Toronto

Ontario college faculty members vote in favour of strike mandate

Faculty at Ontario's 24 public colleges, including professors, instructors and librarians, have voted in favour of a strike mandate, the union says, should upcoming contract talks fail.

Collective agreement expires Sept. 30

Teachers, librarians and other faculty members at 24 colleges across the province represented by OPSEU have voted in favour of a strike mandate. (OPSEU)

Faculty at Ontario's 24 public colleges, including professors, instructors and librarians, have voted in favour of a strike mandate, the union says, should upcoming contract talks fail.

The chair of OPSEU's bargaining team, J. P. Hornick, said the vote doesn't mean the faculty will hit the picket lines — but it does give them more negotiating power.

Sixty-eight per cent of the membership said yes to a possible strike.

"This is a very strong mandate for us to go back to the table," Hornick said. "It sends a clear message to the employer that they need to address faculty issues in this round of negotiations. 

Hornick said the main issues are better wages and treatment for contract faculty members — who she said make up 81 per cent of college teaching staff.

"They make only a fraction of what a full-time person makes for the same work," Hornick said. "We're trying to build a quality system that is stable and secure."

Other key issues include the role of faculty in academic decision-making. 

The negotiations resume on Monday. The current collective agreement Sept. 30.

No strike or lockout deadline has been set.

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