Canada Vote that could end Ontario’s college strike starts on Tuesday

09:36  12 november  2017
09:36  12 november  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

Ontario college strike now at 29 days making it the longest the province has seen

  Ontario college strike now at 29 days making it the longest the province has seen College faculty begin their “forced vote” on a contract offer on Tuesday, as their strike — now in its fifth week — becomes the longest job action in their history. At 29 days so far, it is longer than the three previous strikes — in 1984, job action lasted 24 days, in 1989 it went on for 28, and in 2016, 18 days.The 1984 strike ended with back-to-work legislation, and for the subsequent two, both sides agreed to mediation or arbitration.

If the deal is accepted, the earliest classes could resume is Nov. 21. If the deal is rejected it’ s likely the province will intervene.

Faculty Vote to Be Scheduled Ontario colleges announced today that they have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the colleges ’ offer. Tuesday , Oct. However, there is no guarantee that you could get a new parking permit once the strike ends .

Striking instructors at George Brown College, St. James Campus, make their way along King St. and around the building on Oct. 16, 2017 after talks broke down. The province's 12,000 instructors will have a chance to voter on a deal starting Nov. 14© Bernard Weil Striking instructors at George Brown College, St. James Campus, make their way along King St. and around the building on Oct. 16, 2017 after talks broke down. The province's 12,000 instructors will have a chance to voter on a deal starting Nov. 14

The strike that has cancelled classes for hundreds of thousands of college students for four weeks will last at least another as a forced-contract vote takes place.

The vote, requested by the College Employer Council, begins Tuesday morning and wraps up Thursday, with 12,000 faculty voting on the updated offer on the table before talks broke off and the college took the step of asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board for the one-time measure.

500,000 students 'caught in the crossfire' during Ontario college strike

  500,000 students 'caught in the crossfire' during Ontario college strike From mental health issues to concerns about graduation, many students say they're frustrated amid the strike involving 12,000 college workers. "Those of us with anxiety and depression often cope by being busy," said the 24-year-old.

Premier Dalton McGuinty encouraged both sides Tuesday to work together to avoid a strike at Ontario ' s two dozen community colleges that would end classes for at least 200,000 full-time students.

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At that time, and after four days of marathon bargaining, the two sides had agreed on the contentious issue of full-time staffing ratios, agreeing to a provincial task force to study the issue, which is included in the offer instructors are to vote on.

On salary, the union and colleges were within one-quarter of a per cent. They could not, however, find common ground on academic freedom, the major sticking point that remains.

The vote will be conducted online or by phone, and requires approval by 50 per cent plus one, of all those who vote. (That means if all 12,000 vote, 6,001 would have to cast ballots in favour for it to pass.) Results will be available Thursday afternoon.

If faculty approve it, classes would likely resume by Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week.

Wynne government announces legislation to end college strike

  Wynne government announces legislation to end college strike Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's office says her government is tabling legislation that will end the province's college strike, after negotiations reached an impasse. Wynne met with both the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council (CEC) on Thursday after union members overwhelming voted against a contract offer."I asked them to work together to find a path forward that would see students return to class by Monday," Wynne said in the release.

While an employer vote is never the best pathway, we believe it is a fair offer and I remain hopeful it will be accepted and we can end this strike .” said Morris. Ontario colleges have also asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the colleges ’ offer.

Talks in Ontario college strike will resume Thursday. Wynne won't rule out back-to-work legislation to end Ontario college strike . Sunny start to the day Tuesday with some afternoon clouds. Remembrance Day 2017: what' s open and closed in Ottawa.

If it is rejected — and it already has been by the union’s bargaining team — then it is expected, given the length of the strike, that the provincial government will have to intervene fairly quickly with back-to-work legislation.

J.P. Hornick, who heads the college bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, said “there are serious concerns and questions about the ways the electronic vote will be conducted, and I know that OPSEU has raised these” with the labour board.

The union is urging its members to reject the offer, saying it wants the colleges to return to the bargaining table.

In a recent memo to members, it said the strike will be over soon regardless, and that approving the offer is the “worst outcome.”

“Whatever way the strike is resolved, the government has made clear it will step in so that the semester is not lost,” says a memo to members.

“… It would be nonsensical to vote for this bad offer when a better resolution is just around the corner. This is the time to press on vigorously, not to capitulate.”

