Ontario college faculty vote in favour of labour action
Some demands include more stability for contract employees, better workload management
College faculty members across Ontario, including Conestoga College, have voted in favour of labour action.
OPSEU/SEFPO, the union representing faculty, said 59 per cent of members who voted in a strike vote on Saturday called for action related to contract demands.
They were part of Ontario College Faculty, which represents 15,000 professors, counsellors, librarians and instructors.
Jason Baryluk, director of advocacy at the College Student Alliance, said faculty doesn't intend to strike, but instead to begin action with a work-to-rule campaign.
"Work-to-rule basically means that ... classes will resume. They will just be doing their job to the letter of their contract," he said. "The only thing you may have to be wary of is marking may take longer and office hours may be reduced because the faculty are going to stick to their hours of work that is in their contract."
However, if the College Employer Council (CEC) does not return to the negotiating table, job action may escalate to a strike, which isn't likely to happen until at least the spring, said Baryluk.
With a 59.4% ‘Yes’ vote today, faculty have demonstrated their resolve and their support for reasonable and necessary improvements to faculty working conditions and student learning conditions.<br><br>1/2 <a href="https://t.co/HSAR5pVlyi">pic.twitter.com/HSAR5pVlyi</a>—@CAATfaculty
The union said about 15,000 faculty members have been without contracts since late September.
Some demands include more stability for contract employees and better solutions for workload management.
"Our members are sending a clear message that they want to see a negotiated settlement," said union president Warren (Smokey) Thomas in a statement on Saturday.
"I'm sure an agreement is in reach," he said, "so let's get back to the bargaining table and get it."