Canada College students demand refund amid faculty strike

14:22  08 november  2017
14:22  08 november  2017 Source:

Colleges, union head back to bargaining table

  Colleges, union head back to bargaining table Colleges, union head back to bargaining tableA provincially appointed mediator asked the parties to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Betty Sylvain, a St. Clair College student , is worried about her education as the faculty strike carries on with no end in sight. (Jason Viau/CBC). College students in Windsor are demanding the schooling they paid for, not a "butchered education."

Ontario students are turning up the heat on negotiations between the province's 24 public colleges and the union representing their faculty . #wepaytolearn is a campaign demanding daily student tuition refund for every day that a strike takes place.

College students demand refund amid faculty strike© Jason Viau/CBC College students demand refund amid faculty strike

College students in Windsor are demanding the schooling they paid for, not a "butchered education."

A group of students, who have been out of class since Oct. 16, have planned a rally of their own Tuesday alongside their striking teachers at the main campus of St. Clair College. Many of them are fed up with the dispute and unhappy with the contingency plan.

  • St. Clair College shortens holiday break in response to staff strike

"We can't stand for that," said Betty Sylvain, a first year accounting student at St. Clair College. "All we ask for is we pay for 15 weeks and we'd like to get what we paid for."

Ontario colleges ask faculty to suspend four-week strike

  Ontario colleges ask faculty to suspend four-week strike Ontario colleges ask faculty to suspend four-week strike Ontario’s colleges are asking faculty to “suspend” their weeks-long strike while appealing to the province’s labour relations board to arrange a direct vote on their latest offer.The College Employer Council (CEC) accused the union of having “stonewalled” recently renewed negotiations and said it has addressed concerns by “enhancing full-time employment opportunities,” boosting academic freedom, increasing pay and job security.

College students demand refunds amid faculty strike . College students want answers about how strike will affect their futures.

But in addition to the faltering facilities provided to them, the MFA students are frustrated by the inaccessibility of full-time faculty . Many of the students who recently confronted the dean and provost to demand refunds are included in the 2018 Visual Arts MFA thesis exhibition, on view at

As a single mother who uses student loans to pay tuition, she feels cheated in many ways.

"I'm [putting myself in debt] to sit at home while you guys can't figure it out and that is unacceptable," said Sylvain.

Students unhappy with contingency plan

Since her five-year-old son often gets the same holiday breaks as she does, Sylvain is angered by St. Clair College's contingency plan announced on Monday. It means a shortened holiday break spanning from Dec. 25 until Jan. 1, instead of time off from Dec. 15 to January 8.

"Now it's putting everything up in the air," said Sylvain. "When I go back to school on January 2, I will have to put him in daycare."

As the strike heads into its fourth week with no end in sight, the contingency plan also means a crammed timeline for student learning. Fall classes will bleed into the winter semester, with those exams expected to happen in the first month of 2018.

'Hardship fund' announced for students caught in college strike

  'Hardship fund' announced for students caught in college strike Ontario's Liberal government announced Friday it will help students struggling financially due to the faculty strike at community colleges. Advanced Education and Skills Development Minister Deb Matthews has instructed colleges to establish funds out of the savings they accrue from not paying their faculty to support students finding themselves in financial hardship.“All students are struggling with continued uncertainty,” Matthews said in a released statement.“They are worried about how to pay for unexpected costs like additional rent or cancelling long-standing travel plans to be home with family.

Half a million Ontario college students have the option of walking away from a now-condensed fall semester with a full tuition refund in the aftermath of a five-week-long faculty strike .

Students demand a tuition refund for each day missed in case of an Ontario college strike . College faculty have declared that they will be on strike as of October 16th, 2017 if a deal is not reached.

College asks students to be patient

St. Clair College is asking students to be patient as the bargaining process plays out.

  • Mediator calls parties in Ontario college strike back to bargaining table

"There's all sides to this," said St. Clair College VP of communications John Fairley. "Our students are our number one focus here at St. Clair College and we know our faculty care about our students, administration cares about our students."

Even parents are getting involved in the dispute.

Tony Procopio has a son enrolled in St. Clair College's travel and tourism program. Tuition was paid using money set aside many years ago earmarked for his son's education.

Procopio describes it as a bit of a "crisis in the pocketbook" for himself, but more of a vacation for his young son. He believes students should be getting some sort of refund for missed class time.

"Which is money that's going into the college's pocket for doing nothing. Our kids are on the street, the teachers are on the street not being paid and the college has got our money."

500,000 students 'caught in the crossfire' during Ontario college strike

  500,000 students 'caught in the crossfire' during Ontario college strike From mental health issues to concerns about graduation, many students say they're frustrated amid the strike involving 12,000 college workers. "Those of us with anxiety and depression often cope by being busy," said the 24-year-old.

'Absolutely no way': Striking college faculty discuss offer from College Employer Council. A precarious professor's view as college strike continues. College students demand refunds amid faculty strike .

Ontario college students worried over condensed semester as 5-week strike ends. Ontario college faculty head back to work after legislation ends 5-week strike . Ontario college students demand tuition refund should strike occur.

Tuition refund?

But Fairley said it's not as simple as St. Clair College cutting thousands of cheques. The Ministry of Education handles the money and would have to make that decision.

"It would not be at our level that we would do anything," said Fairley.

To fix the problem in the future, Procopio is proposing an idea. He believes students should pay half of their tuition upfront and the remainder after curses are complete.

"That would give them lots of incentive to come back to the table," said Procopio.

Ontario Legislature set for weekend debate on bill to end college strike .
The Ontario Liberal government's second attempt to push through legislation to end the province's college strike on Friday did not get unanimous consent, but the bill was introduced and will be debated starting on Saturday. The NDP again held up the back-to-work legislation that would see roughly 500,000 students to return to class next weekThe legislature will meet for a special sitting at 1 p.m. ET Saturday for debate. This means proceedings will go through the normal stages of readings and debate before a final vote is taken, likely later in the weekend.

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