Mohawk College faculty on strike


There will be picket lines at college entrances, and access may be delayed.

On Monday morning, thousands of faculty members at 24 Ontario colleges, including professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, walked off the job after contract talks broke off Sunday night between the Ontario Public Services Employees Union and the College Employer Council, which is responsible for bargaining on behalf of colleges.

"We feel that full-time members do a better job - and I'm not discrediting any part-time faculty - because they're given time for preparation and evaluation". "No one's pleased about being out here".

On Monday, classes were cancelled for students at the college but all student services on all Fanshawe campuses will remain open during the strike.

Mohawk spokesperson Jay Robb said continuing education programs have been cancelled (a change from last week) and all exams, projects and term papers have been postponed for the duration of the walkout while co-op work terms, field placements and clinical placements that do not require faculty supervision will continue. "We are nearly at a Walmart level of education that the college and the province wants to look at with part-time precarious jobs that we are trying to fight".

The union understands the distress the strike will cause Ontario's more than 500,000 college students, Hornick said.

"The students need to have a really good experience that sets them up for success in the workplace". OPSEU wants instructors to have a larger say in academic issues and policy matters.

Ward said she does not know how long faculty will be outside on the picket line instead of in the classroom.

JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team, said she supports the petition.

Students are airing their frustration with the strike on Twitter by using the #wepaytolearn hashtag, which organizers and supporters are promoting.

Northern College is doing everything possible to ensure that each student will have the opportunity to complete the year and that there are minimal disruptions.

The nursing student from West Nyack, N.Y., smiled and acknowledged striking faculty members holding placards as they held up college-bound cars for about five minutes each.

"What we measure, what the relevant measure, is total teaching contact hours". But the union counters that the colleges have a $1.2 billion funding surplus. "We adjusted our position, we took the big-cost items off the table. and basically they had no response to it". Full details on the components at the heart of this labour dispute can be found on the College Employer Council's website. "We should have had a deal based on our final offer", said the colleges' chief negotiator, Sonia Del Missier, in a statement.

"I think we have to let the collective bargaining process work and give it the space to do that", she said. More than 230,000 full-time students attend Ontario's colleges. There have been essentially no negotiations happening, the college hasn't moved an inch on what they are wanting us to accept, that this effort has been planned and it's about cost savings for them.

Students living in residence receive a pass to leave and enter the college campus without delay.

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