Have there been previous strikes in the college system?
A –Yes, there have been three strikes previously in the Ontario college system.  There was a strike in 1984, 1989 and during the last round of bargaining in 2006.

Q -Have students ever lost their semester or year due to a work stoppage?
-No!  In the last round of bargaining, colleges put in place semester completion strategies to ensure that all students were able to finish their semester.  Semester Completion Strategies might include a condensing of course material and/or extending the semester and will be posted on the college’s website, in the event of a strike.

Q -How will my classes be affected?
A –In the event of a strike by the full-time academic bargaining unit, your classes would more than likely be canceled.

Q -Can faculty be replaced by supply faculty?
A –It is very unlikely that the colleges would use supply faculty or instructors, but that is a decision that can only be made by the college.

Q –I’m taught by a part-time professor, would they be on strike too?
A –No, part-time professors are not part of the same bargaining and as such will be expected to report to work the same for full- and part-time support staff workers.

Q -What services will remain open on campus during a strike?
A –What services remain open during a strike will vary by college, so it is best to check with your college what services they will be running, in the event of a strike.

Q -Can I cross a picket line?
A –Yes, you can cross a picket line if you wish to.  People on the picket line will only want to speak with you about their position, so remain calm, polite and listen.

Q -What if I do not feel safe crossing a picket line?
A –You should not have a problem crossing a picket line as long as you are respectful and let the academic staff provide you with their material.

Q -Will sports activities, including intramurals, continue through the duration of a strike?
A –In most cases, all activities, including pub nights, intramural and varsity sports would be postponed until the strike was over, but that decision would be up to the college and local student government.

Q -I live on campus.  How will a strike and picket line possibly affect my day-to-day living?
A –Most picket lines would be setup at or around the main entrance to the college campus, so it would depend where the residence is located.  Any service that have unionized employees will not cross another picket line, so you can expect those services (i.e Canada Post, Waste Management, Municipal Transit, etc.) not to be running.

Q -I have summer student employment scheduled to start in May.  What should I do?
A – We recommend you wait to see how long the strike would last before making any backup plans for employment.  After the previous faculty strike, colleges condensed the semester to ensure that students’ summer plans weren’t impacted too greatly.

Q -Will I be refunded for lost class time if classroom contact time is not extended to the end of the semester?
A –Whether or not a refund would be issued would be dependent on how long the work stoppage lasts.  In the previous strikes, no refunds were issued to students for the lost contact time.

Q -Or, will courses be condensed?  If so, will I receive a partial refund from the college?
A –Traditionally, refunds aren’t given even if the semester is condensed.

Q -My living arrangements end in April.  What should I do if the semester is extended?
A –Before making any decisions or extending your lease wait to see how things progress.  Traditionally, strikes in the college system have only lasted three weeks.

Q -Will OSAP claw back funding due to a college strike?
-During the last work stoppage OSAP did not clawback funding from students.  Any arrangements or changes to OSAP allocations will be communicated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Posted by Jane Campus

Results Still Uncertain

100212_caataupdate.pdf (82 KB)
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The vote on management’s offer last received is not yet completed. The vote was conducted under section 17(2) of the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act. Segregated and mail-in ballots will need to be counted to determine the final result, depending on the number of ballots mailed in.

Eight thousand, three hundred and sixty valid ballots have been counted and the unofficial results at this time are 4,285 to accept and 4,075 to reject the offer. However, over 350 mail-in ballots were sent out and another 141 ballots have been segregated. Overall, there may be over 500 ballots yet to be counted, depending on the mail-in rate of return. Accordingly, there can be no definitive statement of results. The official count is scheduled for February 24th.

Given the uncertain results, the Union has postponed the strike deadline indefinitely until the final results are in.

There are serious irregularities with the voting process conducted by the colleges. The colleges are attempting to hide the mail-in voters’ list from the union. Some colleges posted the vote as a “final offer” vote. Section 17(2) of the CCBA is explicit that the vote is on “the offer last received.” The colleges are free to describe their offer in the way they like, but not characterize the vote itself in a prejudicial manner as was done at some colleges in order to influence voters. The Union will be bringing these matters to the attention of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Fourteen of the 24 colleges voted to reject the offer. Only ten colleges voted to accept. The number of eligible voters was increased by over 750 – a seven per cent increase – between the January 13th strike vote and the February 10th offer vote. It is not possible to definitively quantify how many of these temporary hires voted or how they voted.

