“We understand that this is a stressful time for students and that there will be additional stress with the return to class”, said Dr. Fred Gibbons, President and CEO of Northern College.
The government tried Thursday to introduce a back-to-work bill to get students back to class, but it required unanimous support and the New Democrats did not give their consent.
The union that represents 12,000 faculty across Ontario says colleges are relying too heavily on contract employees to save money and wants to see more full-time teachers hired across the system.
While the strike may be coming to an end, Adele Yamada worries about the deep divisions it has exposed between college faculty and their employer. She is firm in her belief that bargaining, “should have been focused on getting students back to class, but OPSEU chose the path of signing bonuses for faculty and a dismissal of arbitration”. “My hopes is that everyone will come to their senses and that we will have the NDP working with us because if we can get the legislation passed today then everyone will be back in school Monday”.
The legislature will now reconvene Friday, when it does not normally sit, and the Liberals will try to introduce the legislation in the afternoon. “It makes sense for them but we can’t really do much about it now”, White said. We have inspired a movement against precarious work.
“It’s supposed to send a message to industry, government, defendants, whoever is on the other side, that the next time you should be alert to the fact that you may be causing harm and you may have to pay big dollars as a result”, said Agarwal, who teaches class action law at the University of Toronto.
The post was met with relief and praise from Cornwall students including Sara Elizabeth Hebert, who has been involved in the rallies and other political organizing undertaken by students during the five-week strike.
“Students will pick up a portion, and I suspect the taxpayer will, because of the way our funding model works”. “It looks like Kathleen Wynne wanted to use anti-worker back-to-work legislation all along”.
But she admits, the Wynne Liberals have a majority, and they’ll pass this bill, and the students will likely still go back to class on Monday. “The fund will be used to support students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the strike and its parameters will be developed in direct consultation with students”.
Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said the government is looking at a “range of options” to get students back into the classroom. “It was very disappointing that the NDP made a decision to block it”. At the meeting, reported Hornick, “it became clear that, of the three parties in the room, only two were concerned with saving the semester for hundreds of thousands of students. The public interest requires the government to take action to end the strike”.
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.
We’ll keep you updated on details as they emerge.