The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has taken its members on a province-wide faculty strike as of today. This strike affects all colleges in Ontario.
Faculty at Ontario’s 24 colleges are walking picket lines today (more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians) and the labour dispute is affecting more than 500,000 students in the province.
The Ontario Public Services Employees Union says it is up to the College Employer Council, which bargains for the colleges, to re-start talks so that issues can be resolved.
The union made a “final offer” Saturday that called for the number of full-time faculty to match the number of faculty members on contract.
Accepting the union’s demands would add more than $250 million to annual costs, the College Employer Council said in a statement, eliminating thousands of contract faculty jobs and “jeopardizing the quality of college programs.”
Locally, as a result of this strike, all academic and apprenticeship programs at Niagara College are suspended immediately. In a media release, Niagara College stated its main concern and key priority continues to be the education of the students, recognizing the stress the situation could create, and assure that they will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the academic program of study will be completed.
During the strike, college facilities and services will remain open to students. The residences will also remain open for students living there.
For regular updates on the situation, visit the website: www.niagaracollege.ca