Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Colleges launch website for faculty vote

Jim Madder Colleges launch website for faculty vote
Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 14:08

Canadore students will join their brethren from across Ontario for the #ASSTOCLASS movement.

It's week five of the college faculty strike, the longest one in history. "The website has been amazingly done and has a great open letter sent to OPSEU and CEC", including a mandate written by students.

Writes James Papp, another local co-organizer via Facebook message: "Not enough is being done to end this strike!" "We are not going to pay for anything until we're back in class". "We're on the verge of losing our semester".

Meanwhile, Huckla pointed out that other workers have been impacted financially, too.

"It's about time. Now that they're going to put it in a vote, it gives you hope that it might actually end", he said.

At noon on Thursday, a student group calling themselves "Get your ass to class" is planning a rally at college campuses across the province. "That is why I am requiring that colleges establish a dedicated fund with all the savings from the strike".

Although Niagara College's student union is not officially sanctioning that action, Huckla said students are welcome to participate if they choose.

The council then asked Ontario's Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer, which is said to tackle most demands except for language surrounding academic freedom.

"Nothing has been removed, nothing has been added that will negatively impact faculty - these are positive gains", she said.

But the union said the offer contains "serious concessions" that were not agreed to, and which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model. "All I can say is this isn't true".

The offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits and several measures to tackle concerns regarding part-time faculty.

OPSEU also issued a statement Monday morning, advising teachers "to stand strong and vote to reject" the college's offer.

The union has urged faculty to vote no on this offer.