Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says a strike mandate shows the union’s college faculty members want a collective agreement reached at the bargaining table.

OPSEU/SEFPO’s faculty members voted 59 per cent in favour of job action to back contract demands in a strike vote that was supervised by the provincial Ministry of Labour.

“Our members are sending a clear message that they want to see a negotiated settlement,” Thomas said. “I’m sure an agreement is in reach, so let’s get back to the bargaining table and get it.”

Some 15,000 college faculty have been without a contract since September 30. Talks with the College Employer Council (CEC), which represents Ontario college employers, began in July. Management refused to negotiate during conciliation and could force a vote on a CEC offer, which is an option as part of the process.

Bargaining Team Chair JP Hornick said faculty members voted on demands that would support students and provide more stability for contract partial-load faculty, noting management had maintained they would never agree to them.

“I hope this strike vote will be the CEC’s incentive to start negotiating for real,” Hornick added. “All of faculty’s demands are extremely low- or no-cost to the employer. Due to Bill 124, we’re not bargaining compensation. So our focus is on what’s needed to support students in classrooms and online, and on their mental health and academic needs.”

The faculty bargaining team has also offered to work under the existing contract with no threat of strike if the CEC agrees to not lock out or try to bypass the bargaining table. The CEC has yet to respond. However, it is threatening to impose terms and conditions.

“This strike vote should be a wakeup call for the CEC,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “The membership is behind the team in defending workplace rights. Let’s resolve this through constructive dialogue.”

Thomas says it’s time to take a step back and avoid disrupting students’ education.

“The way forward lies in a willingness to negotiate a contract at the bargaining table,” said Thomas.  “Let’s take a deep breath, roll up our sleeves and get a deal.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; JP Hornick, 416-806-9526;


Other Bargaining Updates

College Faculty Negotiations Update – April 19, 2024

Bargaining Update Highlights In response to feedback from OPSEU/SEFPO College Faculty members, we are providing this summary of the contents of this bargaining update newsletter: Final Demand Set (FDS) complete, membership engagement and delegate renewal 18 demands...

College faculty arbitration update

OPSEU/SEFPO CAAT Academic and the CEC participated in a mediation/arbitration September 7-9, 2022. Following the mediation part of the proceeding, an arbitration occurred on September 9, 2022. The arbitrator’s award will form the new collective agreement and it is...

College faculty bargaining team statement

The college faculty bargaining team has issued the following statement: Arbitrator William Kaplan has imposed a media blackout on the upcoming voluntary mediation-interest arbitration between the colleges’ and college faculty bargaining teams. There will be no further...

Joint statement by OPSEU/SEFPO and the College Employer Council

OPSEU/SEFPO’s college faculty bargaining team and the College Employer Council have issued the following statement: The parties have reached an agreement to enter binding interest arbitration and the strike that was scheduled to commence at 12:01 am on March 18, 2022,...

College faculty to resume talks with employer

Toronto – With some 16,000 college faculty set to go on strike at 12:01 Friday morning, the College Employer Council (CEC) and the faculty bargaining team have agreed to meet Thursday. “We were encouraged that the CEC replied to our letter and have agreed to meet...

College faculty set strike deadline

TORONTO – Some 16,000 faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges say they will go on strike at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 18 if the College Employer Council (CEC) does not agree to voluntary binding interest arbitration.   The faculty bargaining team sent an open letter...

Work to Rule: Phase 3

Started 12:01am, March 02, 2022 Focus Work-to-rule must impact the functioning of the colleges in order to work as a bargaining strategy to bring the Council back to the table to discuss faculty’s needs. The colleges and CEC have chosen to abandon negotiations and to...

Legal Brief Supports Faculty Proposals

Throughout this round of bargaining, the College Employer Council (CEC) has repeatedly refused to negotiate significant issues regarding workload, staffing, or fairness for partial-load faculty. They have justified their obstinacy by claiming that changes to these...