Previous Academic Bargaining Messages

Sunday, November 19

With the passing of the Ontario government’s back-to-work legislation, Durham College (DC) is pleased to welcome faculty back to work Monday, November 20 and full-time post-secondary students back to class on Tuesday, November 21.

Our goal as an institution is to move forward. We know there are still many questions that remain unanswered and we will do our best in the coming days to provide you with the information you need. The entire DC community is behind you and will do everything we can to make the rest of the 2017-2018 academic year a success.

With the return to class now scheduled, the revised semester dates for full-time post-secondary students are as follows:

  • Fall semester classes will continue through the week of December 18 – 22, 2017.
  • The holiday break will be from Friday, December 22 at 6 p.m. – Monday, January 1, 2018.
  • Fall semester classes will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 and will end on Monday, January 15, 2018.
  • Between fall semester and winter semester there will be a four-day break from Tuesday, January 16 to Friday, January 19, 2018. No classes will be scheduled for most full-time post-secondary programs during this time.
  • The winter semester will begin on Monday, January 22, 2018.
  • Winter semester classes will continue through reading week and therefore the regular break previously scheduled from February 26 until March 2, 2018, is cancelled.
  • The Family Day weekend will be extended to include Tuesday, February 20, 2018. The college will be open this day, but classes will not run.
  • The winter semester will end Friday, April 27, 2018 as originally scheduled.

Apprenticeship students’ return to class and block details

Apprentices in day release programs will resume classes as follows:

  • Tuesday day release programs will resume class Tuesday, November 21
  • Wednesday day release programs will resume class Wednesday, November 22.
  • Thursday day release programs will resume class Thursday, November 23.

Students who were in blocks when the strike began will be contacted by DC or the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) to schedule the completion of their blocks. Those who were in blocks that were scheduled to start after the strike began will be contacted by MAESD when new seats become available.

Further details will be shared by the college shortly.

Friday, November 17

Given the Ontario government’s announcement that they are introducing back-to-work legislation to end the strike, it is anticipated that classes will resume next week.

The legislation may be approved over the weekend or early next week. This means classes could resume as soon as Tuesday, November 21. Students are encouraged to make sure they are available to begin classes again as early as Tuesday.

As soon as we are certain of the date, an email will be sent to students DC Mail account announcing when classes will start.

Over the next few days please check DC Mail and Durham College’s social media accounts, as well as this webpage for updates. Information will continue to be shared with you as it becomes available. The college is looking forward to welcoming students and faculty back on campus in the very near future.

Friday, November 17

The Ontario government has announced it is acting to end the faculty strike by introducing back-to-work legislation.

It is expected that the passage of the legislation, which will see all outstanding matters between the two parties referred to binding arbitration, will take a few days to implement. The colleges are supportive of the legislation and are looking forward to being able to welcome students and faculty back to the classroom.

Further updates will be communicated as soon as more information is available, students and faculty are encouraged to check their Durham College (DC) email accounts and official DC social media accounts frequently over the coming days.

Thursday, November 16

Ontario college faculty have exercised their democratic right and by rejecting the offer have chosen to continue to strike. This is a terrible result for the 500,000 students who remain out of class. I completely sympathize with our students who have been caught in this strike for more than four weeks. This strike has gone on for too long –  and we still need to resolve it and get our students and faculty back in class.

The college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties.

Sonia Del Missier – Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team

Monday, November 13

Friday, November 10

Thursday, November 9

Wednesday, November 8

Ontario colleges confirmed today that the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has ordered a faculty vote to be held from Tuesday, November 14 at 9 a.m. until Thursday, November 16 at 10 a.m.  The vote will be conducted by electronic ballot to ensure that the maximum number of faculty can exercise their right to vote.

“We are still over one week away from the vote results being known and we again request that the strike be suspended for the sake of 500,000 students. The suspension will allow faculty and students to return to class and not lose another week,” said Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team.  “The colleges remain at the table, but we can’t just rely on bargaining to resolve the strike – and our students can’t wait. The faculty vote is another path to end the strike if bargaining is not successful,” said Ms. Del Missier.

Monday, November 6

After a number of days of bargaining, the College Employer Council (the Council) presented a new offer of settlement to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) earlier today.

The Council has asked that faculty be able to vote on this offer of settlement and have requested the Ontario Labour Relations Board to arrange a vote. The Council has asked OPSEU to suspend the strike and have faculty return to the classroom while the vote is being arranged.

At this time, classes remain suspended and we will provide more information on this website and on our social media channels as soon as it becomes available.

Thursday, November 2

The College Employer Council (the Council) that represents all 24 colleges asked the provincially appointed mediator to bring the Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) back to the bargaining table.

Negotiations resumed Thursday, November 2, with the goal of reaching a settlement and getting students and faculty back in the classroom.