Striking faculty reject colleges’ contract offer

  Striking faculty reject colleges’ contract offer Striking faculty have rejected an offer from Ontario’s colleges, meaning their job action — the longest in their history — continues. News of the vote result prompted Premier Kathleen Wynne to say she’ll immediately meet with both sides. “Students have been in the middle of this strike for too long and it’s not fair,” she said in a statement, adding that on Thursday afternoon, “I will be meeting representatives of the College Employer Council and OPSEU to discuss how we can resolve this situation immediately and get students back to class where they belong.

TORONTO—The union representing faculty at Ontario ’ s 24 public colleges has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said in a news release late Tuesday that the date was set after the College Employer Council walked away from the bargaining

The College will inform you as soon as we know when that vote is scheduled. The College will reopen on Tuesday , January 2, 2018. Ontario college students have never lost a year because of a strike . You can expect that the new deadline will be prior to the winter term start date.

However, some faculty have grown weary of getting by on strike pay for more than a month, and several have emailed the Star saying they have lost more in wages to date than they will gain through their next contract.

Others, however, say the academic freedom issue is too important and they need to stand strong on the picket lines. Hornick called the vote reaching a settlement “through coercion rather than negotiation.”

The forced vote does present risks for both sides.

Maurice Mazerolle of Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, called the vote something like “the ‘hail Mary’ pass for management.”

Mazerolle, an expert in labour-management relations, said for the union, a yes vote puts them at risk, and the “bargaining committee normally resigns.

“But if members reject it, that’s it for management.”

After a strike has dragged on, however, different factors come into play. “All the membership knows is ‘I’ve got no money coming in, and I’ve been on strike for three or four weeks’ … that’s the other thing management is counting on — they are counting on people voting with their paycheques.”

'Hardship fund' announced for students caught in college strike

  'Hardship fund' announced for students caught in college strike Ontario's Liberal government announced Friday it will help students struggling financially due to the faculty strike at community colleges. Advanced Education and Skills Development Minister Deb Matthews has instructed colleges to establish funds out of the savings they accrue from not paying their faculty to support students finding themselves in financial hardship.“All students are struggling with continued uncertainty,” Matthews said in a released statement.“They are worried about how to pay for unexpected costs like additional rent or cancelling long-standing travel plans to be home with family.

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The strike affects about 300,000 students across the province. At Queen’ s Park on Tuesday , both the premier and post-secondary minister urged the colleges and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to restart negotiations and put an end to the strike .

Also, he said, is academic freedom “something you really want to pound the streets for? Probably not. And it’s not an issue you can negotiate at the bargaining table. It’s too complicated” and requires a lot of research.

“You need a joint task or a committee to deal with it through the life of the contract.”

Rafael Gomez, director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto, said the employer is taking a chance with the vote, but believes the lengthy strike is a sign “that the college system has outgrown its bargaining structure” where one body, the College Employer Council, negotiates for all institutions.

“There was a homogeneity to the colleges 50 years ago when they started, in terms of their size, their assortment of degrees they were offering, and over time, they’ve diverged.”

He thinks a tiered bargaining — with schools divided by size and range of programming and other criteria — is worth considering.

He called the forced vote “a desperation ploy on the part of the employer.”

David Doorey, a labour and employment expert at York University, said the forced vote can “poison the bargaining climate” if their offer is rejected, and create divisions among staff if it is approved.

It can, he added, “be an effective divide and conquer strategy.”

“I think the parties understand that the threat of back to work legislation is there if this stoppage drags on much longer and this will shape their strategies,” said Doorey.

“Given that it appears the parties are close, there’s a good possibility that a failed final offer vote could lead to an agreement to refer the outstanding issues to arbitration, which would be the outcome always if legislation is introduced. But that is by no means certain.”

Ontario colleges ask faculty to suspend four-week strike .
Ontario colleges ask faculty to suspend four-week strike Ontario’s colleges are asking faculty to “suspend” their weeks-long strike while appealing to the province’s labour relations board to arrange a direct vote on their latest offer.The College Employer Council (CEC) accused the union of having “stonewalled” recently renewed negotiations and said it has addressed concerns by “enhancing full-time employment opportunities,” boosting academic freedom, increasing pay and job security.

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