Exciting Training Opportunity for Contract Faculty — Deadline February 8, 2019

Dear Contract Faculty Members,

 OPSEU is sponsoring an exciting leadership and development opportunity for 5 contract faculty organizers from around the province. The Feet on the Ground training program is designed by the Workers’ Action Centre for worker leaders from across sectors who are interested in developing skills in community organizing for decent work.

If you are an Ontario college contract faculty member, and have been partial load at some point, please consider getting involved. The training program will allow you to develop your community organizing skills and become a leader in the fight for decent work and equal pay at Ontario colleges and beyond.

Contract faculty who participate will receive an honorarium of $5640 for their organizing and training time in the program.The full cost of the program has been approved for five (5) OPSEU CAAT contract faculty members. We have budgeted for 3 of the 5 members to come from outside the GTA and taken into consideration flight costs, accommodations and other expenses related to the four (4) meetings to be held in Toronto that are identified in the training timetable below.

The program dates, which you have to be available for, are as follows:

–      February 25 to November 30: Field organizing for seven hours per week, with one month off in the summer. This will include outreach, events, workshops, communication, workplanning, activity reports, and mentorship. Some of the organizing hours may be altered to fit the academic schedule.

–      February 23 – 24: Participation in the Fight for $15 & Fairness Provincial Strategy Meeting and skills-building sessions in Toronto on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24. Training program participants will also have a dinner together on the evening of Friday, February 23, which would serve as an introduction to the program and other participants.

–      March 22 – 23:First in-class training in Toronto. In-class training sessions will take place in Toronto at the Workers’ Action Centre office (location at 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 202).

–      June 7 – 8:Second in-class training in Toronto. In-class training sessions will take place in Toronto at the Workers’ Action Centre office (location at 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 202).

–      October (date to be determined):One-day evaluation session of the program in Toronto at the Workers’ Action Centre office (location at 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 202).

The deadline for applications is February 8, 2019. Your applications should be sent to the OPSEU College Faculty Divisional Executive at:

Please include brief answers to these questions in your application:

  1. Contact information:
  • Full name:
  • Address:
  • Email:
  • Phone:
  • Preferred communication (phone, email, text etc):
  • Languages (if other than English):

2.      How many years have you been teaching and at what colleges? What area do you teach in?

  1. How have you been involved in organizing for fairness for college contract faculty? Have you ever been involved in other community organizing?
  2. Why are you interested in this training opportunity? What skills would you like to learn or develop more?
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in your organizing work by the end of the program?
  4. How do you think this training will benefit you, your faculty union local, and the division?

More information about the Feet on the Ground training program is here: program information for participants fog 2019 caat [pdf]

If you have any questions, contact the program coordinator Brynne Sinclair-Waters at  brynne@oeerc.orgor 647.226.7184.



January 17, 2019


Tuition cuts come with steep cost for students and education: OPSEU


TORONTO – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Premier Doug Ford’s 10 per cent cut to college and university tuition fees is a recipe for disaster and is a full frontal attack on democracy.

“Today was really about cuts to funding for Ontario post-secondary institutions. That’s bad news for Ontario colleges and universities, and bad news for students,” said Thomas. “Ford is giving you a little extra cash, and then screwing you over.”

“Colleges and universities are getting cut to the bone. Student debt will not go down. Access to education will not improve. There are no winners today,” said Thomas.

“Ford just slammed the door on low income families who want to send their kids to college. 10 per cent tuition cuts across the board does nothing to level the playing field and make education more accessible.”

Thomas noted that Ford cancelled the College Task Force, which would have provided the consultation and advice to make better decisions. Ford also bypassed the legislature committee, which is travelling the province to hear from Ontarians about what they want to see in Ford’s first budget.

“Ford’s announcements on education and further restructuring health care this week have short circuited the committee’s work and turned it into a total sham,” Thomas said.  “The Premier is making a mockery of democracy.

“I’m especially worried about what this means for our northern communities,” said Kella Loschiavo, Chair of OPSEU’s Universities Sector. “Limiting access to tuition grants and cutting services will hit those students hard.”

RM Kennedy, OPSEU College Faculty Executive Chair, said the Ford government’s decision will be a disaster for the quality of Ontario’s education system, which already has the lowest per student funding in Canada. “They have just blasted a hole in the operating budgets of the colleges and universities. That means more precarious work, less services, and a further assault on the quality of education offered to our students.”

“Ford is coming after student services,” said OPSEU Support Staff Division Chair, Janice Hagan. “By making student fees optional, he is effectively cutting student events and activities, student newspapers and radio, all those things that make campus life great. Those are exactly the things that keep students in school.

“Student fees also fund peer support services that provide tutoring and mental health supports, and which provide jobs to so many students. The government just made everyone’s college years worse,” said Hagan.

OPSEU represents approximately 50,000 public post-secondary education workers across the province. This includes college faculty, full-time and part-time support staff, and university staff and faculty.

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For more information: 
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, 613-329-1931
RM Kennedy, OPSEU College Faculty Division Chair, 416-346-8382
Janice Hagan, OPSEU College Support Division Chair, 416-540-9642

Back to Work Timeline

The following is a tentative revised academic schedule taking into account the pending back to work legislation.  The official schedule will be released by Fleming College.

Legislation is expected to pass over the weekend.


Faculty will return to work on Monday November 20, 2017 or Tuesday November 21, 2017.  This return to work date will be Day 1.  Classes will resume on Day 2.

Classes will continue until December 22, 2017.

Fleming College is closed December 23, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

Fall classes will resume January 2, 2018.

The Fall semester will end on January 8, 2018.  Grades will be submitted for January 10, 2018.


The Winter semester will begin on January 15, 2018.  The Winter reading break will still occur and will be scheduled March 5 – March 9.  The Winter semester will end on April 27, 2018.