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CAUT stands in solidarity with Ontario college faculty seeking fair contract settlement

(Ottawa – November 2, 2021) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is fully supporting Ontario’s college faculty as they seek to reach a new contract with the province’s College Employers Council (CEC).

“The demands that the union has focused on are fair and reasonable and are necessary for preserving the quality and integrity of post-secondary education in Ontario,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson.

College faculty, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union CAAT-A bargaining team, are seeking gains on workload, partial-load working conditions, equity, Indigenization, and intellectual property rights.

While a mediation report issued last week characterized the union’s demands as “unreasonable”, Robinson says the proposals reflect what already exists in most university and college agreements across the country.

“It is entirely reasonable to request that all work that faculty do be fairly and properly compensated,” said Robinson. “It is also more than reasonable to insist that Indigenous faculty and faculty from equity-seeking groups receive recognition and fair working conditions.”

Robinson added that the CAAT-A bargaining team’s proposals on intellectual property would extend to Ontario’s college faculty what is enjoyed by their counterparts in other provinces.

“Faculty ownership over the course materials they produce is a necessary condition for quality education. It ensures that students’ learning is guided by faculty experts, and not by administrators or government officials. And it protects academic freedom by giving faculty control over the development and use of their ideas.”

Robinson notes that while employers in most settings own the intellectual property produced by their employees, common law and tradition have typically granted academic staff first ownership of copyright over the works they create.

CAUT is the national voice of more than 72,000 academic and general staff at over 120 universities and colleges in all provinces.