Ontario college faculty have been on strike since Monday, October 16. Though you may feel frustrated or helpless, there are positive, actionable steps you can take as a college student to have your voice heard. One step is to send a letter to your MPP asking them to publicly pressure the College Employer Council (CEC) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to reach an agreement immediately.
We’ve tried to make it simple for you to take this next step in voicing your concerns by providing a letter template. The template has various sections to input your personal details, like what school you attend. There’s also the ability to add your own thoughts and concerns – as long or short as they may be – within the middle of the document. Remember to remain respectful to your MPP and the negotiating parties throughout this process. You can download an editable version of an MPP letter HERE. Don’t feel obligated to use our template if you’re more comfortable starting your letter from scratch.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE LETTER TEMPLATE:
Download the editable Word document HERE or above. Please note the template is formatted in a Word document so you may not be able to access it through your mobile device. If you're looking for an example accessible on a mobile device, please view this PDF. It is not editable, however, you can copy/paste the content you would like to use into your own document.
Complete each highlighted section. Note: You’re not obligated to add your personal experience or concerns, however, it is encouraged! Your story has impact.
Double check your information is correct.
Save the document as a PDF and print it.
Sign your letter and deliver or mail the letter to your MPP.
HOW TO FIND YOUR MPP’S CONTACT INFORMATION: We have created a spreadsheet outlining which MPP is responsible for each college campus. You can find your MPP’s information HERE. You can learn more about MPP's HERE.
WHY IS SENDING A LETTER TO MY MPP IMPORTANT? Sending a personalized letter to your MPP is a proactive way to have your voice heard. CSA will continue to apply pressure on OPSEU and CEC to make a deal while also sharing updates with students through our social media channels. Students deserve to be back in the classroom; let’s work together to put pressure on the negotiating parties so they make a deal immediately.
WHY IS THE STRIKE HAPPENING? OPSEU and the College Employers Council have been negotiating a new collective agreement since July, as the previous agreement expired on Sept. 30. On Sept. 14, college faculty across Ontario voted 68% in favour of taking strike action. OPSEU and CEC were negotiating until the strike occurred on Oct. 16. Both sides have yet to return to the negotiating table at the request of the mediator who is appointed by the Ministry of Labour.
OPSEU has three main issues: they want the ratio of full-time faculty to partial-load faculty to be 50/50, better job security for partial-load faculty, and increased academic freedom for all faculty. CEC’s last offer provided a 7.5% raise over four years, as well as improvements to benefits and a lump-sum payment. Both sides disagree on how to handle Bill 148, specifically the “equal pay for equal work” portion. OPSEU would like to have wording included before Bill 148 is passed to guarantee that rights are provided for contact workers. CEC would prefer to wait until after Bill 148 is passed and then finalize details.
See OPSEU’s latest offer here. See CEC’s latest offer here.
Remember to stay informed throughout the strike:
Follow your college, student association, and CSA on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on the current situation.
Check email and notices from your college about updates from the bargaining table.
Do you have specific questions or concerns? Contact us:
President: Joel Willett, email@example.com
Director of Advocacy: Abdullah Mushtaq, firstname.lastname@example.org