College students launch lawsuit

Posted November 17, 2017

After three days of voting, striking Ontario community college faculty members represented by OPSEU have turned down the back-to-work offer from the College Employer Council, the group which represents Ontario's 24 community colleges.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) had recommended its members reject the offer.

The majority of classes in the nursing program function through the Mohawk College, but now with it being on strike most McMaster/college students are left with maybe one course to attend.

After 86 per cent of faculty rejected it, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she would meet with college and union representatives Thursday afternoon "to discuss how we can resolve this situation immediately and get students back to class where they belong".

"What I can say is we're extremely disappointed by the result as we wanted classes to resume early next week".

On the Fanshawe College picket line, on the first day of a two-day vote on the colleges' final offer, faculty gave a resounding rejection to the deal. "It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality".

JP Hornick and Smokey Thomas
JP Hornick left and Warren'Smokey Thomas right speak at a news conference Tuesday Nov. 7 in Toronto

"This is a bad result for the 500,000 students who remain out of class".

It's been a rough few weeks for students and college professors in Ontario, Canada's most populous province. "Now we're going to work as hard as we possibly can to get people back negotiating, get our faculty back and get our students back in the classrooms".

Del Missier said the bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator today to seek direction. "I'm available to my students all the time", she said, adding it's often harder for her part-time colleagues to put in face-time with students. Both parties need to recognize that there approach to this date has not resulted in any kind of success.

"We are still concerned about our students and we miss them dearly", Turco said in an interview with The Sault Star.

".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.

A proposed class action lawsuit has officially begun as of November 14, 2017, and students are demanding a refund, backed by Charney Lawyers.

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