By Barry Ellsworth
The Canadian college professor strike that has seen 500,000 students miss five weeks of classes will end Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday, she’s introducing back-to-work legislation.
The premier of Canada’s most populated province said she met with the union representing the professors and the College Employer Council, representing the province, after a vote by professors Thursday overwhelmingly voted against a contract officer.
“I asked them to work together to find a path forward that would see students return to class by Monday,” Wynne said in a press release.
But the negative vote by professors was enough for her to conclude that the sides had reached an impasse.
“That’s why we are immediately tabling (introducing) legislation that would end the dispute and return Ontario college students to the classroom where they belong,” Wynne said in the statement. “Under the proposed legislation that we’re introducing today, all outstanding issues would be referred to binding mediation-arbitration.”
Wynne, heading the ruling Liberal government, asked that all members of the provincial legislature including opposition parties support the legislation so that everyone will be in class Monday. But the Liberals have a majority so opposition support isn’t needed.
“We have said repeatedly that students have been in the middle of this strike for too long and it is not fair,” she said. “We need to get them back to the classroom.”