Brockville – Faculty at Ontario colleges are scheduled to go on strike at midnight on Sunday, October 15, 2017 including the three campuses of St. Lawrence College.
In a strike update issued by St. Lawrence College President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt he said, “We remain hopeful that the two sides can reach a contract agreement before the deadline.”
In the event that an agreement is not reached before the deadline on Sunday and to help students prepare for a Monday strike, the college has provided the folowing information:
- Check your SLC email or the SLC website first thing Monday morning to confirm a strike is taking place
- The College website and your SLC email will be our main communications vehicles for sharing information with you leading up to, and during, a strike
- For up-to-date information including answers to frequently asked questions:
- Check the College website
Watch for updates in your SLC email
Follow President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt on Twitter @gvollebregt: https://twitter.com/gvollebregt
Follow the College Twitter account @whatsinsideSLC: https://twitter.com/whatsinsideslc
- Check the College website
If there is a strike it will mean the cancellation of all full-time classes. The College will remain open with most services and most facilities available.
Management and Support Staff will be at work and Student Association and Student Union offices and services will be operating on all three campuses.
In the event of a Monday strike, you can expect to see picket lines at all entrances to the College. Expect to be delayed to allow faculty time to exchange information.
“Above all, please remember that striking workers are our professors, our colleagues and our friends. This is a very difficult time for students, for staff and for faculty. I expect everyone at SLC to be respectful and courteous while College and faculty negotiators continue to work out a new collective agreement.” said St. Lawrence College President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt
In a press release released on Tuesday by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) which represents College faculty, JP Hornick, chair of the union bargaining team said, “Today was another frustrating day of bargaining, during which our employer once again refused to consider key faculty issues. They have walked away from the table, The purpose of setting a strike deadline is to get negotiations moving – before it’s too late.”
OPSEU represents over 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians working at 24 public colleges across Ontario. Union members include full-time permanent and “partial load” contract faculty who teach seven to 12 hours per week.
“Our union team has been clear about its goals since bargaining began in early July,” Hornick said. “We have put forward concrete proposals to improve education quality by including the voices of faculty and students in academic decisions; we have made the case for strengthening the complement of full-time faculty; and we have called on the colleges to read the signals from Queen’s Park and start treating contract faculty fairly.
“Unfortunately our employer is not moving forward on the issues faculty care about most – even in the case of no-cost items like academic freedom or longer contracts for contract faculty.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas cautioned the College Employer Council to get back to the table and not wait until the last minute to negotiate.
“Students already have enough to worry about with their courses and exams and tuition fees,” he said. “They don’t need the stress and anxiety of not knowing if they will be in class next week.
“I encourage the colleges to get down to business now.”
Here are some key things you need to know:
Full-time academic programs (all classes) will be suspended. This includes any general education, online and/or hybrid courses as part of a full-time program. This applies to all courses regardless of scheduled time of day. Exceptions will be identified in the event of a work stoppage;
In general, Clinical and Field Placements in full-time programs will be suspended in the event of a labour disruption. Any exceptions will be communicated directly to affected students;
Courses offered through Continuing Education, Distance Education and Ontario Learn will continue. Exceptions will be communicated to students directly;
All apprenticeship training will be suspended;
Field trips and special events on campuses will be cancelled;
All three College campuses will remain open, with most services operating as usual. Exceptions will be identified in the event of a work stoppage;
Blackboard will remain accessible to students;
Computer labs, study spaces and meeting rooms will be open for student use. Other labs that carry a health and safety risk due to a lack of supervision will not be accessible;
Residence will remain open;
Campus fitness facilities will remain open and Student government facilities will remain open.