College classes cancelled as faculty strike begins
College classes across Ontario have been cancelled Monday morning as 12,000 faculty begin to strike outside.
The final offer from the College Employer Council was rejected by OPSEU and a strike was announced at late Sunday night.
Georgian College in Owen Sound is among those who have cancelled classes, both full time and part time. The college remains open, staff and administrators will be at work, and many non-academic services for students continue.
The following will be closed/cancelled/postponed for the duration of the strike:
- all Georgian full-time and part-time classes; day, evening and weekends
certain university partner classes
- apprenticeship and Academic and Career Preparation classes
- OntarioLearn courses delivered by Georgian faculty
certain field and clinical placements
- October convocation ceremonies
- Nov. 4 Open House and the College Information Program recruitment tour
certain events and meetings as determined by the organizers
Services that will be open/in operation during a strike:
- many co-ops/internships (details below)
- libraries, math lab, writing centres, other labs where possible
- Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid services, OSAP, Credit Transfer Centre, etc.
- student services
- counselling provided by third-party providers and partners
- contract training provided off-site
- Employment Ontario services
- fitness centres
- many food services
Students can find more details HERE.
Here is the full statement by OPSEU:
More than 12,000 Ontario public college faculty will be on the picket line rather than in their classrooms on Monday morning after talks between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council failed to produce a tentative collective agreement.
“On October 14, we presented Council with a streamlined offer that represented what faculty consider to be the bare minimum we need to ensure quality education for students and treat contract faculty fairly,” said JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team. “We carefully crafted a proposal that responded to Council’s concerns about costs in a fair and reasonable way.
“Unfortunately, Council refused to agree on even the no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and academic freedom,” she said. “This leaves us with no choice but to withdraw our services until such time as our employer is ready to negotiate seriously.”
Hornick said Council is committed to a “Walmart model of education” based on reducing the role of full-time faculty and exploiting underpaid contract workers who have no job security beyond one semester.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called the current impasse “regrettable” but said college faculty have the full backing of the union’s 130,000 members and their $72 million strike fund.
“Our union has a track record of getting deals done without work stoppages,” he said. “Unfortunately, that has not happened in this case. Nonetheless, I encourage the colleges to get back to the table so we can wrap this up swiftly, for the good of students and faculty alike.”
OPSEU represents professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians working at 24 public colleges across Ontario.
Picket lines are expected outside of all colleges this morning including in Owen Sound.
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