Centennial College Student Association Inc

Academic Bargaining 2021/2022


Faculty & College Employer Ongoing Negation Updates


Latest Update - March 18, 2022 - Strike Averted

College Faculty and Employer bargaining teams have agreed to unconditional interest arbitration. There will be no strike on March 18, 2022 or work-to-rule strike activity.


We are pleased to inform you that faculty will NOT be striking as of Friday, March 18, 2022.

Both the CEC and OPSEU bargaining teams met with a Ministry of Labour mediator on Thursday, March 17 and have agreed to enter into binding interest arbitration regarding both parties’ outstanding issues.

Not only does this mean that the scheduled March 18 strike has been called off, but it also means that work-to-rule has ended; professors, instructors, librarians, and counsellors remain on the job and all classes and services will continue as normal.


On March 16, 2022, both College Employer (CEC) and Faculty (OPSEU) bargaining teams have agreed to return to the table on Thursday, March 17, 2022. This is the first time both sides have agreed to negotiate since talks broke down in late November 2021.

Today, 20 Student Associations from across Ontario, including CCSAI, continue to urge the College Employer’s Council and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to continue to resume bargaining immediately to avert a strike as of March 18, 2022. We also made note that the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ontario government must intervene to solve this impasse so that over 240,000 post-secondary students In Ontario will not be adversely affected as they complete their semester.

Click here to view the letter sent to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, and the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton.



What Could Happen Next?

Although we do not know what will happen until the College Employer (CEC) and Faculty (OPSEU) return to the table, there are two possibilities:

  1. The College Employer (CEC) and Faculty (OPSEU) could come to an agreement before Friday, March 18. This could avert strike action or spark a vote from all Faculty (OPSEU) on the proposed offer.  
  2. The two parties meet for negotiation but do not reach a collective agreement before Friday, March 18, and a strike begins across the 24 Ontario colleges.

The bargaining between the CEC and the union (OPSEU) representing CAAT-A Academic Staff (Faculty, Counsellors, and Librarians) has reached a standstill. With both parties unable to reach an agreement thus far, CCSAI and 14 Ontario College Student Association have come together to advocate for the needs of students. 

The halt in negotiations has left the education of more than 240,000 students across 24 Ontario colleges in a concerning state of uncertainty. CCSAI and other Ontario Student Associations sent this letter to the CEC and the union representing the CAAT-A Academic Staff. While we remain neutral in the ongoing negotiations, we are advocating for both parties to consider the impact that further job action could have on students.  

Check out the letter Ontario student associations sent to the CEC & OPSEU. 

Here are the responses of both parties:  

What Could Happen Next?

The union (OPSEU) has set a walk-out strike date of Friday, March 18, 2022. Should an agreement not be reached by this date all Academic Staff will go on strike. 

Students are encouraged to look for communication from their faculty about their course delivery method and how grades will be shared with them for the remainder of the semester.  


The bargaining process between the College Employer Council (CEC) and the union representing CAAT-A Academic Staff (Faculty, Counsellors, and Librarians), known as Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU), began early July 2021.  

Over several months, negotiations between both sides have been ongoing, and both sides have exchanged proposals they felt would improve the Collective Agreement. Throughout the negotiation process, both sides have been providing updates of how the process has gone and accused each other of not bargaining in good faith. 

This January, the CAAT-A members began Phase 2 of their Work-to-Rule campaign (Click here for information on Phase 2 Work-to-Rule). The CEC has put forward a final offer to CAAT-A members. The Final Offer Vote for CAAT-A Faculty was be held on February 15-17. 

The CAAT-A members voted on the final offer, and 62% voted to reject the final offer from the CEC. Both parties will continue to negotiate.  

Please note that all bargaining and all directives for work actions are done at a provincial level. The current concerns being raised by parties to the negotiation are not necessarily those of Centennial College nor those of Centennial College Academic Faculty – the parties represent all colleges across Ontario. 


What Could Happen Next?

The CAAT-A members voted on the final offer and 62% voted to reject the final offer from the CEC.  

