The government has ordered Ontario’s colleges to create a special fund – to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship – because of a faculty strike that has cancelled classes for a month.
Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews says she’s hearing from students who are worried about how to pay for unexpected costs that could result from the strike – such as having to pay additional rent or cancelling their travel plans.
Matthews says Ontario’s 24 colleges will establish the dedicated fund with all the savings from the strike – the unpaid wages to striking staff – and other savings from not operating the schools.
The Labour Relations Board has set dates for a vote on the College Employer Council’s final offer to striking faculty – and balloting will take place online from November 14 – 16.
OPSEU – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union – represents 12,000 striking college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians – and has called on its members to reject the offer.