College strike called off in Oshawa, Oakville and Niagara Region

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March 18, 2022 at 12:28 am

A provincewide college teachers’ strike has benen averted at the literal 11th hour, no doubt to the relief of students on campuses in Oshawa, Oakville and the Niagara Region.

The strike that was to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday was called off late on Thursday night. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) college faculty bargaining team and the College Employer Council (CEC), which is negotiating for the province, announced they will enter binding interest arbitration to resolve all outstanding issues. The agreement, which brings an end to 12 months of negotiations, also means that all work-to-rule activity will cease.

As well, it appears that students at campus such as Sheridan College in Oakville, Durham College in Oshawa and Niagara College will not have to worry about their end-of-term marks behing held up. Earlier this week, OPSEU had expressed concern about members being locked out after submitting their marks to be processed. The claim was denied by the CEC.

About 16,000 full-time college teachers are represented by OPSEU. Binding interest arbitration was what the union had suggested to resolve the labour dispute, with the CEC suggesting another form of arbitration. But the former was what used in 2017 to resolve a five-week-long strike that was the longest in the history of Ontario’s public colleges.

Oshawa has already had one post-secondary education strike this year. Ontario Tech University faculty were off the job for two weeks in February.

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