The provincial wide college strike came to an end on Sunday, November 19th after the Ontario Liberal government passed Bill 178, “The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act,” to legislate college faculty back to work by Monday, November 20th.
The legislation serves to end the five-week strike by college faculty after negotiations between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the College Employer Council reached an impasse.
“The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2017 governs the labour dispute between the College Employer Council [CEC] and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) college academic unit,” reads the press release by the Ministry of Labour. “All outstanding issues are to be referred to binding mediation-arbitration. The College Employer Council and OPSEU have five days to agree on a mediator-arbitrator, or one will be appointed by the Ministry of Labour.”
Approximately 500,000 students were affected by the strike and will be expected to return to classes on Tuesday, November 21st. UTM students in joint programs with Sheridan have been impacted by the strike and will be returning to classes this week, as well.
“The government has also instructed colleges to establish a dedicated fund with net savings from the strike. 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,” the press release continued.
Sheridan has extended the fall semester to December 22 in order to accommodate for the loss of class time.