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24 Ontario colleges on strike

National Public Radio

Faculty at 24 Ontario colleges are on strike, affecting more than 500,000 students.

The College Employer Council, which bargains for the colleges, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union rejected its latest contract proposal.  The union had set a strike deadline at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Employer Council spokeswoman Sonia Del Missier says the strike is completely unnecessary. She says management was offering terms that were as good or better than recent settlements with teachers, college support staff, hospital professionals, and Ontario public servants.

The union presented a new offer Saturday night that called for the number of full time faculty to match the number of faculty members on contract. It also called for improvements in job security and for faculty to have a stronger voice in academic decision making.

The College Employer Council had complained last week that union demands for staffing ratios and wage increases would add more than $1 billion in costs over three years.

The strike involves more than 12,000 professors, instructors, counselors and librarians.

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