Colleges strike: Fanshawe faculty want to keep up pressure as strike drags on

Nine days into the provincewide stalemate that’s forced more than 12,000 instructors to the picket line, Fanshawe College’s striking faculty are taking their fight uptown.

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local110 — which represents about 800 striking instructors at Fanshawe — is planning a Victoria Park rally Thursday as the strike drags into the double digits and the issues at the core of the job action remain unresolved - informed lfpress.com.

“We just have to do what we have to do,” said Darryl Bedford, an information technology instructor at Fanshawe and OPSEU bargaining team member. “There’s still a big need to keep the pressure on.”

The union and its supporters will meet in the park at 11:30 a.m. and walk to London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews office, who’s also the minister of advanced education and skills development.

Thursday’s London march comes a day after a planned rally outside Matthews’ Queen’s Park post, an event OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas is expected to attend.

Bedford said the union wants to get back to the bargaining table and is willing to negotiate a deal that works for everyone.

“We’re open to discussing our position,” he said, “but if you’re not even at the table, how can we even have that discussion?”

A representative from the College Employer Council said Monday the provincial mediator assigned to the case will call both parties back to negotiations when there’s a reasonable chance a deal can be brokered. That just hasn’t happened yet, he said.

Job security is a top concern for OPSEU, which is asking colleges to employ the same number of full-time instructors as the more precarious — and often lower-paid — contract positions.

Not a surprising demand in this day and age, said one observer.

“There’s two opposite forces here. One is on the part of labour to secure more job security and stability,” said Nelson Wiseman, political scientist at the University of Toronto. “The other is the way our economy is evolving, where employers are moving toward the gig economy.”

Wiseman said if both sides can’t reconcile these large macro trends and come to some kind of agreement within seven to eight weeks, it’s likely the province will legislate faculty back to work.

“The government will step in if there’s enough pressure,” he said.

It’s happened before, most recently for OPSEU’s 1984 college faculty strike, one chapter in a long ­history of post-secondary job action, from support services strikes to faculty walkouts.

In October 1984, college faculty represented by OPSEU walked off the job and were legislated back to work after 18 school days.

College faculty hit the picket lines again five years later, a strike that pushed students out of class for 20 days in 1989.

In March 2006, 8,900 college instructors and librarians spent 18days on the picket line before agreeing to binding arbitration.

Though there’s no telling how long OPSEU’s fourth college faculty strike will last, labour relations researcher Johanna Weststar said the best outcome will come at the bargaining table.

“An arbitration award is not where we’re going to see a fix to this issue ... It ends the issue in that moment, but it doesn’t make that problem go away,” said Weststar, a professor in the department of management and organizational studies at Western University.

“Arbitrators don’t usually come in and impose something super ­creative, they usually impose kind of the status quo because they’re trying to be balanced.”

College faculty across Ontario hit the picket line Oct.16, cancelling classes for more than a half million students, including tens of thousands in Southwestern Ontario at Fanshawe’s satellite campuses in Woodstock, St. Thomas and Simcoe, Lambton College in Sarnia, St. Clair College in Windsor and its Chatham campus.

Read also other London news here.

Collegesstrike London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
8 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
Council sidestepped a loaded decision about ending city hall regulation of the number of taxi licences in London, punting the controversial proposal back to staff on Tuesday night. The direction to city staff? Talk to the taxi industry. Again. It’s the latest chapter in the never-ending saga over London’s bylaw governing taxis, limousines and private ride-hailing companies like Uber. VEHICLE FOR HIRE BYLAW Staff will bring a bylaw back to the community and...
Incidents
A dog owner claims her pet was kicked to death by a teenager in a “disgusting” attack at an east London park. Pomeranian puppy Scout was set upon by thugs while being walked in Raphael Park in Romford , owner Samantha Winfield said - writes standard.co.uk She has launched a Facebook campaign to track down the culprit and police are investigating the incident, which happened at about 3pm on Sunday. “My partner walked my two Pomeranian puppies in Raphael Par...
Society
A teenage girl was raped in broad daylight in an east London park, police have said. The Met's child abuse and sexual offences command is investigating the attack, which happened in West Ham Park on Tuesday. The female victim was attacked by a man close to the entrance opposite FairlandRoad, Scotland Yard said. It happened at about 4pm. No arrests have yet been made. West Ham Park, which dates back to the 16th century,is run by the City of London Corporati...
Society
Armed police would have needed “luck” to be in the right place to tackle an intruder at Parliament, the Westminster terror attack inquest heard today. Khalid Masood, 52, rushed into the Parliamentary grounds and stabbed Pc Keith Palmer to death having mown down and killed four pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge. The inquest has heard armed police patrolling Parliament had been in-structed to prioritise the safety of ministers and MPs over polic...
Society
A car thief who was filmed deliberately driving at a group of cyclists has admitted a string of offences. Shane Seymour, 25, of Southwark, south London, drove at the cyclists on Clapham Road, Clapham, during the morning rush hour of 1 August. Footage on social media showed a black Audi with fake number plates repeatedly accelerating towards the cyclists. Seymour pleaded guilty to the theft of a car, driving while disqualified and dangerous driving. He appe...
Incidents
A female pedestrian is fighting for life after being hit by a lorry in east London , police said. Officers raced to the scene, on Stamford Hill, in Hackney , at about 4.25am on Thursday morning. The woman has been rushed to hospital, officers said, and remains in a critical condition. Police said the driver of the lorrystopped at the scene. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed there have been no arrests. Following the crash, Stamford Hill was...
Society
London saw a massive spike in drug overdoses this summer, with its overdose-prevention site saving the lives of three times as many people last month as in the six months previous, says the executive director of the organization that hosts the site. With only two of the four front-running London mayoral candidates supporting a permanent downtown supervised drug consumption site, the need for intervention was driven home when 23 users were “reversed” from d...
Society
The PM will announce £2bn to build new homes in England, in a attempt to remove the "stigma" of social housing. Under the plan, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on new projects, starting from 2022. Labour said the announcement fell "far short" of what was needed for the social housing sector. BBC home editor Mark Easton said the government hopes the money will allow local authorities and hous...
Society
Tackling serious violence in London is to be treated as a public health issue, the city's mayor has said. Sadiq Khan has set up a Violence Reduction Unit to include public health staff, police and local government, with £500,000 in initial funding. He said it "will not deliver results overnight", but focus on diverting young people away from crime. There have been 100 homicides in the city this year, with another man stabbed to death on Tuesday night . A t...