It appears faculty at the Brandon University will be on strike starting Monday.
Meanwhile, the strike at the University of Windsor continues without any end in sight. The provincial mediator has left the table and neither side is talking. According to the mediator, there is no reasonable prospect the sides will be able to settle the dispute at the present time.
This leaves students with no classes, and no hope of returning to classes this week.
With this in mind, it is time for the government to prepare to act.
The Ontario Minister of Labour, Peter Fonseca, must deliver a strong message to the two sides that he expects them to negotiate. Failing that, he must be prepared to table back-to-work legislation. (It’s a shame that no one is able to toss the leaders of the two sides into a room and lock the door until they reach an agreement.)
If the two sides do not sit down; it’s inevitable that the province will be forced to legislate faculty back-to-work. The government will not tolerate a cancellation of the academic year.
UWindsor students cannot afford to lose summer jobs because there exams run into the first week of May to make up for a strike in October.
In short, the Minister of Labour must get the two sides into a room Monday morning or table back-to-work legislation; anything else will be letting students suffer in the interest of political appearances.
The Windsor Star had a strong editorial and cartoon against the faculty union on Friday.
(A side note, I’ve noted discussion about how a fall strike may hurt recruitment as grade 12 students are presently deciding which schools to apply to. If anything, I’d be more inclined to attend a university which settled contracts negotiations the year prior to my attending than one which faces contract talks during my first year)