There are no contract talks in sight for the College Employer Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union as a strike continues at Ontario colleges.
Thousands of faculty members at 24 colleges in the province walked off the job on Monday morning after contract negotiations broke off on Sunday.
“We’re both working with the mediator from the Ministry of Labour to try and figure out where the room for movement is going to be and how to get back to the table but we had tabled a proposal last time that they rejected and it is up to the employer to really start making moves at this point,” JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team, said Tuesday morning.
“They haven’t budged from their original positions, only to go backwards slightly so at this point I would say that the ball is in their court. They need to understand that these issues are remaining on the table for us and that these issues are crucial for faculty and our ability to work with our students.”
The union says it is asking for a 50/50 ratio when it comes to full-time faculty and contract faculty, increased job security, and more say in academic decision-making.
But Sonia Del Missier, the chair of the College Employer Council, says that the union’s demands are simply unaffordable.
“At the end of the day, the union’s proposals cost the system an additional $250 million annually. It’s all about unaffordability,” Del Missier told CP24 Monday.
Del Missier called the strike “unnecessary.”
“We shouldn’t be here,” she said. “The students should be in the classroom.”