Talks on hold as strike looms

Canadore pres­i­dent re­mains hope­ful

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - GORD YOUNG

Canadore Col­lege will re­main open, but classes will be sus­pended if fac­ulty hits the picket line Mon­day.

Canadore pres­i­dent Ge­orge Bur­ton was still hope­ful Thurs­day the two sides will re­turn to the bar­gain­ing ta­ble to ham­mer out an agree­ment be­fore Mon­day’s strike dead­line of 12:01 a.m. But no new talks had been sched­uled.

Should a strike oc­cur, Bur­ton con­firmed that – while the col­lege’s fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices will still be avail­able to stu­dents – classes will be can­celled.

He said the hope is that any labour dis­pute would be as short as pos­si­ble.

“No On­tario col­lege stu­dent has ever lost an aca­demic year be­cause of a strike,” said Bur­ton, adding that no strike has gone on for longer than four weeks.

A col­lege strike also would im­pact Nipiss­ing Univer­sity stu­dents en­rolled in the joint nurs­ing pro­gram.

Bur­ton said classes taught by Nipiss­ing fac­ulty would con­tinue while those spear­headed by the col­lege would be on hold dur­ing a strike.

He stressed that the col­lege can lengthen days and shorten breaks to com­pen­sate stu­dents for in­struc­tional time lost to a short strike.

“Again, the hope is that it doesn’t come to that,” said Bur­ton, not­ing Canadore has been com­mu­ni­cat­ing in­ter­nally over the past few days with its staff and stu­dents at both in­sti­tu­tions re­gard­ing the loom­ing strike dead­line and safety pro­to­cols should picket lines go up.

the On­tario Pub­lic Ser­vice em­ploy­ees union gave no­tice of the dead­line ear­lier this week af­ter talks with the col­lege em­ployer coun­cil broke down.

a re­lease from the cec late tues­day said the union re­jected the col­leges’ fi­nal of­fer of set­tle­ment, while an OPSeu re­lease sug­gested the cec walked away from the bar­gain­ing ta­ble.

the union, which rep­re­sents col­lege pro­fes­sors, in­struc­tors, coun­sel­lors and li­brar­i­ans, has said key is­sues in­clude the role of fac­ulty in aca­demic de­ci­sion-mak­ing, fair treat­ment for con­tract fac­ulty and im­proved con­ver­sion of con­tract fac­ulty to full-time po­si­tions.

the em­ployer coun­cil said its fi­nal of­fer in­cluded a 7.75 per cent salary in­crease over four years, im­proved con­ver­sion of con­tract fac­ulty to full-time po­si­tions, more fac­ulty au­ton­omy over per­sonal work­loads and en­hanced ben­e­fits.

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