College faculty union launches provincial ad campaign

Ads calling for ‘fairness for contract faculty’ include visual and radio ads across Ontario

A sample of the ads that OPSEU is planning to run about College faculty union negotiations across Ontario.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) launched a province-wide ad campaign today saying contract faculty in Ontario colleges should have better pay and bigger voices in the system.

OPSEU is running both visual and radio advertisements, which JP Hornick, chair of the college faculty bargaining team, said “would get colleges to recognize their responsibility to address precarious work in their own workplaces so faculty can live decently.”

The radio ad said that “it’s time for good jobs for everyone on campus, it’s time for fairness for contract faculty.”

The radio spot also said that “thousands of expert faculty are working on a short-term contracts, the pay is low, and they never know if they’ll have a job next semester.”

In a press release, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said, “as we get closer to a strike deadline, it’s important that students, parents and the general public know what is at stake in this round of bargaining.”

In an OPSEU press release on Thursday, Hornick said that the bargaining has been one-sided, and that “management’s paternalistic approach has been simply to say ‘no’ to every single faculty proposal.”

“Faculty are deeply frustrated with college administrators who insist on telling faculty what to teach, how to teach, and even what grades to give students,” said Hornick.

David Scott, a spokesperson for the College Employer Council said that the colleges have been very clear that the cost of union proposal is unaffordable, and the shift to the union having academic control is not acceptable.

“If the union is frustrated with hearing that, it is because the colleges have been consistent in saying (it),” Scott added.

On Sept. 14, 68 per cent of Ontario college faculty voted to strike if no deal could be reached.

“Our view is that a solution and the negotiating settlement will be done at the bargaining table,” said Scott. “It will not be done through ads.”

The contract for unionized faculty expired on Sept. 30 and a legal strike or a lockout can happen as soon as Oct. 15, as long as the union or employer gives five-days notice.

George Brown College published an FAQ on their website that said in the event of a strike or lockout that all classes at the college, except for continuing education classes, will be cancelled.

The Student Association of George Brown College (SA), which funds The Dialog, published on their website that all SA services will operate as normal in the event of a strike or lockout. 

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College faculty union launches provincial ad campaign