3 faculty unions at universities across Canada vote in favour of job action

At least three faculty unions at Ontario universities have voted in favour of job action, according to a release from the Ontario Universities’ Council. The last time the three unions collectively voted in favour…

3 faculty unions at universities across Canada vote in favour of job action

At least three faculty unions at Ontario universities have voted in favour of job action, according to a release from the Ontario Universities’ Council.

The last time the three unions collectively voted in favour of job action was a decade ago. Last week, 1,407 of the 2,606 faculty voting also voted in favour of strike action.

Some public colleges are beginning to prepare their budgets for the possibility of job action, while others — including the government of Ontario — say there’s no way to make up the $100 million the province and universities stand to lose if the province’s public colleges go on strike, as the unions have threatened.

The Ontario Provincial College Teachers Union represents 21,000 teachers in the province. The Toronto-based Ontario Public Service Employees Union is representing 4,500 professors, deans and library workers. OUCU’s director of faculty and administration services, Norman Tawani, said any walkout could have dire consequences for the quality of education at Ontario’s colleges.

“We want to be part of the solution,” Tawani said. “But the only solution is a settlement.”

Tawani said the unions are frustrated that the two sides have been unable to negotiate a contract. Talks broke down after the end of the semester last September, but negotiations resumed.

“Given that we’ve gone more than a year without any progress,” Tawani said, “people are starting to look at this seriously.”

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