Students Brace for College Strike

12,000 College professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians are prepared to hit the picket lines if a deal is not reached by Monday.

WOODSTOCK - College faculty represented by OPSEU are set to go on strike next week if a deal is not reached. 

This would include staff at the Fanshawe Regional Campus in Woodstock. OPSEU has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m this Monday in the contract talks with their employer, the College Employer Council. Chair of the union bargaining team JP Hornick says talks are going nowhere right now. 

"Today was another frustrating day of bargaining, during which our employer once again refused to consider key faculty issues. They have walked away from the table. The purpose of setting a strike deadline is to get negotiations moving – before it’s too late."

OPSEU represents over 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians working at 24 public colleges across Ontario. Hornick lays out some of the key issues preventing them from striking a deal. 

"Our union team has been clear about its goals since bargaining began in early July. We have put forward concrete proposals to improve education quality by including the voices of faculty and students in academic decisions; we have made the case for strengthening the complement of full-time faculty; and we have called on the colleges to read the signals from Queen’s Park and start treating contract faculty fairly. Unfortunately our employer is not moving forward on the issues faculty care about most – even in the case of no-cost items like academic freedom or longer contracts for contract faculty."

Students at Fanshawe have already received email notifications saying a strike could start next week.

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