The Workload Task Force studied the college system and made unanimous recommendations for a better college system in the future. The Union is disappointed that the colleges were unwilling to follow the recommendations of the Workload Task Force to improve the quality of education for future college students.


Vote results by college

Posted by Jane Campus

College faculty vote results too close to be determined

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Page 1

February 10, 2010
College faculty vote results too close to determine
TORONTO – Results of the vote by faculty in Ontario’s 24 community colleges on the employer’s last contract offer are too close to determine whether the offer has been accepted or rejected.
Faculty have voted 51 per cent to accept the employer’s offer, a margin of just 210 votes. Now at issue is the number of mail-in votes, over 300 ballots, which once received couldchange the vote results. Those results may not be known for up to 10 days or more.
Ted Montgomery, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team for the faculty, says that the union will have to get a clear determination of the final vote count before any decisions are made.
“Right now we do not have a clear and final majority either way,” Montgomery said. “Until we know for sure whether our members have accepted or rejected the employer offer, we cannot move forward.”
Montgomery said that if the offer is ultimately rejected, the union will then determine a new strike date and call on the Colleges to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair collective agreement.
“If rejected, we will ask the employer to immediately resume negotiations,” Montgomery said. “And, failing a negotiated contract, we will again urge the Colleges to submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says if the eventual outcome is a rejection of the employer’s offer, a strike can still be completely avoided. “We do not want any disruption to the students,” Thomas said. “We have maintained the position all along that if we can’t get an agreement, binding arbitration is how we want to proceed. If the Colleges don’t agree, then they and they alone will be responsible for
jeopardizing the education of 200,000 Ontario college students.”
For more information:
Ted Montgomery, Chair, OPSEU Negotiating Team
416-578-4255 (cell)
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications

Posted by Jane Campus

College Strike Vote: Results Stream

College strike vote too close to call

Toronto Sun – Aedan Helmer – ‎39 minutes ago‎
Students at Ontario's 24 colleges remain in limbo as Wednesday night's strike vote was too close to call.

Vote averts Ontario college strike

Ottawa Citizen – Matthew Pearson – ‎2 hours ago‎
College students across the province can breathe a sigh of relief — the province's 9000

Ontario college students still unsure if their school year will continue

CTV.ca – ‎3 hours ago‎
It could be 10 days before Ontario college students know if their school year will be disrupted. Instructors voted yesterday on a so-called final offer.

Algonquin teachers divided on strike

Ottawa Citizen – Joanne Laucius – ‎3 hours ago‎
Algonquin College students have been assured that it's business as usual on campus after a strike vote

• Mohawk instructors narrowly back contract

Hamilton Spectator – ‎5 hours ago‎
Months of worry are not yet over for 200000 Ontario college students, with preliminary vote results indicating their instructors have accepted the "final

If tight contract vote holds, Ontario college students won't face strike

Globe and Mail – ‎10 hours ago‎
Toronto — Globe and Mail Update Published on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 11:40PM EST Last updated on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 12:05AM EST The school year for

Contract vote too close to call, says OPSEU

CTV.ca – ‎10 hours ago‎
OPSEU says the results of a vote by Ontario's college teachers is too close to call. Unofficial numbers show 51.25% of the educators voted in favour of the

College students may not face strike if results of narrow contract vote holds

The Canadian Press – ‎11 hours ago‎
TORONTO — Students at Ontario's community colleges may no longer be facing a strike if early numbers suggesting a slim majority of their teachers accepted a

Votes still to be counted: 51 per cent of Ontario teachers and professors

Montreal Gazette – ‎11 hours ago‎
TORONTO — Ontario's 200000 college students will continue to attend class, at least for the next few weeks, after a vote by 9000 teachers and faculty on the

Unofficial result suggests college profs accept offer

Toronto Star – Louise Brown – ‎11 hours ago‎
Ontario's 200000 community college students seem to have just narrowly avoided a teacher strike this year, after 51.25 per cent of professors voted on

Early numbers suggest college faculty won't strike

Hamilton Spectator – Wade Hemsworth – ‎12 hours ago‎
Months of worry appear to be over for 200000 students, with preliminary vote results indicating that their instructors have narrowly accepted the “final

