College students launch lawsuit

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The meeting was called just hours after the instructors overwhelmingly rejected an offer from Ontario's colleges via a "forced vote".

Faculty members from colleges across the Ontario have voted to reject the latest contract offer, as recommended by their leadership at the Ontario Public Services Employees Union.

Voting is taking place starting Tuesday and closing at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Faculty from 24 Ontario colleges voted both online and by telephone on the final offer that if accepted, would have effectively ended the strike. "The faculty have the absolute right to vote and they've had an overwhelming vote against the offer that was there", Madder said.

College faculty have been voting online and by telephone on the final offer, which representatives from the College Employer Council said addressed numerous concerns brought forth by members of the striking faculty and the OPSEU.

The almost 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union walked off the job at the province's 24 colleges last month.

OPSEU President Smokey Thomas congratulated faculty for standing up for a better college system by rejecting the offer.

I am not the most knowledgeable student when it comes to strikes.

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The strike, which involves 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began October 15 and has left some 500,000 students out of class. Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews estimated Ontario's 24 colleges have saved about $5 million so far.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is quoted as saying the students have been in the middle of the strike for too long and it is not fair.

Matthews said the process of the vote must unfold, and back-to-work legislation is not yet on the table.

"There was movement. We worked diligently to come up with a resolution, and we could have ultimately been back in the classroom", she says.

A proposed class action lawsuit has officially begun as of November 14, 2017, and students are demanding a refund, backed by Charney Lawyers.

Students at Algonquin College and La Cite will find out today if they will be heading back to class soon.

As a next step, the college bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties.

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.

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