At IGNITE, you are and will always be our number one priority. We know as the new semester unfolds, there is confusion and uncertainty you, as students, are dealing with. From recent government announcements to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, or the college faculty work-to-rule action, you have a lot on your plate. That’s why we want to let you know what IGNITE is doing on your behalf and to help provide you with some clarity.
Last month, IGNITE hosted an interview with Jason Baryluk, the Director of Advocacy at College Student Alliance to discuss the bargaining process that has been occurring between the College Employer Council (CEC) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), so you can stay informed.
During the interview, Baryluk discussed the potential of college faculty taking work-to-rule action after months of unsuccessful negotiation between both parties, which is the current situation we are in. What this work-to-rule action means for students is that many professors will have limited office hours, or may not be responding to emails outside of their working hours.
Currently, both parties are still at an impasse, but recently the decision was made to allow the colleges to submit their settlement offer to be voted upon by the union, scheduled to take place between Feb. 14 – 17, 2022. If the offer receives over 50% approval from the union, a collective agreement has been reached and no further negotiations are necessary. However, if the offer is declined, we will likely see an extension or an escalation of the current work-to-rule order, though nothing can be for certain.
However, in the meantime, until the vote takes place, you should see no further disruptions in your studies. If this is not the case and you feel as though you are being further impacted, please reach out to your Associate Dean.
Though classes are continuing, any additional disruptions to the current academic year are unfair to students. IGNITE believes students should be every party’s top priority and it is essential that OPSEU and the CEC reach an agreement. Students need the proper support and services in place now more than ever to be able to thrive during this very unique and challenging post-secondary experience. This is why, I, Shay Hamilton, your Chair of IGNITE’s Board of Directors have requested a meeting with Humber’s President, Chris Whitaker, and the Head of Humber’s Faculty Union, Miloš Vasić, to discuss the impact the work-to-rule action is having on students and to share student feedback. I promise to continue sharing your feedback with the decision makers.
As a member of College Student Alliance, we are also working to provide clear updates to all students as well as working alongside other Ontario college student associations to encourage the CEC and OPSEU to reach a collective agreement.
We understand how critical it is for you to be able to access information regarding this situation and we are dedicated to keeping you informed. You can stay tuned here on our website and on Instagram @shareIGNITE for future news and updates. If you would like to read more about the situation you can also visit the official website of the CEC and OPSEU.
And remember, no matter the challenge, IGNITE is here to support you.