Strike vote today

Macleans.ca – Carson Jerema – ‎16 hours ago‎
In the second time in just under a month, faculty at Ontario's 24 community colleges are going to the polls

College teachers set to vote on final contract offer

Ottawa Citizen – Matthew Pearson – ‎20 hours ago‎
OTTAWA — Community College students have launched a new campaign to shift the focus back to them as

Ontario college teachers vote too close to call

CBC.ca – ‎7 hours ago‎
About 9000 college instructors, counsellors and librarians at 24 colleges were eligible to vote on the offer. (CBC) Ontario college teachers have voted 51

College teachers vote on deal today

Hamilton Spectator – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎
Today is the day that will either end the stalemate between Ontario's community colleges and their instructors or move both sides and 200000 anxious

Rejecting college offer doesn't mean union will strike

CTV.ca – ‎Feb 9, 2010‎
TORONTO — College representatives say teachers are being misled if they believe rejecting their employers' last offer won't lead to a strike affecting

'No' vote means college strike — or not

Toronto Sun – Jonathan Jenkins – ‎Feb 8, 2010‎
By JONATHAN JENKINS, Queen's Park Bureau A vote Wednesday by college faculty is getting so tense the sides don't even agree on what it will mean.

Stop the strike!

Macleans.ca – Bill Tennant – ‎Feb 8, 2010‎
An Ontario college professor urges his colleagues to accept management's final offer, and avoid a strike.

Instructors narrowly vote in favour of college contract

TbNewsWatch.com – ‎21 minutes ago‎
By tbnewswatch.com Instructors at Ontario's community colleges voted 51 per cent in favour of their employer's contract offer. The vote results could mean a

300 ballots left to count

Barrie Advance – Michele Lawson – ‎1 hour ago‎
First the bargaining teams in the college faculty negotiations can't agree, now the membership is split right down the middle.

There will be NO strike by Ontario's college faculty next week.. 91x News 8 AM

Loyalist College Pioneer – ‎1 hour ago‎
There will be NO strike by Ontario's college faculty next week…but it doesn't mean there won't be one in the coming months. Yesterday's vote by college

College strike vote results positive, but not a definite

The Toronto Observer – ‎2 hours ago‎
The votes are in and the initial results look cautiously promising for the more than 200000 college students provincewide. College faculty across Ontario

Loyalist College Strike Awaiting Vote Results

Mix 97 News – ‎2 hours ago‎
The doors will remain open at Loyalist College until at least late February. The Ontario college teachers strike vote is too close to call.

College strike likely averted

The Barrie Examiner – Ian Mcinroy – ‎3 hours ago‎
Full-time faculty, librarians and counsellors at Ontario's 24 colleges narrowly voted to accept a new contract offer, Wednesday.

Teachers OK contract . . . barely

The North Bay Nugget – ‎4 hours ago‎
A strike by faculty at Ontario's 24 community colleges seems to have been averted by the narrowest of margins. Unofficial tallies across the province showed

Contract vote too close to call

The Kingston Whig-Standard – Mike Norris – ‎4 hours ago‎
It may take another 10 days to determine if Ontario community college teachers will go on strike. Teachers yesterday voted 51.25% to accept the province's

Students behind 8-ball as strike looms

Standard Freeholder – David Nesseth – ‎4 hours ago‎
CORNWALL — If there's a strike by faculty at Ontario's colleges next week, it will mean a lot more time in the hands of some students, and irony for others

College teachers narrowly accept offer

Peterborough Examiner – Andrea Houston – ‎4 hours ago‎
With only 200 votes separating the two sides and more ballots yet to be counted, Ontario community ollege faculty won't know until next week whether or not

Faculty vote too close to call, says union

St. Catharines Standard – Matthew Van Dongen – ‎4 hours ago‎
Ontario college instructors narrowly voted to avoid a strike Wednesday night — even though a majority of local teachers rejected their employer's offer.

School year safe: official

Belleville Intelligencer – Jason Miller – ‎4 hours ago‎
As the possibility of a provincewide strike looms, a key official involved in the negotiations between the colleges and faculty says college students can

College Instructors Vote, Too Close to Call

CKTB – Siobhan Morris – ‎4 hours ago‎
The results of a strike vote by Ontario college teachers is too close to call. The 9000 college instructors voted by about 51% Wednesday in favour of the

College strike vote close

Orillia Packet & Times – ‎4 hours ago‎
Provincewide, the 9000 members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) who work for Ontario's colleges voted 51.25% in favour of the colleges'

Local College Students Still Holding Their Breath

CD98.9 – Renee Berube – ‎4 hours ago‎
The vote on whether Ontario's colleges instructors go on strike is too close to call — so the stress in schools will continue for awhile still.

