Fan­shawe pick­ets de­fi­ant

No ap­par­ent sup­port on lo­cal picket line for col­leges’ of­fer, as fac­ulty start to vote

The London Free Press - - LOCAL - JENNIFER BIEMAN

From the front lines of a week­s­long strike there still was de­ter­mi­na­tion Tues­day, more than four weeks af­ter fac­ulty walked off the job.

On the Fan­shawe Col­lege picket line on the first day of a two-day vote on the col­leges’ final of­fer, fac­ulty in­ter­viewed by The Free Press re­sound­ingly re­jected the deal.

The Col­lege Em­ployer Coun­cil, rep­re­sent­ing On­tario’s com­mu­nity col­leges, trig­gered the final of­fer vote af­ter talks broke down last week, by­pass­ing the union bar­gain­ing team and tak­ing their pro­posed deal straight to strik­ers.

It’s about stand­ing up for how peo­ple are treated.” Striker Francesca Ranalli

The On­tario Labour Re­la­tions Board vote went on­line at 9 a.m. Tues­day and is run­ning un­til 10 a.m. Thurs­day.

A vote for the coun­cil’s final of­fer — tabled Nov. 6 af­ter talks with On­tario Pub­lic Sec­tor Em­ploy­ees Union (OSPEU) stalled — would end the weeks-long job ac­tion at the prov­ince’s 24 pub­lic col­leges.

A vote against the deal would keep fac­ulty on the picket line un­til an agree­ment is reached.

The union has urged mem­bers to re­ject the deal, say­ing it does not do enough to ad­dress the aca­demic free­dom and pre­car­i­ous work con­cerns, the two key is­sues that sent fac­ulty to the picket line.

The strike by 12,000 col­lege in­struc­tors, li­brar­i­ans and coun­sel­lors has can­celled classes for a half mil­lion stu­dents provincewide, in­clud­ing tens of thou­sands in South­west­ern On­tario.

DEREK RUTTAN/THE LON­DON FREE PRESS

Strik­ing fac­ulty and sup­port­ers picket Tues­day out­side Fan­shawe Col­lege. Weary from the weeks-long strike, pick­ets nonethe­less seem de­ter­mined to fight on.

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