The Ontario College Strike is happening right now. But what is it about? Here is all you need to know.
What is the Ontario College Strike?
The main focus of the Ontario College strike is on job security and academic freedom. Nearly 81 percent of College faculty are contract workers, and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) wishes to bring this number to 50 percent full-timers and 50 percent contracted staff. They are also requesting a 7.75 percent raise increase over a 4 year span. If awarded, this could cost over $250 million. Over 12,000 college faculty members are currently striking in Ontario.
— Sarah Battersby (@SarahBatdrive) November 2, 2017
How Long Could This Last?
At the moment, the time frame for this strike is uncertain. Some sources predict this could be a lengthy strike and many students won’t be happy about the news. In the past, Ontario College Faculty strikes lasted anywhere from 18 days in 2006 to 28 days in 1989.
These strikes also caused exams to be deferred or cancelled, breaks to be reduced and semesters to be extended. So far the Ontario College strike took over 2 weeks with no scheduled meetings anytime soon.
How Does This Affect Students?
The Ontario College Strike affects nearly 500,000 students, 40,000 of which are international students. Many of these students wish to be refunded for their College Tuition due to this strike impacting their studies.
At the moment, all on-campus classes are on hold while many online offerings are still continuing as per usual. Apprenticeships have also stopped. Students have concerns that their semesters could extend greatly or stop altogether, resulting in at least one semester or even one year wait time until they are able to continue, pushing the prospects of earning a postgraduate degree further back than most would like.
— Nida (@nida_zafar) October 31, 2017
Two students from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario began a petition to demand a refund for their tuition after the strike began. Their statement is that the tuition fees they pay to attend post-secondary schooling pays for the professors salaries, even coining the hashtag #WePayToLearn. The petition requests a daily refund for students in the event of a strike of approximately $40.00 per day if there are no classes.