More than 500,000 students impacted all over Ontario
On October 15, 2017, about 12,000 college employees began the strike that is ending its 4th week without reaching an agreement. The negotiations between the faculty members from 24 Ontario colleges are being represented by the OPSEU, the Ontario Public Services Employees Union, and the College Employer Council (CEC) broke off last Monday as the Council asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on their offer.
Although, the Union said that both sides had been very close to a deal, they are recommending that the union members reject the latest contract offers.
The voting process will take another 5 to 10 days and will prolong the time the students cannot continue their studies.
If the offer will be rejected the negotiation will continue and more time will go by before a deal will be reached. I understand the union tries to achieve the best possible deal for their members, but at the same time, I really feel for the students that are waiting for this to happen.
This interruption of their studies has a grave impact on the students at Fanshawe College in Simcoe and all the other students in Ontario and I am very concerned about the effect it will have for them. Many fear a lost term, lost time and lost money. They are the bargaining chips in a high stakes game when all they want is to resume their studies.
Many colleges have announced that they will extend class schedules and exams to Dec. 22nd. Colleges are recommending to hold off on travel plans and wait until final exams and assignments dates have been decided on.
As I talked to a number of students they all agree that this “sucks” for them.
I urge the Union and the Council to come to a speedy solution so that our kids can go back to college and catch up.