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College instructors favour union mandate

Instructors at community colleges across the province have voted in favour giving their union a strike mandate.
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Instructors at community colleges across the province have voted in favour giving their union a strike mandate.

Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union voted 57 per cent in support of the union’s mandate, which includes an option to strike if the bargaining committee believes on is necessary.

Union officials say they will be talking with the employer and a mediator. But any kind of walkout is unlikely before mid-February.

Talks between the two sides broke down in mid December. The Canadian Press reports that Premier Dalton McGuinty has urged both sides to forge a deal to remove the threat of a strike.

Strike action would affect college students, an estimated 200,000 or more, across the province. That includes students enrolled at Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

Union officials say the main issues revolve around workloads. The colleges have offered to raise faculty salaries by eight per cent over a four-year period.