Province announces ‘hardship fund’ for students caught in college strike

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Province announces 'hardship fund' for students caught in college strike

All colleges affected by the ongoing strike in Ontario will now be required to dedicate funding to students facing “financial hardships”, the province said on Friday.

“All students are struggling with continued uncertainty”, Matthews said in a released statement.

Ms. Matthews says Ontario’s 24 colleges will establish the dedicated fund with all the savings from the strike, made up of unpaid wages to striking staff and other savings from not operating the schools.

In a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne and other members of the Ontario legislature, the Sheridan Student Union (SSU), which represents students at campuses in Brampton and Mississauga, expressed “deep disappointment and frustration” at the state of negotiations between the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union, which represents the 12,000 striking college workers, and the College Employer Council (CEC) that has stretched nearly four week. “I have heard from them about hardships students are experiencing as a result of this strike”.

Faculty will vote November 14-16 on the College Employer Council’s latest offer.

Thomas said college presidents, represented by the College Employer Council, have pursued a cheap labour strategy for decades.

OPSEU, the union representing faculty, has urged its membership to reject the offer.

Students are organizing a rally to take place at all Ontario Colleges on the same days, at the same times each day with the goal of getting student voices heard during the ongoing college strike.

“This is an issue for Toronto to sort out”, said Fairley, who also declined to comment on how much the college is saving in not paying faculty salaries. Students are asked to delay making plans until an update is provided.

“We need to work out the details together, and we will do it quickly”, Matthews said. “They deserve our support”. I look forward to working directly with student leaders and colleges on how we can lessen the impact of the strike on students.

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