Ontario tables legislation to force college profs back to work

Ontario tables legislation to force college profs back to work

Ontario tables legislation to force college profs back to work

By Thursday evening, however, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced she plans to table legislation that will end the province's college strike. "We are looking at all of our options, but I am hopeful that an agreement to return students to class immediately can be reached by the parties".

The Ontario Liberals tried again today to push through their back to work legislation but once again thNDP blocked it.

But Don Sinclair, CEO of the College Employer Council, said his team didn't get the message.

Some 500,000 students have been out of class since October 16 when instructors, counsellors and librarians at Ontario's 24 public colleges walked off the job.

Wynne met both the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents the teachers, and the College Employer Council (CEC) on Thursday after union members overwhelmingly voted against contract offers.

Horwath also wants students back in the classroom Monday, she said, but wants that to happen through a deal.

Hu Zhengtao, an worldwide student from China attending George Brown College to study business and marketing, said the labour disruption has thrown his plans to graduate in December and return home into serious doubt.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the forced vote was a "bully move" by the colleges.

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Wynne said that once the back-to-work legislation is passed, she will have "serious questions" to ask about how the strike stretched on for as long as it did in the first place.

"This impasse is completely frustrating for us and for you, but I know that our frustration is nothing compared with the frustration that 500,000 students out of class are feeling right now", Del Missier added.

Please continue to monitor www.northernc.on.ca/strikeupdates for the most recent updates.

OPSEU had recommended the colleges' contract proposal be rejected. She said she's unsure how the strike will affect their semester. "They have to focus on students".

The office of Deb Matthews, minister of advanced education and skills development, declined a request for an interview but said the ministry is working with colleges.

Matthews also said that the semester can still be salvaged. "But the parties have been so far apart on the issues we'll see where this leads".

While none of this will likely satisfy anxious students, those concerned about the financial impact of the strike might be happy to be reminded that the province is creating something of a "hardship fund" for students adversely affected by the disruption. "It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality". "The school has nothing to say right now". Students are seeking refunds for lost instruction time, or full refunds for those students who decide not to continue with their program this year.

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