The longest college strike in Ontario will continue

College students seeking strike damages

College students seeking strike damages

After three days of voting, striking Ontario community college faculty members represented by OPSEU have turned down the back-to-work offer from the College Employer Council, the group which represents Ontario's 24 community colleges.

However the College Employer Council, which bargains for the province's colleges requested Ontario Labour Relations Board hold a "forced vote", to bypass the faculty union and put their offer directly to the faculty staff.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is apparently meeting with negotiators from both sides today to try to reach a solution.

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

Beginning Nov. 14, striking college faculty across the province are in the midst of voting on their employee's offer, potentially ending a strike now entering its fifth week.

OPSEU had called on its membership to reject the offer, stating that the offer did not appropriately address two of the major issues that membership were concerned about: academic freedom for faculty and "precarious work", meaning the increase in part-time, partial-load, contract faculty positions.

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. "I'm looking for the best ideas about how to make sure this reinvestment directly benefits students who have faced hardship". "Bargaining will continue", Webb said.

Iran ballistic missile programme non-negotiable
The Saudis are in full support of President Trump's decision not to certify Iran as in compliance with Obama's treacherous "deal". Iran says its missile program is defensive and it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles.

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

As a next step, the college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties.

Seeing as instructors and the labour board are unaware of how they are going to make up this month of missed class time, students are left waiting to hear about how their future will be affected.

"There was movement. We worked diligently to come up with a resolution, and we could have ultimately been back in the classroom", she says.

Matthews also said that the semester can be salvaged.

"We're exhausted of waiting but they have to get a fair deal".

Meanwhile, students have filed a class action lawsuit alleging the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes. Several colleges and contractors such as for food services and maintenance have laid off other workers due to the ongoing strike.

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