Contingency plan in place at St. Clair College due to strike
St. Clair College is letting students know about a contingency plan that is in place as the strike enters its fourth week.
The strike at Ontario colleges, which involves 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began Oct. 15.
More than 330 staff members at St. Clair in Windsor and Chatham are on the picket lines, affecting more than 10,000 students.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has ordered a faculty vote to be held from 9 a.m. on Tuesday Nov. 14 through 10 a.m. on Thursday Nov. 16. The vote will be conducted by electronic ballot and ensure that the maximum number of faculty can exercise their right to vote.
Here are some of the date changes at St. Clair as part of its contingency plan:
• The college’s drop date (without academic penalty) will be moved from Nov. 14 to a proposed date of Dec. 11.
• Classes will be extended to Dec. 22.
• The Holiday Break will be from Dec. 25 - Jan. 1. The college will be open on Dec. 27 - 30 to access services (e.g. Library, Tutoring and Open Computer Labs).
• Fall classes will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
• Exams will be scheduled in Jan. 2018 (actual week to be determined).
• The January semester will be delayed accordingly but total semester duration will be 14 weeks (includes March Break).
• March Break (March 12 - March 16) will continue as planned, with the exception of the Collaborative Nursing program, which is scheduled Feb. 19 - Feb. 23.
College officials say due to changes to the academic calendar, contingency plans will support students who have prior travel commitments. The contingency plans will be made available once the work stoppage has concluded.
OPSEU says it thought a deal was close when negotiations continued over the weekend. That was until the College Employer Council on Monday called on staff to vote on a final offer.
The Council says its offer addresses all union concerns, but OPSEU claims the issue of academic freedom is not resolved.
Balloting information for next week’s vote will be sent directly to faculty in the coming days.
“We are still over a week away from the vote results being known and we again request that the strike be suspended for the sake of 500,000 students. The suspension will allow faculty and students to return to class and not lose another week of classes,” said Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team.
“The colleges remain at the table, but we can’t just rely on bargaining to resolve the strike – and our students can’t wait. The faculty vote is another path to end the strike if bargaining is not successful,” said Del Missier.
In the meantime, students from St. Clair College are holding a rally on Wednesday to call for an end to the strike.