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Fall Semester in the Air

College Faculty Strike in Canada

Autor(en): Karema Hassan am Mittwoch, 18. Oktober 2017
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Quelle: Pixabay


Management and teaching staff are sparring over contract negotiations. College students in Ontario facing the loss of a semester are putting up a fight.

As students in Munich gear up for a new 2017 fall semester, students in Canada are facing a different reality to the start of their higher education. College personnel in Ontario, Canada are on strike after recent contract negotiations between the faculty union and the group representing management failed to produce a deal that could keep classes open for over 500,000 students at 24 colleges across the province. This move is drastically affecting full and part time students, forcing classes to be cancelled and on hold until both sides come back to the bargaining table. Currently, there is no indication when talks will resume.

Who is on Strike?

Approximately 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians who are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), and hold a $72-million strike fund are on strike. They were in contract negotiations with the College Employer Council, which represents the management on all college campuses. All bargaining has been done through the Employer Council who is independent from the government and the OPSEU.

Why are they Striking?

The union presented a proposal that called for more full time faculty members on contract. During the last decade, the number of part-time teachers has grown by 40 percent while the full-time positions have gone up by less than 20 percent. The union is also requesting improvements in job security and for faculty to have a stronger voice in academic decision making. If the union's demands were accepted, Don Sinclar the CEO of the College Employer Council said “we're looking at an additional cost to this sector at about $250 million."

Student Reaction

More than 43,000 Ontario college students have signed an online petition with the hashtag #wepaytolearn demanding a tuition refund because of the strike by faculty members. The petition is demanding for students to receive $40 for each day of the strike. Students want to send a clear message that they are paying the salaries of the faculty and unionized staff. "It is our tuition money that you are fighting over," said Humber College student Amir Allana on Huffington Post Canada. Students are frustrated that they are not a part of the deadlocked conversation between both sides and concerned how long the strike will last, when they can write mid term exams and if there is a possibility to lose the rest of the semester year. The government has stated that a short strike will minimize lost class time but there are no new bargaining talks scheduled.

Platte des Monats

Garage Punk muss nicht immer nur auf die Fresse. Culture Abuse aus Kalifornien beweisen auf ihrem zweiten Album, dass sie ihren Pegel runterfahren und trotzdem ernegiegeladen abliefern können. Ein Album, das alte Formen aufgreift, aber auch ein Wegweiser in eine bessere, friedlichere Zukunft sein will.

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