Strike Update Archive

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Strike Update

 

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017

Please see below for important updates:

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017

The College Employer Council has outlined the improvements that were included in its latest offer to OPSEU. Learn more by reading College Offer Improvements PDF.

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 

Faculty Vote Date Confirmed:
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) today ordered a faculty vote to be held from 9:00 AM on November 14 through 10:00 AM November 16.

Status of Bargaining:
The colleges remain at the table and are ready to receive an offer to end the strike. The faculty vote is another path to end the strike if bargaining is not successful.

All full-time & apprenticeship programs and in-class continuing education courses at Mohawk College remain on hold until the strike ends.

Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at 12:40 pm

  • OPSEU refuses to accept offer
  • Colleges call for OPSEU to suspend strike and restart classes
  • Labour Board to hold faculty vote on employer offer

Toronto, November 6, 2017: OPSEU has stonewalled the bargaining process and refused to accept an offer that addresses their priorities.

“OPSEU’s insistence on continuing the strike is a terrible outcome for students and faculty,” said Sonia Del Missier, Chair, Colleges’ Bargaining Team. “We addressed all faculty priorities and the offer that is available for faculty right now – on the table – should have ended this strike.”

The colleges listened to the union and addressed its priorities with solutions on:

  • Enhancing full-time employment opportunities for contract faculty
  • Increasing pay
  • Greater rights for contract faculty
  • Better job security for contract faculty
  • Academic freedom guarantees, and
  • Faster compliance with Bill 148

Furthermore, the government has agreed to establish a task force on the future of Ontario colleges that will look at various issues, including staffing models and the issue of precarious work.

Faculty Vote to Be Scheduled
Ontario colleges announced today that they have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the colleges’ offer.

“We need to end this strike and get students back in the classroom. We have asked the Labour Board to schedule a vote and let our faculty decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.

Colleges Ask OPSEU to Suspend Strike
The colleges have requested that the strike be suspended. This will allow faculty and students to return to class, while the vote is being organized. Suspending the strike will also allow voting at college campus locations so that the largest number of faculty are able to exercise their right to vote.

What Happens Next?
The Labour Board will determine the vote date. It is expected that the vote will take between five and ten days to organize. This length of time is why the union should suspend the strike and not harm students with another lost week of studies.

“An employer vote is never a preferred path, because a settlement should be reached at the bargaining table. But we have exhausted all efforts at the bargaining table and now our faculty will decide,” said Ms. Del Missier.

For more information:
David Scott
Phone: 416-786-1641
Email: dscott@dsconsulting.ca

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at 4:30 pm

Negotiations between Ontario's 24 public colleges and the union representing Ontario college faculty continue. Students will be notified as soon as the strike ends. Notification will go out by email, on the college website, social media and through Mohawk’s Security Alert Messenger text message service.

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Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, at 4 pm

Negotiations between the colleges and the union representing Ontario college faculty continue. There is nothing new to report at this time.

All Mohawk full-time and apprenticeship program and day and evening continuing education courses continue to be suspended. Check below for the latest FAQs related to the strike.

New FAQs added today:

  • Will registration for the Winter semester be delayed due to the strike?
  • What are the semester completion plans for Mohawk’s collaborative health sciences programs with Mohawk?
  • When will Continuing Education courses restart once the strike ends?

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

The College Employer Council has asked the provincially mediator to bring the colleges and the union representing Ontario college faculty back to the bargaining table on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. For more information please see the release from the Council.

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

All Mohawk full-time and apprenticeship program and day and evening continuing education courses continue to be suspended due to the province-wide faculty strike. Please see below for updated FAQS related to the strike. Questions or comments can be emailed to strike@mohawkcollege.ca 

 

Announcements

Tips for crossing a picket line at Mohawk College

Mohawk College respects the right of unionized employees to withdraw their services and lawfully picket while on a legal strike. Mohawk’s top priority is to ensure the safety of all students, staff and visitors when visiting our campus locations during a strike.

  • Picketing can occur in public places, for example on sidewalks or roads adjacent to the employer’s property.
  • Picketing cannot occur on private property. In addition, public thoroughfares cannot be blocked by picketers.

Safety is the number one consideration when crossing a picket line. Please consider the following tips when crossing:

  • Respect the picketers’ right to slow down both walking and driving traffic crossing the picket line.
  • Expect delays, especially if you are crossing the picket line in your car.
  • Walk or drive carefully through the picket line.
  • Do not jeopardize your own personal safety to cross the picket line.
  • Be calm and cautious.
  • Do not take comments or events personally.
  • Avoid confrontation or provocation when crossing the picket line.
  • Do not try to bully your way through the line.
  • Don’t react, argue or respond to rhetoric.
  • Recognize that stress levels are high.
  • Avoid a win/lose attitude.
  • Remember: it is not your job to negotiate with the picketers.

