More than 12000 Ontario college faculty will strike Monday after negotiations fail

17 October, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Terri Saunders
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"None of our members want to be out here on strike", he said.

Faculty at the college in Thunder Bay, as well as several satellite campuses in northwestern Ontario, are among more than 12,000 staff from 24 Ontario public colleges who walked off the job at 12:01 a.m. Monday, after talks with the College Employer Council - which represents the colleges - failed to produce a new collective bargaining agreement.

Management's offer of a 7.75 per cent wage increase over four years was in line with deals accepted within the last few years by others in Ontario's public sector, including college support staff, said Tibbits.

"The fastest way to resolve the strike is for the union to accept the colleges' final offer, or, at the very least, put the colleges' final offer forward to its members for a vote". The strike comes after the College Employer Council (CEC) rejected a last-ditch offer from OPSEU to avoid a strike, calling for improved job security, increased academic freedom and most notably an increase in the ratio of full-time to part-time instructors in the province.

"Six years ago we did have a form of collegial governance, we had an academic council", said Patterson. The petition has collected more than 46,000 signatures.

Students, meanwhile, are anxious that their school year will be put on hold. But that could be a problem for some students. "I have a summer job lined up, so I'm anxious I will not be able to go to that".

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"Lost class time, especially a lost semester, can result in delayed graduation", said Joel Willett, the president of CSA.

The last faculty strike was in March 2008 and lasted 18 days. Most services are operating as usual. Students will continue to have access to digital course materials through eConestoga and may choose to take advantage of college resources and services to continue their studies independently and prepare for the resumption of classes.

"No one's happy during a strike situation", Madder said.

Because they are not paid for work outside the classroom, Hardacre said partial-load faculty are ill-prepared to support students in general, as well as students with additional needs and global students.

Students, too, joined the campus picket line on Monday.

"It's an information picket", Ward said. "I certainly appreciate it from a teacher's point of view but also from the parent's point of view, we don't like to see these kinds of disruptions".


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