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> Monday, February 1st, 2010 > News > Union rejects college’s offer, negotiations cease
Union rejects college’s offer, negotiations cease
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Published: Monday, February 1st, 2010
On Wednesday January 27, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union rejected the offer made by college management, halting negotiations.
Management has asked the union’s bargaining team to bring the “final” offer to their membership and have them vote on it.
“The college put forward what they thought was a good final offer, even enhanced from the last time,” said Leanne Perreault, manager of corporate communications at Fanshawe College.
“Because of this situation, that’s why they (college management) want members to look at this (the offer).”
However, OPSEU calling out the college’s claim that they need to wait for the bargaining team’s permission – saying the talk of being “disappointed” is just public relations spin.
“In the legislation that covers union and management, the management has the power to call a vote,” explained OPSEU bargaining team member, Paddy Musson of OPSEU Local 110.
“All they have to do is call the Ministry of Labour and let them know they want to exercise their right.”
She called the college’s response to the stopping of negotiations “provocative” and “such a disappointment.” Furthermore, the offer presented by management – which Perreault deemed “enhanced” – actually had compromises relating to workload, rather than the improvements management promised they’d make after the strike ended in 2006.
“The colleges broke a promise,” said Musson. “I would be surprised if the bargaining team can accept an offer than makes concessions on an issue (to which) they promised to make improvements.”
“That’s why we went out in 2006 (and) we don’t want to make them go out for the same reason. We need this resolved.”
While both sides continue to drag out the process, the students are being thought of throughout, said Perreault.
“There’s a real sense no one wants to disrupt the students here,” she said.
Earlier this month, unionized Ontario college instructors voted 57 per cent in favour of going on strike.
Local union presidents will meet Saturday January 30 to discuss how to move forward and it may turn into a strike preparation vote, said Musson.
“But we would be happier discussing a settlement option,” she said.