Striking Ontario college faculty reject offer that would have ended job action

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A vote for the council's final offer - tabled November 6 after talks with Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OSPEU) stalled - would end the weeks-long job action at the province's 24 public colleges.

The almost 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union walked off the job at the province's 24 colleges last month.

About 500,000 college students have been out of class for more than a month, now the longest strike action on record by Ontario's 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians in Ontario.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said in a statement that students have been out of the classes for far too long and was to meet with both sides Thursday in an attempt to solve the impasse.

"We had hoped the outcome of this vote would be positive and we could look forward to welcoming our faculty and students back to the classrooms", said Fanshawe President Peter Devlin in a news release.

According to reports on social media, striking faculty at Ontario's colleges have rejected a final offer. "It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality". "This is a bad result for the 500,000 student who remain out of class".

The lawsuit aims to "recover damages" on behalf of the students at the 24 colleges across the province that have been on strike for several weeks now.

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If the deal had been accepted, it was expected that students and staff would have been back to classes either Tuesday or Wednesday.

As a next step, the college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties. "I'm available to my students all the time", she said, adding it's often harder for her part-time colleagues to put in face-time with students. "They have to focus on students".

A strike in 1984 was ended by back-to-work legislation, and two others in 1989 and 2006 ended with mediation and arbitration.

Madder said he can hear the clock ticking to save the semester as the labour dispute extends towards the end of the fifth week.

The notice of action alleges the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes.

Though the student intake has increased from 200 to 600, Foster said the program has the same number of full-time instructors as when she started teaching 27 years ago.

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