Faculty vote in favour of strike at Ontario colleges

Image copyright Southern Ontario Public Service Employees Union Image caption Jean Robitaille of the CUPE local that represents the faculty has vowed to continue fighting for a fair contract

Faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges have voted in favour of job action.

The faculty union says non-essential personnel will be called in by the college administrations to fill vacancies, delaying teaching programmes.

But Ontario Public Service Employees Union President Jean Robitaille says there will be no strike as this will only worsen the situation for students.

She has said the college administrators are making a bad situation worse.

“What they’re doing is saying they’re going to lock out all faculty. All the non-faculty … the students won’t be able to see any of the professors in the classroom,” Ms Robitaille said.

Image copyright Centre d’histoire de l’Onervement / CPAC Image caption Over a thousand protesters gathered outside the conference centre where the union was holding its election

Ms Robitaille also said that the union president will meet with the college presidents in two weeks to negotiate a new collective agreement.

What about the students?

One student told Al Jazeera that he was “very disappointed” in the result of the vote.

“Most students at two campuses of Ottawa are studying for admission into graduate school,” said Konrad Mirmans-Henri of the Centre d’histoire de l’Onervement, a group which supported the faculty’s campaign.

The last strike by faculty members from 27 college faculties was in 1996.

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