A province-wide strike among Ontario public college faculty has shut down classes and apprenticeship programs at Mohawk College in Hamilton and Niagara College.

Negotiations between their union and the group representing management failed Sunday evening, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said.

The union made a "final offer" Saturday that called for the number of full-time faculty to match the number of faculty members on contract.

Accepting the union's demands would add more than $250 million to annual costs, the College Employer Council said in a statement, eliminating thousands of contract faculty jobs and "jeopardizing the quality of college programs."

The OPSEU chapter representing Mohawk faculty, Local 240, said because the deal wasn't taken, the "final offer is no longer on the table." 

Mohawk College

Mohawk College faculty are on strike Monday morning. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

In a bulletin to members, Local 240 said it expects the strike could last at least a week. 

"It will be at least a week before a mediator contacts both sides to see if there has been any movement," the bulletin said. "We will only go back to the table if the College Council shows that they are willing to move."

Mohawk closures: Picket lines at all 3 campuses

On Monday morning, Mohawk communications director Jay Robb said in a statement that all full-time programs, all apprenticeships, mid-terms, assignments and tests are on hold during the strike. 

Classes taught online or by McMaster faculty in partnership with Mohawk will continue, Robb said. Practical placements like co-ops and clinical rotations continue, unless they were being supervised by faculty. 

In-person evening and weekend continuing ed classes will be postponed during the faculty strike.

Campuses are open but there are expected to be delays entering and leaving the campus, because of picket lines planned at all three Mohawk campuses.

"Mohawk is developing contingency plans so all students will have the opportunity to complete their semester once the strike ends," Robb said. "No student in an Ontario college has ever lost their year due to a strike."

Bus service by HSR will use alternate stops during the strike rather than crossing the picket line. 

Niagara College closures

Similarly, Niagara College announced Monday that all academic and apprenticeship programs are suspended.

"Niagara College's main concern and key priority continues to be the education of our students," a statement on the college's "Strike Info" page reads. 

"We recognize that this is a stressful time for students, and assure you that we will do everything possible to ensure that your academic program of study will be completed."

College facilities and services are open, as are student residences.

With files from CBC Toronto, Canadian Press