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What is the College Employer Council?

Q: What is the College Employer Council?

A: Ontario law empowers the College Employer Council (CEC) to bargain on behalf of colleges.  These powers are found in the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (CCBA) which sets out the bargaining process. The latest iteration of the CEC was triggered by this language in the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act:

7.1 (1) A corporation without share capital is established under the name College Employer Council in English and Conseil des employeurs des collèges in French and is composed of the members of its board of directors.  2008, c. 15, s. 87 (1).

Prior to the 2008 changes to the CCBA, the CEC was previously known as the Colleges Compensation and Appointments Council. Before that, it was the Council of Regents.


Q: How is the CEC funded?

A: We understand it is funded by collecting dues from the 24 public colleges.


Q: What is its status?

A: On March 31, 2014, then-Council CEO Don Sinclair wrote the following to OPSEU Local 110 President Darryl Bedford:


The Council on April 2010 became a not for profit statutory corporation owned and operated by the colleges. Therefore it was no longer a crown agency. As a result, a lot of legislation that affects crown agencies or corporations (colleges hospitals etc) such as FIPPA, Salary Disclosure, Gov’t Directives etc does not apply to our corporation.

Trust this helps.



Q: Was Don Sinclair correct in stating that legislation for crown agencies does not apply to The Council?

A: In a nutshell, no. The following is from the debate on Bill 90 to amend the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act in 2008.

[From] the clause-by-clause analysis of Bill 90 by the Standing Committee on General Government, during which Reza Moridi, MPP suggested that the CEC would be subject to freedom of information legislation by virtue of the fact that its membership consists of representatives from college boards:


Mr. Reza Moridi: “Under the Labour Relations Act, this [filing requirement for an employee organization’s constitution, by-laws, and statement] exists because employee associations are private organizations and the information regarding bylaws, officers and persons authorized to accept notices is not always publicly available. The employers’ council will be established by statutes with the functions established in those statutes.”

“As well, given that the board is composed of members of college boards, it’s likely that all information regarding the council would be accessible under the FOIPPA.”


Q: Do we have any idea how much The Council spends on bargaining?

A: Prior to Sinclair’s moves to make The Council exempt from Freedom of Information requests, we were able to obtain The Council’s 2009-10 bargaining expenses.


–updated April 1, 2020