Ontario College Strike Continues, Fanshawe and Conestoga Provide Updates to Students

College students seeking strike damages

Results of college faculty strike vote expected

Officials at Fanshawe College have chosen to extend the fall term to late January after striking faculty rejected the latest contract offer.

Faculty members at 24 colleges across the province rejected a contract offer from their employer Thursday morning, the union representing them said on its website.

Some 12,000 Ontario college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians haven't been at work since October 15, leaving hundreds of thousands of students out of class.

"No one is fighting for us - that's why we're out on the side of the road in the cold", she said, adding at this point most students are looking for a fresh start. "It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality", said JP Hornick, chair of the faculty bargaining team for the OPSEU. The strike action, which began on October 15, is now the longest in the history of the province.

According to Matthews, the fund will be used to support students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the strike. So why not return to the classroom and get back to what they are being paid to do to begin with?

The lawsuit aims to "recover damages" on behalf of the students at the 24 colleges across the province that have been on strike for several weeks now.

Del Missier said the colleges bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek advice on how to proceed.

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If the deal had been accepted, it was expected that students and staff would have been back to classes either Tuesday or Wednesday.

"I would say that both parties share the failure, and it is a failure", she said.

Seeing as instructors and the labour board are unaware of how they are going to make up this month of missed class time, students are left waiting to hear about how their future will be affected.

"We respect the faculty have exercised their democratic right, we like the fact they were able to vote...(but) the strike continues", Webb said.

She's also hoping the colleges call off the semester.

A strike in 1984 was ended by back-to-work legislation, and two others in 1989 and 2006 ended with mediation and arbitration.

"As matters stand, students may lose an entire semester without being refunded their tuition and fees, or students may be required to repeat courses or take extended programs into the new year", reads information posted online.

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