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Strike woes only the beginning of tough road ahead for students

Last Updated Nov 13, 2017 at 11:03 pm EDT

The faculty vote that may end the five-week long Ontario colleges strike is scheduled to begin Tuesday, but students say this is only the beginning of the tough road they face.

They’ll soon be left picking up the pieces of the remainder of their educational year.

If the offer is accepted, the College Employer Council says 500,000 students affected by the strike, now in its fifth week, could be back in the classroom as early as next week.

But getting back to class doesn’t necessarily mean getting back on track. Many students are finding it hard to cope with the financial and mental stress caused by the strike.

Eduard Deych, an international student from Ukraine says his parents work overtime back home so he can afford the education in Canada, adding strain on the entire family.

“This money is not actually my money,” he said. “It’s my parents money, and they work hard back home and our salaries are not comparable to salaries in Canada … the loss, it’s really frustrating.”

Along with the financial burden, many students are in academic limbo, not knowing if they can take Christmas and reading break vacations.

“It’s really stressful,” says Brittany Monaco. “We don’t know when we’ll go back at all, and it’s really hard.”

The strike is now on day 29; the longest the province has seen.