Striking faculty members at 24 public colleges across Ontario have voted to reject a contract offer from the College Employer Council, meaning the strike — which has lasted almost five weeks — will continue.

Voting was conducted online and by phone, beginning at 9:00 am on November 14 and ending at 10:00 am on November 16. Voter turnout was high — 95 per cent of the 12,841 striking faculty voted. An overwhelming 86 per cent of faculty voted to reject the council’s offer.

The council approached the Ontario Labour Relations Board to force a vote, a one-time request that would have required at least 50 per cent vote in favour to approve the offer. OPSEU President Warren Thomas called the vote a “bully move by council.” He accused the council of overplaying their hand “when we were only a few steps away from getting a deal.”

There are 1,000 students in joint UTM-Sheridan programs and 170 in UTSC-Centennial programs that continue to be affected by the strike.

“This is a terrible result for the 500,000 students who remain out of class. I completely sympathize with our students who have been caught in this strike for more than four weeks,” Sonia Del Missier, chair of the council’s bargaining team, told the Toronto Star. “This strike has gone on for too long — and we still need to resolve it and get our students and faculty back in class.”

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