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.