This means:

  • For now, the strike continues.
  • The Council and OPSEU have returned to the bargaining table and resumed negotiations.

Wednesday, November 1

The College Employer Council (the Council) that represents all 24 colleges has asked the provincially appointed mediator to bring the Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) back to the bargaining table. Negotiations could resume as soon as Thursday, November 2, with the goal of reaching a settlement and getting students and faculty back in the classroom.

This means:

  • For now, the strike continues.
  • If OPSEU agrees, negotiations will resume, with the goal of reaching a settlement.

As soon as we are aware that negotiations will continue, updates will be communicated via the bargaining update website.

Sunday, October 15

Please be advised that all full-time and partial load faculty are now on a province-wide legal strike.

All classes at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site, including apprenticeships, are cancelled, with the exception of Continuing Education courses, which will continue to run.

Detailed information and frequently asked questions can be found below, including:

  • General strike information
  • Academic/course information
  • College operations that remain open
  • Student services available
  • Picket line protocol
  • Transit activity

Information about the strike and relevant contingency planning will be posted on the academic bargaining webpage and shared via email as it becomes available. Please remember to check these sources of information frequently.

Ontario Public Service Employees Union members are legally entitled to strike, and establish pickets. Picketers are members of our college community who are engaged in a lawful strike and when the strike is over they will return to their roles within the college.

During this difficult time, decisions and actions of the college’s community will reflect the college’s values of: integrity and transparency, respect, equal access and diversity, personal and team accountability and collaboration.  

We thank you for your cooperation.

Friday, October 13

Below is some important information you need to know in the event of a full-time and partial-load faculty strike (work stoppage).

When will I know if there is a faculty strike (work stoppage)?

  • Durham College (DC) will communicate by Sunday, October 15 at midnight as to whether there will be a faculty strike on Monday, October 16.
  • Please check your email and visit the academic bargaining webpage for updates.

What will happen during a faculty strike?

  • Should a strike occur, full-time and partial-load faculty will begin picketing on Monday, October 16 at 7 a.m. at all campus entrances.
  • All classes, including apprenticeships, will be cancelled, with the exception of Continuing Education courses, which will continue to run.
  • Part-time and sessional faculty teaching courses that are part of our full-time programming are not required to work until the strike concludes and classes resume.

Who continues to work during a faculty strike?

  • Part-time faulty teaching courses for Continuing Education and Corporate Training Services.
  • Support staff and administrative employees.
  • Work study students, in consultation with their manager.

Contingency planning:

  • DC has developed contingency and semester completion plans to facilitate the completion of the academic semester.
  • All plans will be finalized based on the length of a strike and the number of school days lost.
  • Every school and program area will consider the most effective strategies for students to complete their semester, for example: additional in-class hours; online hours; or modified assignments.
  • All options will be examined so that the fall semester will not be extended if at all possible.
  • Individual program and course semester completion plans will be reviewed and implemented as classes resume.
  • Students’ situations and needs will be top of mind in all decision-making.

How can I prepare for a work stoppage?

Wednesday, October, 11

Please be advised that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has notified the College Employer Council, that full-time and partial-load college faculty intend to enter into a legal strike effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, October 16 (Sunday at midnight).

This means:

  • For now, all classes and campus operations continue as scheduled.
  • OPSEU and the College Employer Council could still reach an agreement before the strike deadline.
  • If an agreement is reached, there will be no disruption to classes and campus operations.
  • If an agreement is not reached before the 12:01 a.m. strike deadline on Monday, October 16, the strike will commence (Sunday at midnight).

In the event of a strike, all post-secondary and apprenticeship classes will be cancelled. Students, employees and faculty not in the academic bargaining unit (part-time and sessional) should continue monitoring this site and their email accounts for additional information. Updates will be posted as they become available. If the strike deadline passes with no agreement in place, a faculty strike would commence Sunday at midnight.

A full-time and partial-load faculty strike will have an impact on regular campus operations. The college has comprehensive contingency plans in place, including semester completion plans. Details about those specific plans will be communicated in the event of a strike.

Durham College remains committed to supporting our students and their success. Should a strike occur, it is important to note that no student has ever lost their academic year due to a strike in the college’s 50-year history.

For updates and detailed information about college operations please see the below questions and answers.

If you have questions, please direct them to Durham College’s feedback channels.


September 15, 2017

Durham College is a member of the College Employer Council (the Council), which bargains provincially for all Ontario community colleges.  The Council and Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) have been working through the academic bargaining process. The existing academic employees’ collective agreement is set to expire September 30.

On September 14, Ontario college faculty voted in support of strike action. This means negotiations will continue. The strike vote does mean that the union is in a position to call a strike after September 30, if an agreement is not reached.

The Council and OPSEU are scheduled to go back to the bargaining table on September 18. Durham College is hopeful that a settlement will be reached and is committed to sharing information and updates as they become available.