OPSEU Strike Struck Student’s Rally in Front of MPP Office in Cornwall by Seamus James 110317

Cornwall Ontario – Although the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) consistently declared that the College Employer Council (CEC) was unwilling to come to the bargaining table, it was the CEC reportedly, that asked the Government to bring OPSEU back to the table.

Are there two sides to the college strike standoff?

…More like three sides, as shown by Thursday’s student rally at Queen’s Park demanding that negotiations resume, with Government intervention if necessary – locally, Cornwall students from St. Lawrence College rallied outside the Cornwall office of Jim McDonnell MPP (Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry).

The students from a cross section of St. Lawrence College Cornwall programs, rallied to voice their own issues with this dispute.

Chief among the grievances are that;

–       the wider education plans of students have been thrown into question;

–       there are climbing dollar costs (ranging from prolonged housing and extending visas for foreign students, to budget shortfalls as financial aid is held back from students and their families);

–       clinical (on-the-job) clinics that are bought and paid for, haven’t been delivered

–       work placements (needed for credits) that also assist community agencies and businesses have been cancelled (40+ in the Social Service Worker program alone);

–       mounting stress and disruptions to family life are unwelcome.

In the stead of MPP Jim McDonnell, who was unavailable, his Executive Assistant Marilyn McMahon-Ayerst came out to meet the rallying students, and listen to their grievances.

Coincidental to the Ontario Community College student rallies, the Ontario Ministry of Labour mediator has called the parties in the ongoing college teacher’s labour dispute back to the bargaining table. The parties returned to the table today, November 2, 2017.


  1. I see two-faced Elaine MacDonald is up to her old tricks again.

  2. Author

    How so Hugger?

  3. She supports the OPSEU members while at the same time, as a member of city council, is trying to get city staff to accept a wage freeze. She has never been a favourite of mine. She’s always trying to see what she can gain out of a situation without looking at how it affects others. And not knowing the definition of conflict of interest doesn’t help her.

  4. Exactly like that. Two-faced and in conflict of interest and she refuses to acknowledge it or accept it. The municipal election can’t come soon enough. She is part of the problem here; a politician who sees nothing wrong in what she does. She justifies her actions by claiming labour board actions Arrggghhhh!!!!!

  5. Perhaps in the future the light will go on and people will agree that these negotiations should occur during the summer months. When that happens students and others will no longer be held ransom to the process. However no one should hold their breath to the use of common sense, this is Canada.

  6. Don’t vote for Carolyne Hebert either – she is an opportunist to the hilt and much worse than Elaine since Elaine is her teacher at being mighty crooked and evil.

  7. This article is one of very few that discuss how the students (and parents) are paying for this strike. OPSEU demands only serve the faculty, part-time and full-time employed faculty who lethargically walk in a circle accomplishing nothing, while students rack up debt. Students who will likely lose employment opportunities during Christmas break, Reading Week and Summer Holidays.

  8. Author

    And yet OPSEU boycotts this newspaper even though we have the most influence and audience in this important market…..

  9. Yesterday I was at Billings Bridge with my daughter and there was a lady with whom we met who teaches in a private school and teachers in the private schools make a great deal less money than in the public sector. I was in shock – I thought that they all received $100K and up with all the perks that only the high ups in the government receive. About employment it is like winning the lottery.

  10. Teachers making $100k+?? I’d hazard to guess those are very few and far between, as my late dad would say.

  11. Yesterday I was reading about foreign students here in Ottawa attending Algonquin College and they are the most affected. The rents, the food, the added costs of college, the promise of jobs back home for January, missing Christmas with family and the list goes on and on. This is insane. The best teacher is yourselved and learn all you can from books and on line. This is insane.

  12. Jamie you have the best paper in SD&G and I mean that. You get news on CFN that is honest and straight forward and people can pitch in their opinions as well. You are Number 1 Jamie and that is the honest to Gods truth. If I was living in Cornwall my list of people in council would be mighty short.

  13. Hugger teachers sure do make that kind of money – $100K/year. This is no joke. I remember when we lived in Cornwall a man that we know about married a teacher and she taught special education in an elementary school in Cornwall and that was her salary back then. Teachers make very good money here in Canada but it is the other way around in the US. Teachers are mighty greedy.

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