Striking Ontario college faculty rejects latest offer, strike will continue


As the strike nears the end of its fifth week at the province's 24 colleges, it was clear Wynne was losing patience.

"Students have been in the middle of this strike for too long and it's not fair", she wrote in a statement.

"Under the proposed legislation... all outstanding issues would be referred to binding mediation-arbitration", she said.

The Ontario government did not get unanimous consent to table back to work legislation that would have pushed to have Ontario college students return to class by Monday, Nov. 20.

OPSEU President Smokey Thomas congratulated faculty for standing up for a better college system by rejecting the offer. They are increasingly anxious about losing a semester of school.

Last week, the Ontario Colleges announced plans to create a fund to help students experiencing financial difficulty stemming from the strike, but there is no information about applications or how to qualify.

The offer was soundly rejected and the strike continues.

Some 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians at 24 community colleges have been on strike since October 16. "That's a huge issue in terms of our students earning dollars in order to sustain themselves", Madder said.

Ontario's striking college faculty voted Thursday to reject a contract offer and continue their almost five-week job action.

More news: Taylor Swift's Reputation Tour comes to the KFC Yum! Center in June

Negotiations between OPSEU and the CEC broke down on November 4, which resulted in CEC bringing the request for the final offer vote to the Labour Relations Board. "The faculty have the absolute right to vote and they've had an overwhelming vote against the offer that was there", Madder said.

The turnout was sky high - 95 per cent of members voted, according to the union.

Members of the OPSEU bargaining team update the media on the results of a contract vote by college faculty.

He said he wouldn't speculate what the Premier will do but he's hopeful pressure will be put on the college council.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the workers, had recommended the colleges' contract proposal be rejected.

The Liberals say the House could sit through the weekend until the legislation is passed.

If the union vote had successed students at Algonquin College were told they would not lose their semester that was not a big comfort to students.

"We are approaching the time where we will start to see people with lost semesters but we are not there yet", she said. "It makes sense for them but we can't really do much about it now", White said.