Last September when college students returned to school they did so under the threat of what would materialize into the largest faculty strike in Ontario history. The strike lasted 5 grueling weeks and soured faculty and administration relationships. The more than 500 000 students were only able to return to school after the Liberal government passed back to work legislation in a late night parliament session.
So what’s changed since then?
Well for one thing the Wynne government is no more.
Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives hold power in Queens Park and as the Tory story goes… they don’t like unions.
One of the first motions that the PC government passed was to dissolve the arbitrator appointed task force. The task force was formed to resolve outstanding issues affecting faculty and students. These issues range from custodial and facility maintenance to student mental health services, which currently find themselves overwhelmed with young people.
So how might this affect the school year?
Well rest assured students, there will not be any labour disruptions during the academic year. The union is intent on holding up its end of the bargain. They will, however, be filing a lawsuit against the government for allegedly infringing on their charter rights. The lawsuit is not the first filled by OPSEU for issues caused by the strike. The union would ideally like to see the task force reinstated and allowed to finish the work that it was appointed to do.