Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Student concerns remain, despite possible end to strike

Student concerns remain, despite possible end to strike

Local co-organizer Andrea Pond says, "The ass to class movement is a neutral movement which has reached pretty much every college in Ontario".

Some 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians have been off the job since October 15, leaving about half a million students out of class.

Ontario's 12,000 striking college faculty members are preparing to vote Tuesday on the latest offer that could end a five-week-long strike. We will Vote NO because it will make the colleges stronger, better for students, and better for the next generation.

If approved, faculty would start being paid by Friday, and students could return to class as early as next Tuesday, said College Employer Council bargaining team chair Sonia Del Missier, during a webcast intended for striking teachers, on Monday morning.

"We're a body of 1,000 students", Eckenswiler says.

"I'm not going to pre-empt a vote that needs to take into account the position of all of the members", Premier Kathleen Wynne said last week.

The council then asked Ontario's Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer, which is said to tackle most demands except for language surrounding academic freedom.

"Anything that will help students get through this hard time is more than welcome, and we thank the minister for moving ahead with it", says Hornick in a statement.

"I will work with students and colleges starting immediately to develop the parameters of the fund", says Matthews. She says a number of faculty at the Owen Sound campus were also supportive.

The colleges said the offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits - including extended pregnancy and parental leave, and a $500 increase in coverage for paramedical services - and measures to address concerns regarding part-time faculty.

But the union said the offer contains "serious concessions" that were not agreed to, and which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model.

The union has urged faculty to vote no on this offer.

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