'It's about time': Fanshawe students hoping faculty vote will end strike

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2017

As the strike enters its fifth week, Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, has directed all of Ontario's 24 colleges to take the money they save saved as a result of the walkout and place it into a fund to help students who have been affected financially.

The faculty vote that may end the five-week long Ontario colleges strike is scheduled to begin Tuesday, but students say this is only the beginning of the tough road they face.

Huckla said making up lost classes will likely mean students will lose their holiday break, and probably the spring break, too.

Ontario's colleges launched a website on Monday, ahead of the vote that would allow striking faculty members to see what the offer entails. "We're on the verge of losing our semester".

"The students are the real losers in this situation".

"When we look at how the colleges set up programs and how they continue to ensure programs are relevant, you need the input of your key stakeholders", including employers, industry representatives and graduates, she said.

At noon on Thursday, a student group calling themselves "Get your ass to class" is planning a rally at college campuses across the province. "This is not a protest but a peaceful sit-in and demonstration of the power of the student voice".

Talks between the College Employer Council and the union broke down last week, with the council asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer.

The offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits and several measures to tackle concerns regarding part-time faculty.

But the union says the offer contains "serious concessions" that were not agreed to, and which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model. Tuesday, online voting will open for teachers to accept or decline the college's offer.

The union has urged faculty to vote no on this offer.

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