According to a press release from the College Employer Council (CEC) a Ministry of Labour mediator has called the two sides in the ongoing teachers strike back to the bargaining table. A meeting has been scheduled for Thursday (Nov. 2), as the Ontario college strike enters its third week.
According to the CEC, the decision came just hours after the council asked mediators to begin a new round of negotiations.
Sonia Del Missier, chair of the bargaining team, made a statement on behalf of the CEC.
“This strike has gone on for too long,” Del Missier said. “We can reach a settlement quickly and have classes start again early next week.”
The Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU) is expected to release a statement later today. OPSEU represents the 12,000 picketing professors, librarians, and instructors across Ontario – including those at Mohawk College.
The two sides have yet to see eye-to-eye on issues concerning faculty contracts, full-time to part-time faculty ratios and academic freedom.
Darryl Bedford, president of Local 110 of the OPSEU told the CBC the union has accepted the invitation to talks on Thursday. This comes as welcome news to the nearly half a million students across Ontario who have been out of class since Oct. 16.
Paul Armstrong, vice president of Mohawk College, sent an e-mail to students outlining the current plan for continuing the fall semester.
Armstrong said exams will no longer be completed by Dec. 15. Instead, students will likely be in class until Dec. 18. which would see exams taking place early January.
The plan also made mention of the possibility of evening and weekend classes for some programs, but there was some good news for students worried about losing their Christmas vacation.
“No classes will be scheduled between Christmas and New Year’s Day,” Armstrong said.
Mohawk College will also be extending parking permits and bus passes for students until the end of the semester – whenever that may be.
Ignite News will continue to cover the Ontario college strike as it affects the students of Mohawk College.
Any questions or concerns regarding the strike can be sent to: