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Ontario College faculties hold strike vote today… (I’ve dodged a bullet)

Although I’ve deliberately stopped posting for an extended period of time due a long list of personal issues, I couldn’t avoiding commenting on this ongoing news item affecting thousands of fellow students.

At around 5:00 pm today, faculty members from twenty-four Ontario colleges will have concluded a vote to decide if they will go on strike.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents the faculty, has claimed that the strike is not a contract vote. However many reports have indicated, including OPSEU’s website, that the strike is primarily about their collective bargaining agreement, which to me translates as dealing with money issues and salary (of course in addition to not accepting unilaterally imposed terms and conditions of employment and all that other union talk/demand.)

The Canadian Press has reported that “the union is seeking a 2.5 per cent pay increase in each year of a three-year contract while the colleges are offering 1.75 per cent in each of the first two years and two per cent in the last two years of a four-year deal.”

As of this month, I was a full-time student at Centennial College, enrolled in the joint journalism program with the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC). Even though the strike won’t affect me since I’m back at UTSC and not taking any Centennial courses this semester (We’ll see if I have to take more next Fall…), I can’t help but have sympathy for the some 200,000 students who could be in limbo as early as February of the strike vote passes.

Greg Hamara, media liason for the union, and told Maclean’s.ca’s On Campus “he expects the results of the vote to be in  before 8:00pm.”

We’ll be waiting…

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