Ontario College Strike Continues, Fanshawe and Conestoga Provide Updates to Students

Ontario College Strike Continues, Fanshawe and Conestoga Provide Updates to Students

I completely sympathize with our students who have been caught in this strike for more than four weeks.

Students anxious to get back to school will have to wait longer for classes to commence.

After over 5 long, bitter weeks of protesting, negotiations and heated debates on both sides, the Ontario college strike, which has become the longest college strike in the province's history, will continue into its sixth week.

12 thousand faculty members at 24 community Colleges in Ontario are involved in the dispute.

According to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 95% of eligible members cast ballots in a vote that saw 86% vote against the offer.

The student association at Ottawa's Algonquin College took the unusual step of spending $20,000 on radio and video ads urging their teachers to vote in favour of the final offer from the College Employer Council.

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OPSEU President Smokey Thomas congratulated faculty for standing up for a better college system by rejecting the offer.

The strike, which involves college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began October 15 and has left some 500,000 students out of class.

OPSEU says the vote was a one-time option allowed under the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act.

In the meantime, the provincial government has ordered colleges to create a program, using money saved from the strike, to help students experiencing financial hardship.

"What I can say is we're extremely disappointed by the result as we wanted classes to resume early next week".

When in college, students pay a whack of tuition fees to receive an education, and they are clearly not getting what they paid for.

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He said he wouldn't speculate what the Premier will do but he's hopeful pressure will be put on the college council. "You have to meet a certain threshold and we're not there".

Del Missier said the bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator today to seek direction.

Charmish Patel, an global student studying aerospace manufacturing, was on campus to try to seek answers about how long the strike might last.

"We can't just introduce back-to-work legislation because we want the strike to end", she said.

Though the student intake has increased from 200 to 600, Foster said the program has the same number of full-time instructors as when she started teaching 27 years ago.

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