College students are NOT bargaining chips

TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - As talks between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Compensation & Appointments Council (the Council) continue this week, Ontario's college students are taking a stand, says the College Student Alliance (CSA). Students are telling both sides that, "Students are NOT bargaining chips!"

"Students are concerned with the fact that, yet again, there is a threat of a province-wide faculty strike looming over their education," says Justin Fox, President of the College Student Alliance. "Students do not want a repeat of the 21 day strike of 2006, which nearly cost many their semester and graduation."

OPSEU and the Council began collectively bargaining back in early June of this year. After some six and a half months, including an imposed month-long recess, both sides managed to not reach agreement on a new collective agreement. Although on November 18th the Council imposed a set of new terms and conditions, which were applied retroactively to September 1st.

"Given the current state of the economy and the demand for college and skilled trades training; it is our hope that both sides will find a way to reach a new collective agreement before the end of the year," adds Fox. "But with OPSEU's strike vote scheduled for Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 that looks unlikely."

In an effort to speak directly to college presidents and members of the academic bargaining unit, the CSA and its member councils have distributed postcard letters expressing the concerns felt by students over the lack of a new collective agreement and the potential of another province-wide strike.

The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services organization which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and college/university students since 1967. The CSA currently represents 16 colleges and 24 student councils with over 120,000 full-time student members throughout the province.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE College Student Alliance

For further information: For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, College Student Alliance, (416) 340-1212, (416) 346-9951, advocacy@collegestudentalliance.ca; Justin Fox, President, College Student Alliance, (519) 972-2727 ext. 4524, (519) 566-7211, president@collegestudentalliance.ca

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