The Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the College Employer Council resumed bargaining on November 2nd for the first time since the strike began on October 16th.
College classes across Ontario have been on hiatus for several weeks, leaving students uncertain about their classes and fees.
According to the College Employer Council’s website, last updated on November 1st, “Ontario colleges have asked the provincially appointed mediator to bring the colleges and OPSEU Academic back to the table to resume bargaining.”
The website also lists what faculty members are requesting versus what the College Employer Council has presented. “One of the biggest hurdles to a negotiated settlement is the cost of the union’s demands. The demands would add more than $1 billion, which is $400 million annually, in costs over a three-year contract made up of: wage increases, staff ratios, and workload reductions.”
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union released a statement saying, “The union bargaining team for Ontario public college faculty is interested in what the College Employer Council has to say and ready to bargain when contract talks resume.”
The strike has affected UTM students who are currently in a joint program with Sheridan college, including students enrolled in ICCIT, DEM and Art and Art History.
On November 3rd, Sheridan sent an email to students and the rest of the school community. “Optimally, we are working to deliver the fall term by the end of 2017 to avoid an impact on subsequent terms. At this moment in time, we are not looking at any scenarios in which the fall term is lost or restarted. Our number one priority is to maintain our exceedingly high standards for program quality; this will ensure students meet the learning outcomes associated with their courses and programs,” read the email.