If there are incidents on the picket line, call the Human Resources Hotline 905-575-2453 for help.

Notice to motorists entering the Fennell and Stoney Creek campus locations:

  • To help alleviate traffic congestion, please approach the campus so that you can enter using a right turn. This will help prevent traffic from backing up due to vehicles waiting to enter from a left turn lane.
  • The college strongly recommends that staff and students use public transit whenever possible.

 

What does the strike mean for Mohawk students?

Answers to frequently asked questions.

When will Mohawk’s winter semester start?

The winter semester was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday, January 9th. Due to the strike, the fall semester is set to end on Friday, January 12th. We will have a revised start date for the winter semester once the strike ends. A long strike would further delay the start of the winter semester.

How will the strike affect my OSAP loan?

As the strike enters its fifth week, we now know the Fall semester will be extended and will carry over into early January. Classes will be scheduled the week of December 18th – 22nd and the first two weeks of January. Between Saturday, December 23rd and Monday, January 1st, our college will be closed and no classes will be held and no assignments will be due. For those students in the Mohawk/McMaster collaborative programs, these dates may not apply. Each program will communicate their unique plans once they are developed.

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has indicated that they are working on a plan to accommodate OSAP students and will be exploring options to make additional funding available. It has been noted that the government will work with the colleges to extend deadlines and consider any additional supports that may be required, however the details of the plan including how the funding will be allocated (loans and/or grants) have not been finalized. We are monitoring the situation very closely, and will inform you as soon as we have additional information.

While every student's situation is unique, we recognize that students are struggling with continued uncertainty, if you have any questions or require additional information, please continue to monitor your OSAP application (ontario.ca/osap) and be sure to regularly review the information on the Strike Update page on the Mohawk website.

There are messages on Facebook that say other colleges are cancelling the semester and starting over again in January. Does Mohawk plan to do this?

Those are fake messages making the rounds on social media. All colleges have plans to continue and complete the fall semester once the strike ends.

When are faculty voting on the colleges’ contract offer? Will this end the strike?

The colleges’ bargaining team has asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to have all 12,000 college faculty vote on the contract offer. That province-wide vote will happen from November 14th to November 16th.

  • If faculty vote in favour of the contract, the strike will end.
  • If faculty vote against the contract, the strike will continue.
  • The colleges’ bargaining team and the faculty union could reach an agreement and end the strike any time before the vote.

How soon will we be back in class once the strike ends?

Once the strike ends, a return to work protocol will be negotiated with faculty.

In all likelihood, students will return to classes anywhere from 48 to 72 hours after the strike ends.

Faculty will return ahead of students to revise their course outlines, schedules and dates for  assignments, projects, tests and exams will be due.

Students will then return to class and  follow the same schedule they had before the strike. On their first day of classes, each professor would provide the revised course outline and schedules.

So if the strike were to end on a Monday, professors would be back at work Tuesday and Wednesday and students would start classes on Thursday.

Will registration for the Winter semester be delayed due to the strike?

No. Currently, we do not foresee any changes to the posted important dates for Winter 2018.

  • Winter timetable registration dates will be posted as planned on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.
  • Timetable registration will open as planned on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.

Should this change, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Why is there a strike?

There is a province-wide strike because the bargaining team representing the province’s 12,000 faculty and the bargaining team representing Ontario’s 24 colleges were unable to negotiate a new collective agreement for faculty.

How long will the strike last?

We don’t know and will immediately notify students when the strike concludes.

How soon will classes resume once the strike ends?

At a minimum, it will take two to three days for Mohawk to get back up and running. Students will be notified on when to return to classes. Notification will go out by email, on the college website, social media and through Mohawk’s Security Alert Messenger text message service.

Will students lose their year?

No students have lost their year in the 50-year history of Ontario colleges. Mohawk will make sure that all students get the opportunity to complete their semester.

How will we complete our semester once the strike ends?

The fall semester was scheduled to end on Friday, December 15th. Due to the strike, we will now be having exams or classes between Monday, Dec. 18th and Friday, December 23rd. If classes are held that week, exams will be held in early January. No classes will be held between Christmas and New Year’s. Each program will communicate semester completion plans once the strike ends and faculty return to the college. Students who made travel or work plans prior to the strike starting on October 16th will be accommodated.

Do classes continue during a strike?

All full-time programs are suspended during a strike.

Does apprenticeship training continue during a strike?

All apprenticeship training will be suspended during a strike.

What will happen to apprenticeship training scheduled for Oct. 23?

