Bargaining Update

On September 14, 2017 full-time and partial-load academic employees of the Ontario College System voted in favour of a strike mandate. This means that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union that represents all full-time and partial-load faculty at all Ontario colleges will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01am on October 1, 2017. 

Humber recognizes that students and their families as well as our community and industry partners have concerns and questions about the impact of a potential strike by college faculty.

It is important to know that at this point no strike has been called and that OPSEU and the colleges can continue to negotiate while a strike mandate is in place. In fact, the parties have several more bargaining days scheduled. 

Humber, along with all other Ontario colleges, is committed to reaching a settlement and avoiding a strike. In the event of a strike, Humber will provide regular communication to students and partners. We are committed to student success and we would ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve their learning goals.

The strike mandate does not mean that a strike will happen automatically. The earliest a strike could occur would be early October. OPSEU is required to provide the colleges with five days’ notice if they intend to take their membership out on strike.

At this point, all scheduled events and activities will continue as planned. There is no impact on student work placements or Humber’s participation in offsite events. 

Students are required to continue to meet all academic and financial deadlines. 

Please check this page, along with Facebook and Twitter for updates. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, contact Christa Hinds, Manager, Academic Staff Relations at 416 675 6622 or ext.2271.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is collective bargaining and why is it happening?

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) represents the full-time and partial-load faculty at all 24 colleges across Ontario. The colleges are represented centrally by the College Employer Council.  

The current collective agreement (contract) between these two parties expires on September 30, 2017. Bargaining between the parties continues in an effort to reach agreement on a new contract.

What do the strike vote results mean?

The OPSEU bargaining team represents all full-time and partial-load faculty at all Ontario colleges. Before OPSEU can legally strike, they must ensure their members support this direction. To determine that, OPSEU is required to hold a vote asking its membership to provide its bargaining team with a strike mandate.   

The results of the strike vote do not mean there will be a definite strike. However, it does give the OPSEU bargaining team the power to call a strike. OPSEU must provide the colleges with five days’ notice before going out on strike.

Can bargaining continue even though there has been a vote in favour of a strike?

Yes, if both parties are willing, a settlement can be negotiated without a strike. The parties still have several bargaining dates scheduled prior to the end of the collective agreement.

What happens if a settlement isn’t reached before the current agreement expires?

Both parties can continue to seek a negotiated settlement. Only OPSEU can determine if it will take its members out on strike.

When would a strike happen?

As the strike mandate remains in place until a settlement is reached, a strike could begin any time after October 1, 2017. OPSEU must provide the colleges with five days’ notice before going out on strike.

What happens to my year if there is a strike?

We are committed to student success and in the event of a strike, we would ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve their learning goals. No Ontario college student has ever lost a year because of a strike.

Colleges have already made a settlement offer. What is in the colleges’ offer?

The colleges have made an offer of settlement that provides a 7.5% salary increase over four years and benefit enhancements. You can find out more about the colleges’ offer at:https://thecouncil.on.ca/

How active is current bargaining?

The colleges have made a settlement offer and are committed to keep negotiating with OPSEU. Both parties are scheduled to resume negotiations this month.

Why haven’t faculty members had the opportunity to vote on the colleges’ offer?

OPSEU is responsible for the collective bargaining process for their members. The union has not taken the colleges’ offer to its members and instead has chosen to proceed with a strike vote. The union can put the offer of settlement forward to its members for review at any time.

Will OPSEU hold a vote on Management’s last offer before a strike can occur?

Once a strike mandate has been given by the membership, the OPSEU bargaining team is legally able to call a strike to begin on October 1, 2017 (when the current collective agreement expires). The bargaining team must give the employer five day’s notice, but once a strike mandate is in place, there is no requirement for OPSEU to come back to its membership to request on a vote on any new or updated offers.  

What is the definition of a partial-load faculty?

A partial-load employee is contracted to teach between 7 and 12 hours per week.  A partial-load employee is considered a part of the academic bargaining unit for the duration of their contract.

Does this affect work study contracts or co-op/field placements?

No, this does not affect work study contracts or co-op/field placements.

In the event of a strike will the day care centre centre and other Humber facilities still be open? Will the community have access to the campus/facilities? 

In the event of a strike, Humber will make every effort to provide services as long as possible. We will endeavour to provide sufficient notice if some operations were to be reduced or suspended during the period of a strike. Updates will be posted regularly on this page.

The day care centre would remain open. If parents of current or prospective day care children have questions, please contact Jason Powell, Dean of School of Health Sciences at jason.powell@humber.ca or 416 675 6622 ext. 4283.

How do I get more information about a potential strike and what’s open/closed on campus?

Please visit this page for updates. Should a strike occur, this site will include information for students and employees about college operations as well as a list of services that are open and closed.

There is currently no impact on scheduled events and activities at our campuses.