Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Striking Ontario college teachers begin voting on contract offer today

Algonquin College strike action Important Information on the Ongoing Ontario College Strike
Kenny Thornton | 14 November, 2017, 14:08

While faculty members picket at the Loyalist College entrance on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road in Belleville, the college's student government has been organizing daily get-togethers as a way to boost student morale.

Some 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians have been off the job since October 15, leaving about half a million students out of class.

The dispute has left about half-a-million students out of class for a month.

Although largely supportive of the move on the part of the government, Warren Smokey Thomas, the head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union which represents the faculty, opined the, "government's plan to treat students fairly should be matched by moves by the colleges to treat faculty fairly".

Striking Ontario college teachers will begin voting today on a contract offer that, if accepted, could send about 500,000 students back to the classroom as early as next Tuesday. This includes students at St. Clair College, Fanshawe College and Lambton College.

Should faculty reject the offer, Skinkle says she's not sure she could even afford to come back to class - whenever that would be.

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"We're also extending into April", Vaughn said. I have just spoken with student leadership from the College Student Alliance and have asked them for their advice and for feedback from their membership.

Loyalist students were sent emails last week outlining a plan to return to class on November 20.

"It's about time. Now that they're going to put it in a vote, it gives you hope that it might actually end", he said.

"I will work with students and colleges starting immediately to develop the parameters of the fund", says Matthews.

The union has urged its members not to vote in favour of the proposal, arguing that the offer contains problematic language around academic freedom and full-time staffing.

"Nothing has been removed, nothing has been added that will negatively impact faculty - these are positive gains", she said.

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