Ontario To Help College Students

Picketers walk the line at Canadore College

Picketers walk the line at Canadore College

The letter from the president comes as the 150 full-time and partial-load faculty at the college prepare to begin voting today on the latest offer made to Ontario college faculty by the College Employer Council on November 6.

Some 12-thousand Ontario college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians haven't been at work since October 15th.

As for what's happening, the College Employer Council recently called on the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)-the union representing striking workers-to suspend the strike and re-start classes.

The council representing the 24 colleges says if the contract offer is accepted, students could be back in the classroom as early as next Tuesday.

OPSEU members are set to vote over the next three days on the final offer put forward by the Colleges before talks stalled last week.

"This vote is your opportunity to end the strike now and get students and faculty back in the classroom as soon as possible", she said. In Sudbury, the strike has affected more than 5,000 students at College Boreal and Cambrian College. The council launched a new website - www.collegevote.ca - and posted an audio webcast on Monday in which it discussed the contents of the offer.

According to the colleges, the offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over a four-year period and improved benefits, such as extended pregnancy and parental leave.

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"The thing is, they're looking for answers and there's just so much uncertainty about the strike, and whether or not they will strike a deal", he said.

"This money is not actually my money", he said.

"We are launching this site in response to the union's continued misrepresentation of the offer being voted on by faculty".

Huckla, however, said Niagara College administrators seem to be listening to the concerns related by the student union, while also keeping them informed about the process going on.

Because of this strike, Mohawk students will only have one week of Christmas holidays.

From his perspective, he noted that if, "the minister can tell the colleges how to spend the money they've saved, she can tell them how to bargain fairly as well".

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