BY ALLIE MURRAY
The possibility of a faculty strike at Ontario colleges has left students wondering how it may affect this school year.
A potential faculty strike across all Ontario colleges was announced to students on Sept. 15 after faculty voting took place on Sept. 14 with 68 per cent in favour of the strike. The union announced that if a settlement was not reached by Sept. 30 when the current collective agreement expires, a strike could potentially happen.
With the announcement of the potential strike, students began to worry about how it may impact their newly started school year. Justin Capcap, a third-year Game Design student at Sheridan worried about how the strike may affect his summer co-op placement.
“If having a strike would mean that my co-op placement could also get delayed, I’m worried it may affect me when I’m trying to find a job later on,” Capcap said.
With the stress of being a college student and preparing for the future, students are concerned about what results the strike may have on their learning. Julianna Corso, a second-year Film and Television student at Sheridan wondered about how the semester may be affected by the strike.
“I understand why the faculty may need to strike and I support them” she said. “It’s just very frustrating to know that when the strike ends my learning could be rushed so we can stay on track with the semester,” Corso explained.
The chair of bargaining for Ontario colleges, Sonia Del Misser, addressed the fears students may have about the strike and its impact on the academic year. “I think it’s worth noting that no college student in Ontario has ever lost a year because of a strike, but at this point, we, the colleges, are really focusing on trying to obtain a negotiated settlement before that happens,” she said in a phone interview.
The College Employer Council offers a 7.5 per cent salary increase over four years, introducing a new maximum salary, a lump sum payment, and benefit enhancements. The offer remains in place until Sept. 29.
The last college-wide strike took place in 2006 and lasted two weeks.
The bargaining continues as they try to reach an agreement.