TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - With the threat of yet another province-wide academic strike looming over Ontario's college and college-university students, students are asking college presidents, full-time faculty, counselors, librarians and partial load teachers to take a step back and reflect on what another strike would mean for students, our colleges and the economy, says the College Student Alliance (CSA).
"Students do not support, nor are they in favour of, another academic strike," says Justin Fox, President of the College Student Alliance. "Students want both sides to get back to the table and reach a new collective agreement without a labour disruption that could cost Ontario college students' their semester or graduation."
With the full-time academic staff voting on whether or not to give the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) a strike mandate next Wednesday, January 13th and no sign that both sides are closer to a collective agreement, students, their parents and families are growing concerned that things are headed for a strike. An academic strike has only happened three times in the history of the college system; in 1984, 1989 and again in 2006.
"We are hoping that whatever the result of the strike vote, both sides will go back to the bargaining table and stay there until a new agreement is reached," adds Fox. "Too much is hanging in the balance for both sides not to continue to talk."
Given the current state of the economy, the growing need for higher education and training and all of the labour unrest of the last year the last thing students and Ontario needs is another strike. The colleges and their staff should be focused on educating and training the over half a million full- and part-time students.
"Both sides need to keep students uppermost in their negotiations going forward," says Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy. "After all isn't that why we are all here, for the students?"
The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services organization, which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and college-university students since 1975. The CSA currently represents 16 colleges and 24 student councils with over 120,000 full-time student members throughout the province.
SOURCE College Student Alliance
For further information: For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, College Student Alliance, C: (416) 346-9951, E: firstname.lastname@example.org; Justin Fox, President, College Student Alliance, T: (519) 972-2727, ext. 4524, E: email@example.com