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Ontario college faculty stage mass picket at Humber College

Tue, Nov 7: A day after negotiators for Ontario colleges broke off talks to force a vote on its final offer, the union representing faculty says it is time to get back to the bargaining table. As Sean O’Shea reports, OPSEU says members will reject the current offer and the management tactic threatens to wreck the school year.

Striking Ontario college faculty member came out in numbers for a mass picket outside of Humber College in Toronto on Wednesday to air their concerns over their employers’ latest contract offer.

“We feel we were close to an agreement, a negotiated agreement which is the right approach on Monday, and the college council decided to try to force a vote rather than to continue to negotiate and reach a settlement that would get the students back in the classroom in a much more speedy manner,” VP of the Humber College faculty union Stacey Merritt told Global News.

READ MORE: Union calls on striking Ontario college faculty to reject latest contract offer

Talks between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union — which represents the striking workers — and the College Employer Council broke down Monday.

The union said on Tuesday the colleges came back to the union Monday night with changes to the offer that they say “undermine” contract faculty and create “unlimited overtime,” among other measures they would not accept.

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The council asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on their offer.

READ MORE: Ontario colleges ask province to force striking faculty to vote on latest offer

Sonia Del Missier, who chairs the colleges’ bargaining team, says the board has ordered the faculty vote to be held from November 14th
to 16th.

The union is calling for its members to reject the offer.

The strike, which involves college professors, instructors, counselors, and librarians, began Oct. 15 and has left 500,000 full-time and part-time students out of class.

VIDEO: Deal or no deal? College strike nearing four weeks

Deal or no deal? College strike nearing four weeks
Deal or no deal? College strike nearing four weeks

—With files from The Canadian Press