College council calls for forced vote

The College Employer Council called on the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a forced vote on its latest offer at the bargaining table to striking Ontario college faculty on Monday.

GH says strike may end this week

Read all Post coverage on the strike

The most recent offer by the colleges does not meet the requirements demanded by the faculty union.

The Ontario Public Sector Employees Union says the move will delay an end to the strike.

A vote would mean striking faculty would decide, likely through a simple majority, whether they would override the union negotiating team to accept the latest offer tabled by the colleges.

If striking faculty, librarians and counselors were to vote yes to the deal, the strike would end and union negotiations would be defunct.

Union negotiating chair JP Hornick called on faculty members to reject the offer.

Hornick called the move a “reprehensible stunt”. She had previously warned faculty the forced vote might happen.

The colleges expect it would take five to 10 days for the labour board to call a vote, with Hornick saying it will take two weeks.

The council called on the union to disband the strike while the vote is being prepared.

Vice Provost John Walsh said over the weekend in an email to students that Guelph-Humber was hopeful for the strike to end early this week, but it appears that will not occur.

The strike kicked off on Oct 16 after bargaining between the College Employer Council and OPSEU fell apart.

However, both sides returned to the bargaining table on Thursday in hopes of finding a bargain to agree on.

Humber post-graduate journalism student Brandon Maron said the strike had lasted too long and that it was time for students to return to class.

“I think they’re were right to be striking at the beginning, but now I’m not so much on their side because now it’s gone a bit too far,” Maron told the Post.

Not all students take Maron’s stance, however.

Humber Lakeshore student Paula Greenberg described the forced vote as a “bully tactic” and hoped that union members reject the deal or “this fight fight was for nothing.”

“What’s incredible is that the CEC is just offering the same crap deal they proposed on Oct 16,” said Greenberg.

“It is very disappointing that the council is asking us to vote on an offer that they know is unacceptable to us,” Humber College professor Tyler Shipley said after the Council statement.

“They are wasting everyone’s time here,” Shipley made clear.

“It is evident to anyone paying attention that this council cares more about saving money then it cares for the students and teachers who are at the heart of our colleges.”

Guelph-Humber student frustrations

Many University of Guelph-Humber students have been critical of how the school’s administration has handled the strike.

GH closed down all on-campus classes for three weeks, saying it couldn’t offer its programs in full without the college faculty from Humber, before restarting university classes digitally a week ago.

“Guelph-Humber should really work on making this entire situation easier on the students,” GH Media Studies student Christopher Megally told the Post.

“The fact that my assignments are worth a ton more hand all my midterms will potentially be crammed within a few days is nonsense,” explained a frustrated Megally, saying that he expected “more common sense from higher ups.”

The Post got permission from student Sanjay Singh to share a post from the GH class of 2020 Facebook group where he called for a refund.

“I know for a fact I am not going to pay [$5,000] for some online bull—-,” posted Singh, a second year in the business program.

“We already missed [one] quarter of the semester it doesn’t seem worth it anymore,” reads the post that received over 40 likes and comments of support from fellow students.

Despite a petition started by a pair Humber College students that calls for college refunds, the University of Guelph made it clear to the Post that it is high unlikely the institution would refund students for lost day.

University professors at GH are still receiving full pay, according to Post reporting.

More details to follow. Refresh for the latest.

2 thoughts on “College council calls for forced vote

Add yours

  1. I sent an email to my program head and vice program head today. Below is a copy of the email sent today expressing my frustrations and concerns in regards to the stike. I deleted email address information and people’s names that were in the original email for confidentiality reasons. I sent this email as I did not know what else to do and who else to speak to about my concerns.

    Hello ,
    I just wanted to send you a note to express my frustrations and concerns with the strike and the academic loss the students at Guelph-Humber have experienced.
    I understand why the strike is taking place and I fully support the teaching staff in the issues, but at the same time I am frustrated and disappointed that the two sides are still unable to come to some sort of agreement (college governing body and union).
    I also find it unfair that students at Guelph-Humber who have not been in classes since Oct 11, 2017 have to write exams in classes that have not taught enough to justify having students write exams. I find this to be unfair to the students and setting us up to fail. Especially when it comes to intense and heavy classes like Statistics, a difficult course under normal circumstances.
    There are only approximately two weeks left to the semester and there is no end in sight to the strike, I feel as though the semester is lost and that the two sides (union and college governing body) have forgotten that in the end it is always the students that suffer the consequences of actions or inaction on the part of unions and governing bodies.
    I fear that my last academic year is in jeopardy and that apart from the teachers no one really cares about the fate of the students. As I watch the news all I hear from politicians is that education is a high priority for our government and to ensure the students get the best possible education to prepare us to be able to compete in global markets, but this is not reflected in their actions, their inaction in regards to this situation speaks louder than any speeches they give. How can we compete in global markets when we lose semesters due to strikes and teachers are unable to teach their students in a way that is beneficial for the students when the teachers are not treated fairly by the governing bodies.
    I have spoken to many of my fellow students and they agree with my frustrations with the strike and my feelings in regards to the exams. Many have asked me what can we as students do about the situation and all I am able to say is I do not know. With my future being unsure due to circumstances out of my control frightens and worries me, sentiments that I have heard echoed by many of my fellow students.

    The response I received is as follows:
    Thank you for your email. A key function of social work is in its advocacy around issues in social justice. As an exercise in this regard have you considered voicing your concerns in some public manner, for example, an op ed or letter to the editor in a local newspaper, or through some social media platform, or calling your local MPP? These are options available to all citizens living in a democracy who wish to express their opinions. However you may feel about this issue, you don’t have to suffer in silence if you feel strongly enough about it to give voice to your concerns.

    Not quite the response I was looking for but at least I got a response I guess.


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