Loyalist students frustrated as college strike stretches into fifth week
Nov 14 2017 by Desiree Burns
However, that is contingent on a faculty vote this week on the College Employer Council's final offer.
The colleges say this offer gives faculty everything they asked for; more full time positions, increased pay and job security for contract faculty, except academic freedom, which would give teachers more control over what happens in their classrooms.
Talks between the College Employer Council and the union broke down last week, with the council asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer.
College students were already starting to worrying after losing a few weeks of time in the classroom.
Ontario's colleges launched a website on Monday, ahead of the vote that would allow striking faculty members to see what the offer entails.
However, if rejected, the strike would continue and both sides would return to the bargaining table.
"There's no way we agreed to those things", he said.
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But with the province-wide college strike now stretching into its second month, Loyalist students are becoming increasingly frustrated.
"The union is telling you that this is a different offer than what we worked on with the union - one with concessions, one that will harm faculty".
Del Messier, meanwhile, said the offer "enshrines academic freedom", which she called the only key issue still outstanding.
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.
The Ontario government has ordered the colleges to create a fund to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship because of the strike.
"Nothing has been removed, nothing has been added that will negatively impact faculty - these are positive gains", she said.
"... They [students] are anxious about how to pay for unexpected costs like additional rent or canceling long-standing travel plans to be home with family", said Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, in a statement.