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Back-to-work legislation to end Ontario college strike delayed until Friday

17 November 2017

Post-secondary students at colleges across Ontario have been out of class as a result of the faculty strike for a month now, and now, some students are demanding compensation.

According to reports on social media, striking faculty at Ontario's colleges have rejected a final offer.

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.

The move to table legislation comes on the same day that it was announced unionized faculty had voted 86% against accepting the College Employer Council's latest offer.

The strike by 12,800 professors, partial-load instructors, counsellors and librarians is the longest in the 50-year history of the Ontario college system.

The College Employer Council, which bargains on behalf of the colleges, gambled by exercising its one-time ability to force a vote on a contract offer. Colleges suspended classes for about 500,000 students across the province with no end in sight.

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Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Thursday she would legislate striking college faculty back to work, starting the process of bringing the almost five-week-long labour disruption to an end.

Local vote results were not immediately available but OPESU Local 613 president Frank Turco said he expects they will reflect the provincial results. "I completely sympathize with our students who have been caught in this strike for more than four weeks". "We stand with hundreds of thousands of college students when we say 'enough already.' Let's get back to the bargaining table and complete these negotiations".

"The college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties".

College faculty has been on strike since October 16. "It makes sense for them but we can't really do much about it now", White said.

If the union vote had successed students at Algonquin College were told they would not lose their semester that was not a big comfort to students.

Jessica Rushton, a Brantford resident and Conestoga student said she could lash about the strike for days and said she doesn't feel like students matter.

Back-to-work legislation to end Ontario college strike delayed until Friday