Major Concessions: the top three problems with Council’s offer
Over the past several months, faculty met, discussed, and voted on 16 demands that would improve the quality and fairness of the college system in Ontario. The College Employer Council has ignored every single one of our proposals. Their offer extends concessions from the previous collective agreement and worsens our working conditions.
1) Ever wonder why so much of the teaching in our colleges is done by contract faculty? Council’s offer extends the freeze on hiring preference for full-time faculty positions. In 2014, faculty faced a freeze on the Article 2 language that requires preference for hiring full-time faculty over contract faculty. Since then, we’ve seen a 10 per cent rise in the number of contract faculty and no growth in full-time positions. This trend could have a significant impact on our pension going forward. Imagine what these numbers will look like if we let it go on for four more years?
2) Council’s offer abdicates their responsibility for equal pay for equal work under Bill 148. Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, now headed to second reading, will require employers to pay workers equal pay for equal work regardless of their status as part-time, casual, temporary, or full-time. Council’s offer includes language that would allow them to avoid their equal pay obligations unless forced by an arbitrator. Is this the message we want to send to our partial-load colleagues and our students?
3) Council’s wage offer would lock us into a 1.875 per cent wage increase until 2021. This could be less than the rate of inflation and lower than the rising cost of living. In real terms, we will be no better off in 2021 – and farther behind our comparator groups – if we accept their offer.
Faculty have a unique opportunity this round to make real gains if we stand together. The teams have more negotiation sessions scheduled before our contract expires on September 30. Ontario colleges need a better plan. College faculty have one!