College faculty to strike

Ivan Schwartz
October 17, 2017

"Unfortunately, council refused to agree on even the no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and academic freedom", J.P. Hornick, head of the union bargaining team, said in a statement.

"The colleges can not accept the union's demands that would ultimately add more than $250 million to annual costs, eliminate thousands of contract faculty jobs, and jeopardize the quality of college programs", he said.

On this day, the Canadore teachers were not in the classroom, they were on the picket line after the union and the Ontario Colleges failed to come up with an agreement by the midnight deadline today. But the Student Union of Confederation College is encouraging students to continue to use the campus and make the best out of a bad situation.

"We're picketing quite frankly for a system that is more fair", said Ravi Ramkissoonsingh, vice-president and bargaining unit member for OPSEU Local 242 that represents the more than 400 instructors and other employees who went on strike in Niagara on Monday. On Friday, as the hours started ticking down to what became an inevitable strike by faculty and support staff, Ontario's College Employer Council, negotiating on behalf of the government, issued its response to union demands.

Anyone travelling to the Confederation College campus can expect delays crossing the picket line and Thunder Bay Transit buses will be making stops just off campus. The campuses remain open to students with access to services such as the library and computer labs still available.

"When you are not full-time, it is very hard for students to get the help they need outside of the class", she said. "I feel like we're kind of at a breaking point here and we need to change directions".

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"It's really about equal pay for equal work", he said.

"I'm a little anxious", he said.

"Six years ago we did have a form of collegial governance, we had an academic council", said Patterson. "I have a summer job lined up, so I'm anxious I will not be able to go to that".

"It was an offer where we were asking that full-time faculty have academic control in the classroom".

Currie said although the union would love to see the strike end very soon, he expects it to last at least three weeks.

Students are not happy with the situation and as of October 14, more than 16,000 had signed an online petition, requesting their tuition be returned in the event of a strike.

Other reports by GizPress

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