Ontario's striking college faculty voted Thursday to reject a contract offer and continue their almost five-week job action.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), on November 7, ordered a faculty vote to be held from 9 a.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Thursday as the strike by OPSEU-represented faculty wore on.
Wynne met with both the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council (CEC) on Thursday after union members overwhelming voted against a contract offer.
The offer faculty voted on included provisions to set up a provincial task force looking at the issue of full-time staffing ratios as well as the growing use of precarious, contract positions at colleges, considered one of the union's key issue.
The strike, which involves 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began October 15 and has left 500,000 full time and part time students out of class.
After it was rejected, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she would meet with college and union representatives Thursday afternoon "to discuss how we can resolve this situation immediately and get students back to class where they belong". She also had sharp words for both the colleges and the union and how they've allowed the strike to drag on.
The Ontario government is tabling back-to-work legislation to end the bitter strike by college faculty.
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"The college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties".
He said he wouldn't speculate what the Premier will do but he's hopeful pressure will be put on the college council.
We will have more details as they become available. "At a time when we were only a few steps away from getting a deal, they overplayed their hand and robbed students of two weeks of their education".
Up to now colleges have emphasized that no student has lost a semester in previous strikes.
The vote results were released mind-morning Thursday by the College Employer Council, which bargains on behalf of the colleges.
Aryaman Choudhary sat behind his student residence building across from Conestoga College's Doon campus and tried to light a cigarette with winds swirling around him.