Despite the lack of an agreement between the union and the College Employer Council, which represents the institutions, a forced vote was ordered and held from Tuesday through Thursday morning on the colleges' final offer after it appealed to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
The move comes after the premier asked the College Employer Council, which represents the province's 24 colleges, and the union representing striking faculty to return to the bargaining table Thursday. "It was full of concessions and failed to address our concerns around fairness for faculty or education quality", said JP Hornick, chair of the faculty bargaining team for the OPSEU. "This was an unnecessary vote".
Local vote results were not immediately available but OPESU Local 613 president Frank Turco said he expects they will reflect the provincial results.
The head of the colleges' bargaining team said it will be looking to the provincially appointed mediator for direction now.
Post-secondary students at colleges across Ontario have been out of class as a result of the faculty strike for a month now, and now, some students are demanding compensation.
I am not the most knowledgeable student when it comes to strikes. She also had sharp words for both the colleges and the union and how they've allowed the strike to drag on. "Make no mistake about it".More news: Karnataka: Private doctors call off strike, protests to continue in Belagavi
"We are still concerned about our students and we miss them dearly", Turco said in an interview with The Sault Star.
Madder said he can hear the clock ticking to save the semester as the labour dispute extends towards the end of the fifth week.
"It doesn't matter how students feel, or how we have been impacted, that's deeply how it feels from this side of the table", she said. "We need to get them back immediately so that the semester can be saved". Updates are expected to come throughout the day about what will come next as the strike continues. Advanced Education Matthews has estimated Ontario's 24 colleges have saved about $5 million so far.
Meanwhile, students have filed a class action lawsuit alleging the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes.
Though the student intake has increased from 200 to 600, Foster said the program has the same number of full-time instructors as when she started teaching 27 years ago.