The Colleges (all 24 public Ontario colleges) will continue to operate until an agreement is reached or OPSEU decides to escalate beyond work-to-rule. 


We know as students, you have lots of questions about the situation at hand. Let us know your questions, and we will seek answers.

Where can students reach out for more information?
What does this mean for Centennial students?
As of right now, the negotiation process is ongoing. Classes and learning will not be affected during this time. (There are still COVID-19 restrictions on some Centennial College and CCSAI services that are unrelated to this negotiation). Should anything change that may impact teaching and learning, Centennial College CCSAI will make reasonable efforts to make students and staff aware. 
What happens if Centennial College strikes?
Centennial has a contingency plan in place in the event of an Ontario-wide college faculty strike. We will update students on any information on this once a decision is reached in the vote.  

In the event of any academic disruption, CCSAI will be an active and informed voice advocating for appropriate academic student support services. 

Can I use CCSAI services if there is a strike?
Yes, CCSAI will continue to advocate for students actively and provide services and programs. 
What happens to my education if there is a strike?
CCSAI is committed to advocating for student success. In the event of a strike, we would support Centennial College to ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve their learning goals.  
Will my co-op placements be affected?
This depends on the status of the negotiation and can vary by program 
When did the bargaining process first commence?
Early July 2021.  Current negotiations are ongoing. 
Who is OPSEU?
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union. 

The OPSEU represents full-time and partial-load professors, instructors, librarians and counsellors at all Ontario colleges. 

Who is CAAT-A?
Ontario College Faculty (CAAT-A) are some 14,000 full-time professors, counsellors, librarians and instructors employed by Ontario’s public colleges. They joined OPSEU/SEFPO in 1971. 
Who is the CEC?
The College Employer Council (CEC) is the government-mandated bargaining agent for the 24 Ontario publicly-funded colleges in negotiating collective agreements with unionized staff. 




A refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer. 


Something that is granted, especially in response to demands. 


A strategic formal discussion that resolves an issue in a way that both parties find acceptable. 

Bargaining process

A period of time in which two or more parties negotiate demands. 

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

An independent tribunal issuing decisions for Labour Relations in Ontario. Tries and encourages fair relations between employers and employees. Will be facilitating the vote between the CEC and the OPSEU Union. http://www.olrb.gov.on.ca/default.asp

Collective Bargaining

The meeting of the parties to negotiate a collective agreement to be binding on the employers, the union, and the employees.

Collective Agreement

The intended result of collective bargaining; a binding contract for all parties involved that outlines the expectations of work and rights and responsibilities of all parties.


Picketing is a form of protest in which people who are on strike (called pickets or picketers) congregate outside a place of work or location where a strike is taking place. 

Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU)

A union that represents employees in public sectors across Ontario. Represents any part or full-time employee that works for the Ontario government, community colleges, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) , The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), in the health care sector, and a wide range of community agencies. 


In work-to-rule, employees perform only the duties that have been assigned, strictly adhering to policy and contract obligations. 


An exclusion of employees from all work space/resources and facilities by an employer until a collective agreement can be reached.

Work Action

An umbrella term for an organized action that impacts general day to day work this can include work-to-rule, strike and lockout. 


Ontario Colleges full-time faculty. 


Academic Employee Contract Negotiations Updates: https://www.centennialcollege.ca/2021-academic-employee-contract-negotiations/ 

Information on Phase 2 Work-to-Rule: https://www.collegefaculty.org/2021/12/22/work-to-rule-phase-2/ 

College Employer Council of Ontario Student Resources: https://www.collegeemployercouncil.ca/en/bargaining/student-information 

FAQ: https://www.collegeemployercouncil.ca/en/bargaining/bargaining-faq/students-faq 

Glossary: https://www.collegeemployercouncil.ca/en/bargaining/glossary-of-terms 

Contact CEC: [email protected]

Ontario Public Service Employee Union: https://opseu.org/ 


Additional Contacts

Contact CCSAI: [email protected] 

Follow CCSAI social media for updates: Instagram & Twitter 

Contact Centennial College: 416-289-5300