Fanshawe College pickets sound off on strike vote

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Faculty member Kevin Corriveau said he was happy members overwhelmingly voted to reject the latest offer.

After three days of voting, striking Ontario community college faculty members represented by OPSEU have turned down the back-to-work offer from the College Employer Council, the group which represents Ontario's 24 community colleges.

With the voting results released by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, that could have ended the faculty strike, now entering in its fifth week, I have to say that I am very disappointed with the faculty's rejection of management's offer.

Talks between the colleges and the union broke down on November 4, prompting the colleges to request the final offer vote. They added there was a 95 per cent turnout for the vote, and specifically, 10,477 voted against the offer while 1,663 voted in favour.

"We're in the midst of drafting plans for semester completion that we'll review with faculty and communicate with student as soon as the strike is either suspended or over", she said.

The strike, which involves 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began October 15 and has left some 500,000 students out of class.

The union has recommended its members reject the offer.

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Turco said he hopes the college council recognizes the strong no vote and returns to the bargaining table to remove concessions and bargain fairly.

Faculty were also seeking academic freedom, which one official from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union called the "core - it is the crux - around our issue of quality education".

"We will not speculate (on that possibility)".

"Calling for this vote was a bully move by Council", he said. "I'm looking for the best ideas about how to make sure this reinvestment directly benefits students who have faced hardship".

In the alternative, the province could introduce back to work legislation that will send faculty back to the classrooms and students back to school.

For students who have booked tickets to go home and be with their families for the holidays, getting a refund and breaking the news to your families must be hard to do, but the alternate just puts you at a greater delay.

If the deal had been accepted, it was expected that students and staff would have been back to classes either Tuesday or Wednesday. It seeks full refunds for students who choose not to continue with their programs and refunds "equivalent to the value of the lost instruction" for students who do want to continue. There were posts in oppositions to the ad campaign, with some people saying they stand with the faculty.