Binding arbitration between the Province and college faculty in Oshawa, Hamilton, Oakville and the rest of Ontario begins

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Published March 25, 2022 at 4:32 pm

Binding interest arbitration between faculty and the College Employer Council has begun, with arbitrator William Kaplan imposing a media blackout on negotiations.

College teachers across the province were set to walk off the job a week ago when a strike was averted at the literal 11th hour when the College Employer Council – which is negotiating for the Province – agreed to enter binding arbitration to resolve all outstanding issues.

That strike was to begin last Friday at 12:01 am.

The agreement to go to arbitration ended 12 months of negotiations and meant an end to all work-to-rule activities, which had been ongoing since last December.

About 16,000 full-time college teachers are represented by OPSEU in negotiations and it was the faculty that suggested binding arbitration, which was the strategy used in 2017 to resolve a five-week-long strike: the longest in the history of Ontario’s public colleges.

It also appears that students at campus such as Sheridan College in Oakville, Durham College in Oshawa and Niagara College will not have to worry about their end-of-term marks being held up. Earlier this week, OPSEU had expressed concern about members being locked out after submitting their marks to be processed. The claim was denied by the Colleges.

Oshawa has already had one post-secondary education strike this year. Ontario Tech University faculty were off the job for two weeks in February.

Kaplan said further updates on negotiations will be issued once the media blackout is lifted.

With files from Nathan Sager

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