Striking faculty across Ontario set to vote on latest contract offer

Marco Green
November 14, 2017

"To know that that money is being redistributed to the students who are struggling in so many ways feels like there may be some benefits to all of this", said Karen Bateman, another instructor for the justice program.

A strike by faculty members at Ontario colleges drags on with both sides accusing each other of spreading misinformation ahead of a contract vote in the labour dispute.

OPSEU, the union representing faculty, has urged its membership to reject the offer. "We want to see a quick end to this strike and to get back into the classroom with them as soon as possible".

Huckla is eager to hear the results of the vote.

The province has not said whether back-to-work legislation will be considered if the offer is rejected by faculty.

"We have taken a neutral stance in the negotiations and simply offer a solution that respects the democratic process but does so in a way that allows Ontario's students to continue with their semester and give them a fighting chance of graduating on time".

In a message to students posted on Conestoga College's website on Monday, administrators confirmed that fall semester classes will be extended until December 22 and will resume on January 2 after the holiday break.

Students such as Miesje Connolly-Robertson say they're simply stuck in the middle and left with questions on whether the semester can be saved.

Kennedy said the semester can still be salvaged.

"We're nervous, we're very stressed out, we have some anxiety", she said. The link has also been shared on college social media platforms.

Rally at Lambton College.

"We're a body of 1,000 students", Eckenswiler says.

"This is not a protest but a peaceful sit in and demonstration of the power of the student voice. This event is aimed at delivering the message that politics should not stand in the way of our future".

The CEC is negotiating a new contract with the Ontario Public Sector Employee's Union.

"Nothing has been removed, nothing has been added that will negatively impact faculty - these are positive gains", she said. "All I can say is this isn't true".

"You have no choice but to vote no", said David Fasciano, president of the OPSEU local for professors at College Boreal.

With the vote set to begin Tuesday and end Thursday, the council was reaching out directly to faculty to address what is called the union's "continued misrepresentation" of the contract offer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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