Ontario college faculty reject latest contract offer, but talks resume

19 November, 2017, 02:46 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • THE CANADIAN PRESS

The provincial government is set to table the legislation today, after an attempt to do so Thursday evening was blocked by the NDP.

As colleges prepare to meet with faculty Monday to sort out the resumption of classes that have been on hiatus since October 16, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union sent a bulletin to members advising them to spend the first 20 minutes talking to students about why they went on strike. "During the time we've been on strike, our college president Glenn Vollebregt has gone above and beyond for us students".

The Liberals have stated that they are prepared to return to the legislature and sit throughout the weekend until the legislation is passed.

"This is a disaster they created", says Natyshak.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party does not support any legislation that takes away workers' rights.

If the deal was accepted, students and staff would have been back in class as soon as next Tuesday. Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews has estimated Ontario's 24 colleges have saved about $5 million so far.

"We could have done it in 10 minutes and then students would know they're back in the classroom on Monday", she said.

The Liberals had hoped again today to push their bill through but the NDP continued to block it.

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"What is at stake is the quality of the future of college education in this province".

"From my perspective, if they do that, the labour movement has to oppose that", said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "I have too much respect for your dedication, hard work, and expertise to offer you a contract that doesn't address your concerns raised during bargaining".

Following the results of the vote, Wynne said she'd meet with college and union representatives to discuss how to "resolve this situation immediately and get students back to class where they belong". The Progressive Conservatives have agreed to support the legislation that would end the five-week strike.

Earlier Thursday, Matthews had sharp words for both the colleges and the union.

OPSEU say they are calling on the College Employer Council to come back to the table this afternoon and "finish the job of negotiating a collective agreement".

Lavoie said she was also anxious about how her course material can be condensed to finish the semester. "They're understandably anxious about how they will make up the lost time as colleges release back-to-school plans that include extending the semester right up to Christmas".

According to CBC, schools affected by the strike "have started to roll out revised schedules and policies to accommodate students facing financial costs due to the strike".

In its 2017 budget submission to the province, advocacy group Colleges Ontario wrote that, when adjusted for inflation, per-student revenues from both tuition and government grants have declined every year since 2007.

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