It’s over, it’s over…it’s FINALLY over!
This will be the scene tomorrow as 500,000 students across Ontario finally get to go back to school…sorry I couldn’t resist!
It was a bit of a whirlwind of events over the last four days that got this PAINFUL ordeal resolved.
Here is a timetable of the events over the last few days that lead to the end of the strike:
- Latest offer by the colleges was rejected in a vote Nov 14-16 by faculty of the 24 Ontario Colleges. The union stated that 95% of the faculty voted and 86% voted to reject the offer.
- Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Thursday that the Ontario Government is tabling back-to-work legislation to end the five-week strike.
- Wynne asked the College Employer Council (CEC) and OPSEU to return to the bargaining table Thursday, but within several hours the two sides reached an impasse. She asked the two side to either negotiate or submit to voluntary binding arbitration by 5pm Thursday, which they were unable to do.
- The Ontario Government then tabled back-to-work legislation, but the NDP blocked the attempt to table the bill.
- The Liberals asked the Speaker to reconvene the legislature Friday (when it normally doesn’t sit) so the legislation can be introduced. It was again blocked by the NDP so the Liberals said they would sit through the weekend to get it done.
- Yesterday (Nov 19th), the back-to-work legislation Bill 178 was passed ending the strike and forcing faculty back to work.
- Faculty at Fanshawe College returned to the campus today (Nov 20th) and the students will start tomorrow (Nov 21st) as all classes will finally resume. Students will be in class until Dec 22nd, break for the holidays and return Jan 3rd. The fall semester will be extended two weeks, ending Jan 16th and the winter semester will run Jan 22-April 27. Fanshawe students will lose a total of four weeks of class time as both semesters have been shortened by two weeks. Students are encouraged to check for updates on the Fanshawe College website regularly.
- The Ontario Government has ordered the college to create a fund– using savings from the strike, for example by not paying faculty wages – to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship because of the labour dispute. Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews has estimated that amount would be about $5 million.
- A proposed class-action lawsuit over the on-going college strike has been launched on behalf of 500,000 students affected by the dispute. The notice of action alleges the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes. It seeks full refunds for students who choose not to continue with their programs and refunds “equivalent to the value of the lost instruction” for students who do want to continue.
The reactions from the students on social were a mix of frustration/anger, stress about the upcoming workload and even managed to have some creative ways to vent!
After 5 weeks, the Ontario college faculty strike is finally over. To hear about what it was REALLY like, head on over to the blog to read about my experience! . . . #ontariocollegestrike #strike #lifelessons #lifestyleblogger #mystory #newpost #linkinprofile #ontariocolleges #backtowork #silverlining #onthebrightside
I knew in September that this semester would challenge me. I thought the challenge would be balancing everything our teachers handed to us. Yet here I am preparing myself to go back to school after an almost 6 week strike. A challenge I did not think I would be facing. I’m stressed out, I’m anxious and I’m fucking pissed off. I’m not saying I don’t want to return to school but I don’t want to walk through those doors tomorrow under these circumstances. I’m eternally thankful for my teachers who I’m sure will show the utmost patience with us as we all adjust. But the time we’ve lost cannot be replaced and half a million students are feeling exactly what I’m feeling. Now we’re expected to sacrifice again all for a mistake that isn’t ours. I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other and remind myself I have survived worse but in all honestly I’m sitting here ranting into an IG post. Paralyzed by not knowing what to do next. I’ve lost all faith that the colleges have a students best interest at heart and I want answers for how they expect to make up for what we’ve lost. But for now I’ll remind myself that I have survived worse. #ontariocollegestrike #ontariocolleges
Bill 178 has passed with flying colors and avivation! I applaud the Liberals and the PCs for voting for it! the NDP voted against! #OntarioNDP #NDP #ontariocollegestrike #Ontario #ONPOLI #KathleenWynne #PatrickBrown #OntarioLiberalParty #OntarioPCParty #OntarioProgressiveConservativeParty#ProgressiveConservativeParty #ProgressiveConservative #LiberalPartyOfOntario #LiberalParty #OntarioBill178 #backtoworklegislation #BackToWork #Bill178 @Kathleen_Wynne @patrickbrownont @ontarioliberalparty @andreahorwathndp