UPDATE: The Ontario government said it will be taking steps to end the strike and that students should be back to school by Monday.
ORIGINAL: Ontario college faculty voted to reject the colleges’ offer of settlement this week, meaning their province-wide strike still has no definite end.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said on its website Thursday that 86 per cent of faculty voted against accepting the colleges' latest offer, with a 95 per cent voter turnout.
If things aren’t resolved soon, with the window of time students have to salvage the semester closing, it could be the first time in Ontario’s history that college students lose an academic year due to a strike.
Niagara College, in a release on its website’s strike information page on Thursday, said, “we sympathize with our students and share their disappointment with this result.”
The college said it, along with other Ontario colleges, is working on setting up a relief fund for students.
“We will share the details of this fund with students when the (sic) return to class.”
But a relief fund might not be enough to satisfy students after missing so much class that a salvageable semester looks like a dim possibility.
On Tuesday, college students launched a class action lawsuit against 24 Ontario colleges over the strike, seeking tuition refunds for students who choose not to continue with their course and refunds equal to the time lost for students who plan to continue their studies.
The law firm Charney Lawyers, which is representing the Ontario students, has created a website for students to register as a complainant. The class action suit website can be found here.
Read what Niagara College student Lucia Salazar says about whether students should be suing the College here.