College faculty represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) have set a strike deadline of midnight, October 16 in contract talks with their employer, the College Employer Council.

JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team, says yesterday was another frustrating day of bargaining, during which their employer once again refused to consider key faculty issues.

He says they have walked away from the table, but he also pointed out the purpose of setting a strike deadline is to get negotiations moving – before it’s too late.

OPSEU represents over 12,000 staff working at 24 public colleges across Ontario including Cambrian College, which has campuses in Espanola and Little Current.

Union members include full-time permanent and “partial load” contract faculty who teach seven to 12 hours per week.

Hornick adds concrete proposals to improve education quality and strengthen the complement of full-time faculty need to be negotiated.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas agreed and cautioned the College Employer Council to get back to the table and not wait until the last minute to negotiate.