Sudbury college students taking part in #AssToClass demonstration Thursday

Jim Madder

Students affected by the Ontario college strike plan to stage a rally this week to urge an end to the labour dispute.

Canadore students will join their brethren from across Ontario for the #ASSTOCLASS movement.

"The colleges have forced a vote on an offer that is filled with concessions and still does nothing to address academic freedom", OPSEU says.

In a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne and other members of the Ontario legislature, the Sheridan Student Union (SSU), which represents students at campuses in Brampton and Mississauga, expressed "deep disappointment and frustration" at the state of negotiations between the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union, which represents the 12,000 striking college workers, and the College Employer Council (CEC) that has stretched almost four week.

Since Oct. 16, about 500,000 college students across Ontario have been missing classes amid the strike involving 12,000 college workers represented by the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), and the province's 24 colleges, which are represented by the College Employer Council (CEC).

"It's a huge kind of item that could possibly end the strike", he said. Help make our message loud and clear!

While it is important to stand by her professors, Mackenzie said, the strike has been challenging for many students in her program. "My concern is to get the students back to class". Whatever the government says, though, it's hard to imagine it letting the strike continue into next year - when students (and their more-likely-to-vote parents) will start paying attention to the provincial election campaign.

Centennial College student Lovey Reid told CP24 last week that the strike has been "very stressful" for students.

"Part of the mandate is if the sides don't agree we are going to pull our second semester tuition", Eckenswiler explains.

"I'm looking for the best ideas about how to make sure this reinvestment directly benefits students who have faced hardship", she said. Should students not return to class until Nov.27, then the fall semester would need to be extended into January 2018.

Pickets at Algonquin College say they're confident the deal will be defeated, forcing both parties back to the bargaining table.

Voting is taking place starting Tuesday and closing at 10 a.m. on Thursday. We've sacrificed our time, we've also sacrificed our wages, and we're committed to ensuring that we can provide a quality education for our students.

"I'm exhausted and I'm sad and I just want to be back in the classroom with my students", said Shauna Longmuir, semester co-ordinator for justice students.

Michael Kennedy, who is originally from Kensington, P.E.I., is a full-time faculty member at Sheridan College.

The first three weeks of the strike went by with nearly no negotiation between the two organizations, he said. "But we have a vote and the offer that's before us is a bad deal and I think we are going to say no to it". "It's going to be a real scramble to piece it together from this point on".

Although Niagara College's student union is not officially sanctioning that action, Huckla said students are welcome to participate if they choose. "You have to meet a certain threshold and we're not there".

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