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giftedviz.com November 21, 2017


Important Information on the Ongoing Ontario College Strike

15 November 2017, 12:48 | Darnell Patrick

Important Information on the Ongoing Ontario College Strike

Jim Madder

Striking Ontario college teachers will begin voting today on a contract offer that, if accepted, could send about 500,000 students back to the classroom as early as next Tuesday.

Canadore students will join their brethren from across Ontario for the #ASSTOCLASS movement.

The college has not said it will reimburse students for tuition, only that it will make up the lost class time, Mackenzie added.

In a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne and other members of the Ontario legislature, the Sheridan Student Union (SSU), which represents students at campuses in Brampton and Mississauga, expressed "deep disappointment and frustration" at the state of negotiations between the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union, which represents the 12,000 striking college workers, and the College Employer Council (CEC) that has stretched almost four week.

It's a perfectly defensible decision (Colleges Ontario, the province-wide umbrella group, quickly pledged to work with the government), but neither the government nor the colleges could say with any certainty on Monday how exactly it would work.

Law firm Charney Lawyers filed a proposed class action against the 24 colleges Tuesday, saying 14 students have come forward to potentially stand as representative plaintiffs.

There is some good news for students, as Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education Deb Matthews announced that colleges will be asked to establish a dedicated fund used to support students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the strike.

Huckla said making up lost classes will likely mean students will lose their holiday break, and probably the spring break, too.

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"For the students to finish their academic semesters on time, or as close to on time as we can get, it's those weeks that have to be compromised", he said.

"I'm looking for the best ideas about how to make sure this reinvestment directly benefits students who have faced hardship", she said. Students have been told the semester will now extend to December 22 and students are expected to resume classes on January 2.

The Liberals have spent most of the a year ago proclaiming their desire to ensure more reliable, less precarious work - that's been their message about Bill 148, the first major reform to provincial labour legislation in a generation.

A spokesperson for the CEC, told CBC News the vote will take place between November 14 and November 16.

"We advise students to refrain from booking travel during this period until we know more", the school advised.

The hardest part about the strike, MacKenzie said, is knowing how much her teachers want to be back in the classroom.

"I'm exhausted and I'm sad and I just want to be back in the classroom with my students", said Shauna Longmuir, semester co-ordinator for justice students. "The college moved outside of the bargaining process and this has delayed the strike by two weeks". "We're on the verge of losing our semester". "It's going to be a real scramble to piece it together from this point on".

"There needs to be more increased pressure by the government on council to get back to the table", Kennedy said. "We're hoping to get a few hundred just to fill the halls".



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