Ontario college academics vote in favour of labour action
The collective agreement for academic staff (faculty, counsellors and librarians) at all of Ontario’s 24 colleges expired on September 30, 2021. A new contract agreement has not been reached.
The faculty union (OPSEU) voted 59.4% in favour of the option to strike. A strike has not been called at this time. Should the union decide to take its members out on strike, colleges will receive five days’ notice of their intention, at which point, the Sheridan community will be notified. The colleges remain committed to achieving a negotiated settlement to avoid a strike. As always, Sheridan is steadfastly committed our students’ learning.
What's Open and Closed
In the event of a strike, our campuses will remain open with security on site – however, the following will not be available:
- Regularly scheduled classes for full and part-time students
- Academic upgrading courses
- Field placements
- Internships supervised by faculty
- Research projects led by faculty
Several services and programs will continue:
- Continuing and Professional Studies
- Library user services
- Co-op placements
- Student advisement, and accessible learning
- Internships not supervised by faculty
Should a strike be called, check back here for a daily list of services and programs that will be running, as well as their hours of operation.
Fall 2021 Academic Work Stoppage
Work to rule Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be a strike by academic faculty?
The Academic Collective Agreement for full-time and partial-load faculty, counsellors and librarians at all of Ontario’s 24 colleges expired on September 30, 2021. A new contract agreement has not been reached.
The academic union (OPSEU) held a strike vote between December 9-11, 2021. 68% of eligible members cast a ballot and 59.4% voted in favour of the option to strike. A strike has not been called at this time. Should the union decide to take its members out on strike, colleges will receive five days’ notice of their intention, at which point, the Sheridan community will be notified.
The colleges remain committed to achieving a negotiated settlement with the union to avoid a strike. We are steadfastly committed our students’ learning.
We will share updates as they become available.
What is “labour action” and “work-to-rule”?
Labour action can take various forms such as: an email or social media campaign, work-to-rule, rotating strikes, or a full walk out or strike. Only the union can determine what forms of labour action will happen and when.
The union has called on its members to begin working-to-rule on December 18, 2021.
“Work-to-rule” is a type of labour action where employees do their jobs exactly as written in the rules of their contract or job description. They would precisely follow all safety or other regulations and procedures, and they would only work the specific hours they are scheduled. This type of labour action often causes a slowdown or decrease in productivity.
What is a strike?
A strike is a refusal to work organized by a group of employees, typically a labour union, as a form of protest. The purpose of a strike is to compel an employer to agree to terms and conditions of employment. Workers on strike often form a picket line in front of the place of work where they hold signs and sometimes try to communicate about their issues to people entering the premise or passing by. Sheridan respects the rights of its employees to take job action. It is committed to a fair bargaining process and maintaining a respectful environment.
What happens to my year if there is a strike?
Regardless of how events unfold, Sheridan is committed to students’ learning. Our hope and expectation is that students will have the opportunity to complete their term and their learning goals for the year. No Ontario college student has ever lost a year because of a strike.
What has led to the possibility of a strike?
Faculty members at Ontario’s 24 public colleges belong to a union called the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). This includes professors, librarians, counsellors and other academic employees.
The collective agreement between the OPSEU Academic members and the College Employer Council (which bargains on behalf of all 24 colleges) expired on September 30, 2021.
The colleges and union have been in negotiations since July and these negotiations have, so far, not resulted in an agreement.