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Strike Looming At Ontario Colleges

College students may get an unwanted extended Christmas break if teachers decide to strike in January.

Negotiations with the province’s 9,000 community college teachers at 24 campuses have reached an impasse and no new talks have been scheduled. The instructors are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas insists his team has come forward with a modified bargaining position twice in the last two weeks, but the colleges are insisting the union withdraw 69 demands.

The union is asking for a wage increase of 7.5 per cent over three years, which it claims is less than what the colleges offered during earlier negotiations.

Colleges Ontario said it will exercise its new right to impose a new contract without negotiations. OPSEU said it will hold a strike vote on January 13.