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The faculty and staff of St. Clair College and Ontario’s 23 other universities could launch a labor campaign to govern as soon as Saturday after a virtual strike vote.

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Of all the full- and part-time teachers, instructors, librarians, and counselors, 68 percent voted and 59.4 percent voted for a strike.

Some 15,000 teachers have been without a contract since September 30. Discussions with the College Employer Council (CEC), which represents Ontario university employers, began in July. Teachers are represented by the CAAT-A team of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (Universities of Applied Arts and Technology-A team).

“As the universities have decided to follow this unfortunate path, the negotiation team will provide the required five-day labor action notice to the CEC, and our local will be able to begin working to govern on December 18,” a Statement from OPSEU, He said. “Our work to govern campaign will include enforcing the collective bargaining agreement to the letter and removing all voluntary and unpaid work that is not explicitly assigned and compensated. We believe this is the best option to reduce financial and personal stress for students and teachers while defending our basic rights. “

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A statement from the CEC emphasized its commitment to “job security for teachers. Teachers have not been laid off and new full-time positions have been filled. Given the current challenges of the pandemic, the CEC urges the union to consider the complexity of the moment and return to the table with a moderate position that will lead to a negotiated settlement. We urge the CAAT-A team not to jeopardize student learning during the winter semester. The best thing for everyone is to conclude the negotiations without a strike. “

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On Monday, the CEC introduced several pay and benefit improvements.

“We believe that employees have waited long enough to receive raises and improved benefits. Introducing these enhancements does not prohibit further negotiation, ”said Graham Lloyd, CEC CEO, in a statement.

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Some of the new terms include a maximum annual salary increase retroactive to October 1, 2021 and medical cannabis coverage of up to $ 4,000 per year. Additionally, indigenous employees will be allowed to bring an elder or guardian of traditional knowledge to grievance meetings as an advisor.

“The CEC proposal contains no concessions. Rather, the CEC’s proposal provides several improvements to teachers’ working conditions and addresses, in a reasonable and balanced way, the key demands that the CAAT-A team brought to the negotiating table, ”said the statement from the CCA.

JP Hornick, chair of the college’s bargaining committee, described the CEC’s approach as “heavy handed” and a “big mistake.”

“Unfortunately, the CEC has rejected the offer of the power to extend the existing collective bargaining agreement until at least January 3 and has chosen to impose terms and conditions,” Hornick said. “To be clear, the CEC has chosen its own form of work stoppage rather than new negotiations or voluntary binding interest arbitration, which are still on the teachers’ table. What is worse is that the rectors of the universities are silent about this movement.

“Either ongoing negotiations or arbitration of interests would ensure stability for students and faculty while allowing proposals from both parties to be considered by an arbitrator.”

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