Strike Ending Legislation Ends College Labour Dispute

  • Strike Ending Legislation Ends College Labour Dispute

Strike Ending Legislation Ends College Labour Dispute

"One of those parties, the College Employer Council, refused to accept that their approach to bargaining had failed, and refused to do anything to get our students back to class".

Glenn Vollebregt, president and chief executive officer of St. Lawrence College, announced on Twitter, shortly after the bill passed, that students should return to their classes as scheduled on Tuesday, November 21.

"Students were forced to put their lives on hold for five weeks because the premier and her Liberal government sat on their hands and watched the faculty strike escalate", said Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

A similar tuition rebate was offered to students after a strike in 2006 shuttered Ontario colleges for 18 days.

The back to work legislation doesn't mean a new contract is in place between college and striking faculty members, but does refer any unsolved issues to binding arbitration in a bid to allow third-party mediation to break any "log-jam" in negotiations.

"I think students successfully argued that students need some kind of compensation for this", she said.

Daniel Anderson, an electrical engineering professor who's taught at Algonquin College for almost 30 years, said he's pleased students weren't forced to abandon the semester, although he said he knows of at least one of his students who did drop out.

"I'm very relieved our students are back and we'll be able to finish the year", she said.

NDP education critic Peggy Sattler said students should be given a full tuition refund for the semester.

But, the College Employer Council said the union's demands would cost $250 million extra and would lead to the loss of thousands of contract positions.

"Each college will assess a variety of factors such as available time based on cancelling fall reading weeks or extending the term into late December and or early January", Sinclair said in a statement.

In the collaborative nursing program at Ryerson, students spend their first two years of the degree at either George Brown College, Centennial College or Ryerson University.

"For Kathleen Wynne, this was never about students or faculty".

The NDP accused the Wynne government's "chronic underfunding" of the college system for laying the groundwork for the strike.

"The transition is going to be very hard", he said.