On Monday, October 23, the striking faculty at Georgian College will be joined by the Ontario New Democratic Youth (ONDY) led by Michael Johnston, the Co-chair of the local NDP youth wing. The Grey Bruce Labour Council also supports the OPSEU strike and has Chris Buckley coming to our area on Monday. He will stop by the Georgian picket line at 4pm.

The College Council in Ontario rejected OPSEU's contract proposal on Sunday, October 15 and the two have not yet returned to the table to resume talks. The faculty is asking for a 50/50 ratio of full time to part time instructors to ensure a stable, effective college system for students, while the vision of the College Council is one where part-time, contract workers continue to be exploited. The current system is one which relies on 81% part-time contracts with what the faculty considers unfair pay and very little job security.

Students have been making their voices heard all week, and have been present on the picket line at Georgian College in Owen Sound. On Thursday and Friday, more than twelve college students joined faculty in protest, and waved signs that argued they should receive money back from lost tuition. They have made it clear they don't blame one side over the other, but that they want negotiations to continue, so they can get back in the classroom. Faculty members want to be back in the classroom, too.

"No one here wants to be on strike," says Jesse Wilkinson, union steward and Lead Communications Professor at Georgian College, Owen Sound "but faculty are fighting for a contract that puts students first, and offers some job security for the part, time contract workers, who currently make up the majority of the Ontario college system."

Faculty will continue to picket out front of Georgian College on Monday, and are overwhelmed by the support of the community.

source: media release,  Local 350 under OPSEU




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