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Loyalist students back in class after five week break

By Jenna Leslie [1]

BELLEVILLE – Students at Loyalist College are back to school again after legislation was passed on Sunday.

The faculty at Loyalist was busy revising schedules [2] and updating courses upon their return on Monday.

Students at the college will now have their holiday break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 1, with fall classes extending until Jan. 19. There may also be a winter study break from Mar. 12 to Mar. 16. However, this is still to be confirmed. Winter semester classes will now end on April 27.

There has also been a plan put into place to refund tuition fees to any students who drop out within two weeks of the strike’s end. The Ontario government’s website advises students to check their own school’s website for updates and changes to schedules.

The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act [3] forced both Ontario Public Service Employees Union [4] and College Employers Council [5] to terminate the on-going strike on Sunday and have faculty return to class immediately.

This legislation came after the College Employer’s Council’s last offer was rejected last week.

Faculty from 24 colleges across the province started to walk the picket line on Oct. 16 after College Employers Council rejected Ontario Public Service Employees Union’s final offer to prevent a strike on Oct. 15.

The union’s final offer was based on an equal amount of full-time to contract work, higher job security for part-time faculty and academic freedom for faculty.

College Employers Council could not come to an agreement with the union on extended contract work and academic freedom, resulting in a movement by the union to strike.

The two groups agreed to meet again on Nov. 2 for the first time since the strike had begun. College Employers Council moved for a vote on their previous offer. The union then urged faculty to decline the offer.

When 86 per cent of the 95 percent of college faculty voted no and negotiations fell through again, Premier Kathleen Wynne brought in the back to work legislation.

Faculty was brought back to school on Monday, with students returning on Tuesday.

Timeline by Cali Doran.