Ontario To Help College Students

Algonquin College strike action

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.

Academic freedom is the one big issue left to solve in order to end the college faculty strike, says Confederation College's president.

The council representing the province's 24 colleges says acceptance of the latest contract offer would mean students could be back in the classroom as early as next Tuesday.

College students were already starting to worrying after losing a few weeks of time in the classroom.

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

The faculty vote that may end the five-week long Ontario colleges strike is scheduled to begin Tuesday, but students say this is only the beginning of the tough road they face. I have just spoken with student leadership from the College Student Alliance and have asked them for their advice and for feedback from their membership.

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"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 Labour Board announced that it's set to hold a faculty vote on the employer offer-a vote the OPSEU isn't on board with.

"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.

Highlights include a 7.75 per cent salary hike over four years to a maximum of $115,378, improved benefits, improvements for contract teachers, and support for a "government-led task force on the future of Ontario colleges, including staffing models and precarious work".

"From the union's perspective, they talk about academic control and they've really determined that it's got to be either (faculty) or (management)".

"Nothing has been removed, nothing has been added that will negatively impact faculty - these are positive gains", she said.

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