All apprenticeship training is postponed during the strike. If the strike continues past Oct. 23, Mohawk will work with the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to reschedule the training. There may be new start and end dates for the training, with possible weekend or evening classes. Once the strike ends, Mohawk will communicate scheduling changes to apprentices.

What are the plans for completing apprenticeship training that's been postponed by the strike?

The curriculum for all apprenticeship training is managed and approved by the Ontario College of Trades. For all apprenticeship training, including Day Release, 8 week block or 10 week block offerings, apprentices are required to  complete all in class training and the associated learning outcomes. This is part of Mohawk's contractual obligations with the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). Mohawk will continue to work with the Ministry in developing options to meet the training needs of apprentices.

What happens to collaborative programs with McMaster University?

Courses taught by Mohawk faculty will be suspended. Courses taught by McMaster faculty will continue.

What are the semester completion plans for Mohawk’s collaborative health sciences programs with McMaster?

No changes have been made to the published exam schedules, timetables or semester completion dates at this time for the Mohawk-McMaster collaborative degree programs in nursing and medical radiation sciences. The strike continues and classes, labs, tutorials and assessments remain suspended for the Mohawk College faculty led courses.

Students will be notified should changes need to be made to these dates. In the event of revisions to the teaching or examination schedules, every effort will be made to accommodate students with previous travel or employment arrangements.

Once the strike is over, staff and faculty will develop completion plans to provide students with every opportunity to successfully complete their studies.

What happens to continuing education classes?

Evening and weekend in-person continuing education classes and workshops will be postponed during the strike. Most distance education and OntarioLearn classes will continue.

When will continuing education courses restart once the strike ends?

Continuing Education staff are working on completion plans for all of the in-person CE courses that were postponed due to the strike. Since all CE classes differ in terms of dates, durations and delivery methods, each course will have a unique completion plan. Once the strike is over, staff will be email students detailed completion plans. Questions or concerns about CE programs or courses can be emailed to the following addresses:  

Is the college closed during the strike?

All three campuses will remain open and services will continue to be available to students. The David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre, libraries and study areas will remain open for students.

Are labs closed during the strike?

Labs at the skilled trades campus in Stoney Creek, the motive power department at the Fennell campus and at the Aviation program at the Hamilton Airport are closed. Labs at the Fennell campus and the Institute for Applied Health Sciences at McMaster will remain open with technologists. No new teaching will take place in the labs during the strike.

What happens to exams and assignments during a strike?

Exams and assignments will be postponed.

What happens to co-ops, field placements and clinical placements?

Students will continue to work at co-ops and placements that do not require faculty supervision.  Placements that require faculty supervision will be suspended and those students will be notified.

What happens to student projects?

Projects that do not require faculty supervision or grading will continue. Projects that require faculty supervision or grading will be suspended.

Can professors be contacted during a strike?

Students are asked not to contact their faculty.

Why is my professor telling me to submit my assignments?

Your professor may have set an auto-reminder. Please disregard these reminders. All assignments, tests and exams are on hold and new due dates will be set when the strike ends.

Will Mohawk be refunding tuition?

Refunding tuition is a decision that would be made by the Province and then applied to all 24 colleges in Ontario. That decision has not been made at this time. Mohawk plans to give all students the opportunity to continue and complete their fall semester.

Will students still graduate this fall?

Yes, credentials will still be conferred on students. Credentials will be available for pick-up starting Oct. 20 in The Square at the Fennell campus. Credentials will then be mailed to the graduates’ current home address on Oct. 27. The Fall Convocation Ceremony will be rescheduled to March 8, 2018. Learn more about convocation.

Will students continue to work on campus?

Yes, students with on-campus jobs will continue working during the strike. Schedules and hours for students working for the Mohawk Students’ Association may change during the strike.

What happens to students who made travel plans before the strike was called and have exams rescheduled to when they are away?

Students will be accommodated for travel plans booked before Monday, Oct. 16. Students will be asked to provide confirmation of the booking.

Will there be picket lines at the college?

Yes, faculty have the right to picket outside the college. Mohawk and the local union have negotiated a picket line protocol to ensure everyone’s continued safety. 

Will HSR buses continue to run to the college?

Yes, transit service will continue. The transit terminal at the Fennell campus will be closed, with buses dropping off and picking up students at temporary stops on Fennell and West 5th. Visit HSR for detour information.

How will my OSAP application be impacted by this strike?

OSAP distribution is a priority for the ministry and for individual colleges during a strike. Production and distribution of part-time loan documents from the ministry to colleges is proceeding as usual. Please contact Mohawk’s Financial Assistance Office for more information about how to get your documents.