(TORONTO, ON) – The College Employer Council is reporting that OPSEU has tabled new demands for a $5,000 return to work bonus for each striking faculty member. At the same time, OPSEU is refusing to agree to resolve the strike through arbitration.
“OPSEU’s actions at the table moved us further away from a settlement,” said Sonia Del Missier, the chair of the CEC bargaining team. “Today’s bargaining should have been focused on getting students back to class, but OPSEU chose the path of signing bonuses for faculty.”
OPSEU’s new demand for the $5,000 bonus for each striking member would be diverted away from the student hardship fund that the Minister of f Advanced Education and Skills Development, Deb Matthews, announced last week.
The colleges have proposed that students should return to classes immediately with all outstanding issues to be sent to arbitration. The union refused to agree and, instead, demanded that the colleges accept the $5,000 payment to faculty.
The payment would have amounted more than $60 million across the system.
Minister Matthews has suggested using the government task force on the future of Ontario colleges. The CEC, to help deal with outstanding issues, proposes sending outstanding items of academic freedom to the government task force, but again OPSEU has refused.
The CEC has stated that the organization is in support of the government introducing back to work legislation as soon as possible.