Today Arbitrator William Kaplan issued a landmark decision to resolve all matters
related to the recent strike of Ontario college faculty. Most significantly, academic
freedom language will be incorporated into the new collective agreement.
"From a labour relations perspective, it would have been best to end this with a
negotiated agreement" said OPSEU Local 110 President Darryl Bedford. "The parties
should have been allowed to reach that point on their own, however, we found the
College Employer Council to be less committed to negotiating. It shouldn't have
taken legislation to bring bargaining and the strike to an end. Nonetheless, a neutral
third party has concluded that most of the union's positions should be adopted."
In terms of the next step to implement Kaplan's award, committees dealing with the
equal pay for equal work provisions of Bill 148, the Counsellor class definition,
sick leave, and intellectual property will convene. A provincial task force to consider
the future of the college system will prepare a report to the Minister of Advanced
Education and Skills Development.
"Faculty did not set out to go on strike, but we can feel a sense of relief in the
resolution" added Bedford. "Our members' overwhelming rejection of the College Employer
Council's offer opened the path to this landmark award. Kaplan's decision recognizes
that colleges have changed over the last 50 years. It is time to prepare for the
next 50 years with better outcomes for students and faculty alike."
Summary of the Kaplan Award
- 4-year contract with wage increases of 1.75% (retroactive to October 1st 2017),
2%, 2%, 2%
- Academic freedom language incorporated directly into the Collective Agreement
- Establishes a seniority system for partial-load faculty (who teach 7 to 12 hours
per week) through the use of a registry
- Provincial task force to examine faculty complement, precarious work, provincial
funding of the colleges, student mental health, academic governance, and intellectual
OPSEU and the College Employer Council to meet in January to consider changes to
comply with the recently-passed Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act
OPSEU Local 110 represents full-time and partial-load Professors, Librarians and
Counsellors at Fanshawe College.