CORNWALL, Ontario – Ontario’s Liberal government passed back to work legislation on Sunday, Nov. 19.
The strike between the College Employers Council (CEC) and the union representing college faculty workers the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has been ongoing since Oct. 16 and has left 500, 000 college students in Ontario out of class.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne introduced back to work legislation on Thursday, Nov. 16 after both sides reached an impasse in negotiations and refused to seek binding arbitration.
“Under the proposed legislation that we’re introducing today, all outstanding issues would be referred to binding mediation-arbitration,” the Premier said in a written statement on Thursday.
Wynne had hoped to pass the legislation sooner, but was blocked due to lack of unanimous support in the legislature, particularly from the NDP who refused to allow the bill to be rushed through.
With the bill’s passage on Sunday, St. Lawrence College President Glenn Vollebregt announced on Twitter that all St. Lawrence College faculty would be back to work on Monday, Nov. 20 with their students following them the next day.