College teachers narrowly vote in favour of new contract

570 News – ‎6 hours ago‎
Ontario community college teachers have voted in favour of a new contract by the narrowest of margins. It was so narrow in fact – by 51% – that the results

College Teachers Accept Deal

580 CFRA Radio – ‎10 hours ago‎
Algonquin College says classes will continue as scheduled until a vote by college faculty has been certified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

College Strike Vote Results Too Close To Call

CityNews – ‎10 hours ago‎
Results of the vote by faculty in Ontario's 24 community colleges on the employer's last contract offer are too close to call. The instructors have voted 51

Results too close to call for Ontario college teachers

Windsor Star – Frances Willick – ‎11 hours ago‎
Victoria Branch takes part in a precision metal cutting class at the St. Clair College in this 2008

College faculty vote too close to call

Sarnia Observer – Tyler Kula – ‎11 hours ago‎
The results of a faculty vote at Ontario's 24 community colleges is too close to determine whether an offer from management has been accepted.

Provincial college teachers strike vote too close to call

Newsdurhamregion.com – Crystal Crimi – ‎11 hours ago‎
DURHAM — The college school year remains in flux for students with a vote by professors, counsellors and librarians on a final offer from management being

College strike vote too close to call

Waterloo Record – Brent Davis, Greg Mercer – ‎11 hours ago‎
KITCHENER — Students and staff at Ontario's community colleges are still in limbo after a faculty vote on a

Preliminary numbers show Ontario college teachers won't strike

DigitalJournal.com – Andrew Moran – ‎11 hours ago‎
After weeks of speculation of a possible strike, Ontario college teachers have voted yes on a final offer that would see salaries increase

Unofficial Results: Narrow majority of Ontario college faculty accept final offer

CNW Group (press release) – ‎12 hours ago‎
TORONTO , Feb. 10 /CNW/ – Unofficial results indicate that a 51.25 per cent majority of college faculty accepted the colleges' final offer.

College faculty vote results too close to determine

Canada NewsWire (press release) – ‎12 hours ago‎
TORONTO , Feb. 10 /CNW/ – Results of the vote by faculty in Ontario's 24 community colleges on the employer's last contract offer are too close to determine

College contract offer upheld by slim margin

Welland Tribune – Greg Furminger – ‎12 hours ago‎
WELLAND — Faculty at 24 Ontario's colleges have voted narrowly to accept a new contract offer, ratifying the deal by 51.5%. The results must yet be made

Your Local News

CKWS – ‎15 hours ago‎
COLLEGE VOTE:We re just hours away from learning if Ontario s College teachers are one step closer to a strike. WE'RE JUST HOURS AWAY FROM LEARNING IF

Anxious Sault College students await vote result

SooToday.com – Rick McGee – ‎19 hours ago‎
Two very different outcomes appear to be at stake as academic staff at Ontario's 24 public colleges vote today on a ”final” contract offer

College teachers vote

TbNewsWatch.com – ‎19 hours ago‎
Google Streetview now allows Internet users to take a virtual tour of Thunder Bay. Do you believe this feature is a privacy violation?

Jarvis: College students wary of strike

Windsor Star – Anne Jarvis – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎
After eight years on the assembly line at Ford's Windsor Engine Plant, Theresa was laid off.

College Instructors Vote on Final Offer

CKTB – Siobhan Morris – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎
Niagara College students will soon find out if their winter term will be put on hold. Ontario college instructors vote today, on a final contract offer.

College Instructors Vote on "Final Deal" Today

CD98.9 – Renee Berube – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎
College teachers across Ontario – who have threatened to go on strike next week – vote on a contract offer today. The colleges say it's their final offer

Faculty Vote On Colleges' Final Offer Wednesday

CityNews – ‎Feb 10, 2010‎
College students across the province will soon find out if classes will be suspended as instructors are scheduled to vote on a final contract offer

Time for teachers to get reality check, stay on job

Posted by Jane Campus