BREAKING: Faculty at 24 Ontario colleges to go on strike

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This evening at 9:28 p.m., it was confirmed that faculty at 24 Ontario public colleges will be on strike as of tomorrow morning after deliberations for a new contract were rejected by the employer.

The strike will affect over 500,000 students in Ontario including students at Conestoga College in Kitchener-Waterloo. The union represents approximately 12,000 faculty.

Apparently the union presented a new offer to the council this past Saturday night.

The union’s final offer included improvements in job security, a stronger voice for faculty in regards to academic decision making and a call to match the number of faculty members on contract.

However, the College Employer Council, according to Conestoga College’s site, claimed that the demands could not be met as it would add more than 250 million in annual costs, jeopardize the quality of college programs and eliminate a number of contract faculty jobs.

A statement provided by the College Employer Council spokesperson noted the inconvenience which students will face as a result of the strike:

“This strike is completely unnecessary and unfair to hundreds of thousands of students. We should have had a deal based on our final offer. It is comparable to, or better than, recent public‐sector settlements with teachers, college support staff, hospital professionals, and Ontario public servants, most of which were negotiated by OPSEU,” Sonia Del Missier said.

“The fastest way to resolve the strike is for the union to accept the colleges’ final offer, or, at the very least, put the colleges’ final offer forward to its members for a vote.”

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