BY TYLER COLLINS
Sheridan College is telling students and staff to be prepared for a strike on all three Sheridan campuses beginning 7 a.m. the morning of Monday Oct. 16.
Classes will not be in session in the event of a strike, however students will have access to all materials uploaded to SLATE by academic faculty before Sunday Oct. 15 at 11:59 p.m.
Faculty will still be able to access SLATE, but may not upload material or respond to students in accordance with the terms of the OPSEU’s strike rules.
Information sessions were held on all three campuses the morning of Friday Oct. 13, open to all students and faculty of the college. The presentations described the nature of the disagreement between the Ontario colleges and the faculty union (OPSEU) and what to expect in the event of a strike.
The meeting also told the college community what to expect from picket lines. Attendees were told how to safely cross the line, what to expect from picketers, road safety and possible vehicle disruptions.
The 10 a.m. morning session at Trafalgar Campus was held in the B-wing president’s boardroom by Deborah Metrakos, human resources manager. An estimated 60 staff and students packed the 24-seat boardroom. Additional chairs along the side of the room were added to accommodate the attendees.
“Safety and patience are of the utmost importance,” said Metrakos.
She also emphasized the main objective of the anticipated picketers was to share information and exercise their rights to share with the public. When asked whether picketers would be confrontational, Metrakos replied, “the picketers are more of an inconvenience than meant to scare you.”
Sheridan faculty union office president Jack Urowitz was unavailable for comment. A staffer for the office told the Sheridan Sun that a strike could still be averted, and that students should plan on being in class on Monday morning.
In the event of a strike, visitors to all three campuses can expect to be approached by picketers travelling by vehicle or foot. “The union has notified us they shouldn’t be approaching anyone as they exit,” said Metrakos.
Vehicles at the Trafalgar Campus will be stopped only on college property. Drivers can expect to be calmly approached by picketers who may provide them with written information, such as a brochure. Metrakos also cautioned drivers to expect delays and to avoid left turns into campus to block traffic on Trafalgar Road.
Drivers at Brampton’s Davis Campus can expect the same delays and to be approached in a similar fashion. Picketers will not impede traffic into HMC, hoping to avoid disrupting traffic.
Oakville and GO transit will not be crossing picket lines, but stops will be rerouted for both pickup and drop off along Trafalgar Road for the duration of the strike. Sheridan inter-campus bus shuttles will be allowed to cross picket lines, without delay. Students can expect transportation to continue as normal between all three Sheridan campuses.
For more information and current updates on the possible strike, Sheridan has created an information website and FAQ updated on an ongoing basis here.
The Thursday Oct. 12 email to all students and faculty from Sheridan President and Vice Chancellor Mary Preece can be read online here.