Ontario college faculty reject latest offer

Striking faculty reject colleges' contract offer

Wynne met with both the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council (CEC) on Thursday after union members overwhelming voted against a contract offer.

"We're in the midst of drafting plans for semester completion that we'll review with faculty and communicate with student as soon as the strike is either suspended or over", she said.

The message to the college presidents, the College Employer Council, and Minister Deb Mathews was that faculty are voting NO on the forced contract offer.

However the faculty have exercised their democratic right and by rejecting the offer have chosen to continue to strike. Colleges to help deal with outstanding issues propose sending outstanding item of academic freedom to government task force - again OPSEU refused.

Local OPSEU representatives and student reps were not immediately available for comment late Thursday morning.

If faculty had approved the offer, it was hoped classes would resume November 20 and continue to December 22, resuming January 3.

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Rick Webb, director of human resources and corporate communications at Sault College said the college is disappointed in the result and was hoping classes would resume. We feel for the students caught in the middle of this dispute.

"Students are suffering financially, emotionally and academically", tweeted the College Student Alliance.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is apparently meeting with negotiators from both sides today to try to reach a solution. "We will not speculate on what will happen at bargaining". We don't know what will happen, and for anyone to say they know what will happen would be really presumptuous. "Bargaining will continue", Webb said.

Post-secondary students at colleges across Ontario have been out of class as a result of the faculty strike for a month now, and now, some students are demanding compensation.

Fourteen students have come forward as plaintiffs in the class action to demand refunds equivalent to lost class time or full tuition refunds for students who choose not to return.

"It is unfortunate that Council extended our strike and kept students out of class for an extra two weeks by calling for this vote", said Hornick, "but now that it's over, it's time to move on".

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