'Teachers are being greedy': College students react to faculty's decision to reject deal
Premier tabled back to work legislation Thursday night and urged both sides to support it
Students protesting the ongoing faculty strike at St. Clair College in hopes of saving their semesters had some harsh words for their teachers after the employees voted against a deal Thursday.
"I feel the teachers are being greedy," said Krista Seager. "They've gotten most of what they want … sometimes you have to make an agreement and let one or two things go."
The second-year nursing student lives on campus, meaning during the five-week strike "a lot of my money is going to nothing."
Listen to Seager describe the feelings of St. Clair students as the strike stretches on.
Striking St. Clair faculty along the picket line cheered their membership's 86 per cent vote in favour of turning down the deal.
Sports and Recreation teacher Kevin Corriveau said he was "very happy" with what he called a "resounding no-vote against a forced offer."
He said staff all want to be back in the classroom doing "what we do best," but that members felt some of the concerns still aren't being met.
Betty Sylvain and Saurav Katara have been walking a picket of their own for the past few weeks. The students are protesting the work stoppage many feel is threatening their future.
Katara, an international student, was planning to wrap up his studies in December and had already purchased plane tickets for flights he now won't be able to make.
"The moment I saw the news the contract was rejected, I was one of the unhappiest people," he said. "Who is going to pay for my tickets and everything?"
Sylvain said the past few weeks have left students feeling alone.
"No one is fighting for us — that's why we're out on the side of the road in the cold," she said, adding at this point most students are looking for a fresh start.
"If you lose 40 per cent of something, I don't know how they're going to patch it up."
Premier tables back to work legislation
On Thursday evening Premier Kathleen Wynne met with both sides of the labour dispute, but said they could not come to an agreement.
"We are immediately tabling legislation that would end the dispute and return Ontario college students to the classroom where they belong," she wrote in a statement. "Under the proposed legislation that we're introducing today, all outstanding issues would be referred to binding mediation-arbitration."
The premier urged both parties to support the legislation so students and faculty can "return to class Monday morning."