Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How does the bargaining process work?

Collective bargaining is a key part of labour negotiations. The process of negotiating an agreement that works for the Colleges, its people and unions can be complex and take time. You can learn more about the key elements and process of collective bargaining on our website.

Q2: How many part-time support staff work in colleges?

Ontario Colleges rely on a talented and diverse workforce to deliver services to our students and the communities we serve. Ontario’s 24 Colleges proudly support over 14,000 part-time support staff jobs across the province.

Q3: What do part-time support staff do?

Part-time support staff work in all areas of Ontario’s Colleges. They include, for example, people who provide administrative support such as help desk analysts, registration clerks, and administrative assistants; people who provide facilities support in maintenance and grounds crews and people who provide academic support such as invigilators, teaching assistants and lab technologist.

Employment relationships at each college are diverse – while titles may be the same, the scope or classification of a role may differ based on different needs, as well as size of the college and specific department. As a result, we recognize that hiring responsibility needs to be distributed across the individual colleges to increase responsiveness, deliver better services, and create more jobs where possible. We are advocating for an agreement that recognizes the needs of the colleges, part-time workers, and service users.

Q4: How can I stay informed about what’s happening?

To stay informed, you can sign up on our website to get news posts by email.

Q5: I have a question about the process. How can I contact the CEC?

If you have a question or comment about the collective bargaining process, we’d like to hear from you. You can submit questions and comments on our website.

Q6: Are college services still available during the bargaining period?

During the bargaining process, college services will continue as usual. We recognize that people may not know ahead of time when they will need to access a college service, so we are committed to making sure our departments are flexible to accommodate changes in demand to maintain service reliability.

Q7: What are colleges doing to support student workers?

Over half of our part-time workers are college students. Some may work a couple of hours a week, while others may work a few half days a week. Colleges provide flexible working hours to accommodate class schedules and testing/examination periods.

Part time work allows students to earn money while studying and gain valuable experience that helps them jump-start their careers. Colleges want to continue to be able to offer part-time employment to the broadest number of students possible.

Q8: What are the colleges’ goals throughout this bargaining process?

We’re focused on negotiating a good first collective agreement with part-time support staff that also allows Ontario colleges to effectively respond to the needs of our people, students, and local communities, and that means a fair and reasonable agreement that will provide long-term success for both part-time workers and Ontario’s 24 colleges.

We are looking to negotiate an agreement that will maintain local operational flexibility to support academic delivery, service delivery, and student success, that recognizes the wide diversity of part-time employment relationships that have been developed in the Colleges.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that half of our part-time support staff workers are college students, and colleges want to continue to offer part-time employment to the broadest number of students possible. Ontario’s Colleges are an employer of choice in the communities they serve, and we’re focussed on ensuring they continue to be for both full and part-time workers.

Q9: What issues are being negotiated during this process?

This is the first collective agreement for part-time workers at Ontario’s 24 Colleges, so the range of issues being discussed and terms and conditions of employment are quite broad.

Because negotiations are ongoing, we cannot share detailed information on specific points of discussion, as we want to maintain a relationship of trust with OPSEU at the bargaining table.