January 7, 2022

Graham Lloyd
Chief Executive Officer
College Employer Council

Dear Graham,

Faculty members represented by OPSEU/SEFPO working at Ontario’s 24 public colleges have now begun Phase 2 of the work-to-rule campaign, as part of a legal strike action, which began on December 18, 2021.

As you know, work-to-rule is a legally recognized form of strike action, as per the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA). The CEC is aware of this, and has responded to OPSEU/SEFPO’s strike action on its website. Clearly, there is no confusion about whether our members are engaged in strike activity.

There should be no confusion about the scope of that strike activity either. OPSEU/SEFPO has been abundantly clear about the scope and has clearly communicated that our members will not be performing tasks outside of the strict letter of the Collective Agreement, and where applicable, the requirements of their SWFs, including participation in orientation events. Such tasks are considered struck work, and performing them would be equivalent to crossing a picket line.

Any direction from the employer to faculty to not engage in strike activity – or any reprisal, or threat of reprisal for doing so – will be considered interference with the union and OPSEU/SEFPO will take any, and all, appropriate steps required. We will not allow our members to be intimidated, coerced or retaliated against.

You can imagine how disheartening it has been to hear that our members are receiving threatening communications through the employers’ communication system across the 24 colleges. This is classic union busting, Graham. I’ve been around long enough, and I’ve seen it all. We’ve had members being targeted by the employer, and threatened with discipline.

I write to you today demanding an end to these harmful intimidation tactics, and to remind you that such tactics are in potential violation of the CCBA. Our union will continue to support college faculty members, and we will proudly defend any, and all members who face disciplinary retaliation.

It’s time to lower the temperature and get back to the bargaining table.  

Sincerely,

 

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, OPSEU/SEFPO

 cc JP Hornick, Chair, CAAT-A Bargaining Team

Other Bargaining Updates

Dates confirmed for the College Employer Council’s forced-offer vote

The College Employer Council (CEC) filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) yesterday for a forced-offer vote. Their latest offer includes only a slight change from the offer they tabled on November 23, 2021. It also follows its decision to...

OPSEU/SEFPO files ULP over CEC interference in bargaining

Toronto – On January 14, 2022, OPSEU/SEFPO filed an unfair labour practice (ULP) complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board, accusing the College Employer Council (CEC) and a number of colleges of interfering in the rights of members to support their union’s...

OPSEU/SEFPO denounces college failures raised by AG

TORONTO – OPSEU/SEFPO hopes the leaders at Ontario’s public colleges don’t ignore recent concerns expressed by the Auditor General about an over reliance on international student tuition for the colleges’ financial viability. OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey)...

Work to Rule: Phase 2

Starts 12:01am, January 3, 2022 (if no settlement or no agreement on extension of existing terms and conditions before then)  Focus Imposition of terms and conditions prevents the possibility of good labour relations. It is a choice by the colleges and the CEC to...

Work-to-rule FAQ

This document will be revised and updated as appropriateCurrent version: December 16, 2021Work-to-rule is any job action in which employees do their jobs exactly as outlined by the rules of their contract or job description. This may cause a slowdown or increase...

Work to Rule: Phase 1 for all Faculty

Starts 12:01am, December 18, 2021 (if no settlement or no agreement on extension of existing terms and conditions before then) Focus The imposition of terms and conditions prevents the possibility of good labour relations, eliminates faculty consent, and is itself a...

OPSEU/SEFPO stands in support of college faculty members

Dear College Faculty: As you know, the CEC has imposed employment conditions on college faculty following last week’s strike vote. Instead of returning to the bargaining table to hammer out the final details of a contract, they’ve taken a different approach:...

College faculty hand bargaining team strike mandate

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...

College Faculty Strike Vote

A strike vote will be held this week for college faculty members represented by OPSEU/SEFPO starting December 9.    OPSEU/SEFPO asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) last month to schedule the online strike vote after the College Employer Council requested a...