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Community College Students Plan Walk-Out Ahead Of Instructors’ Strike

Students at community colleges across the province are planning to walk out of the classroom on Tuesday in protest against an upcoming strike by their instructors.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union will seek a strike mandate on Wednesday and if they are successful, the job action could shut down the schools.

Wages and workload are two key issues for the 9,000 affected teachers. The union has said they will wait at least a month before going on strike, and are eager to get back to the bargaining table with their employers.

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.

There are 24 community colleges in the province, with an enrollment of about 500,000 students.

The walk-out scheduled for Tuesday is expected to last just one hour and will take place at noon.

Last year, a strike at York University kept nearly 50,000 students out of the classroom for 12 weeks and the school was left with what Premier Dalton McGuinty called “a black eye.”

Ontario College Students Against A Strike (Facebook group)