Striking Ontario college faculty rejects latest offer, strike will continue

College students seeking strike damages

Results of college faculty strike vote expected

Being in a college and university-based program has its perks, but when it comes to this strike, we students are definitely getting the short end of the stick.

Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said the government is looking at a "range of options" to get students back into the classroom.

The students, which have been kept out of the classroom since October 16, saw hope for the longest college strike in the province's history ending this week dwindle on Thursday with 86 per cent of the striking educators following the recommendation of their union leadership by opposing the contract.

From the front lines of a weeks-long strike typified by uncertainty, there was a rare moment of clarity Tuesday, more than four weeks after faculty walked off the job.

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The move comes after the premier asked the College Employer Council, which represents the province's 24 colleges, and the union representing striking faculty to return to the bargaining table Thursday.

The student association at Ottawa's Algonquin College took the unusual step of spending $20,000 on radio and video ads urging their teachers to vote in favour of the final offer from the College Employer Council.

"This strike has gone on for too long - and we still need to resolve it and get our students and faculty back in class", wrote Sonia Del Missier, Colleges bargaining team chair.

"What I can say is we're extremely disappointed by the result as we wanted classes to resume early next week".

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SA President Victoria Ventura says "we respect the faculty and we've tried to respect the process".

"We respect the faculty have exercised their democratic right, we like the fact they were able to vote...(but) the strike continues", Webb said. "You have to meet a certain threshold and we're not there".

Matthews also said that the semester can be salvaged.

About 21,000 Sheridan students have been impacted by the strike.

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The notice of action alleges the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes. "I have just spoken with student leadership from the College Student Alliance and have asked them for their advice and for feedback from their membership". 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.

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