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Academic Strike

November 24, 2017 Update - Student Strike Relief Fund

The Student Strike Relief Fund provides assistance for full-time students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the strike. The Fund is consistent with the framework developed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) in consultation with student leaders and colleges. Students will be able to submit applications starting Monday, November 27, 2017. 

Students who submit a request to withdraw from their program by December 5, 2017 can apply for a full refund of their tuition, including most ancillary fees. Those who choose to withdraw will not be eligible for any additional support through the Student Strike Relief Fund.  

ELIGIBILITY

Full-time domestic and international students who remain enrolled in their program and who have unexpected incremental (additional) costs because of the strike, are eligible to apply to the Student Strike Relief Fund. Apprentices completing their in-school training are also eligible to apply.

Students will be eligible to receive up to $500 for unexpected incremental costs. Incremental costs are additional expenses that students only have as a result of the strike. Examples include:

  • Incremental travel costs (costs of rescheduling plane, train or bus tickets)
  • Incremental living expenses (including food and housing)
  • Incremental child care expenses
  • Other incremental essential expenses occurring as a result of the strike
  • As per the MAESD guidelines, incremental costs do not include loss of income

NOTE: The flight and child care reimbursement process established at Confederation College on November 8, 2017 is now part of the Student Strike Relief Fund and this form should be used for all claims. The maximum amounts indicated in the initial flight and child care reimbursement process surrounding the winter (Christmas) break will be honoured for all eligible full-time students. All other claims will be considered to a maximum amount of $500…

November 22, 2017 Update - Tuition Refund Option & Revised Academic Calendar

We appreciate that the strike situation has been incredibly difficult for our students and that you may wish to consider withdrawal from your program with a full tuition refund, including most ancillary fees. After working with colleges across Ontario to determine a system-wide process for tuition refunds, we have confirmed how students can withdraw from their program due to the strike. 

Please be reminded that we have mainly avoided compression of courses within the academic calendar, only shortening each semester by one week. This means that in general, your academic workload would be quite comparable to a typical academic year…

See the full updates and all other academic strike updates…


OVERVIEW: Academic Bargaining is currently in progress for the academic employees’ collective agreement, which expired on September 30, 2017. Students, media and the public can view all updates related to the strike on this page. The strike began on Monday, October 16, 2017 and faculty were legislated back to work effective Monday, November 20, 2017.

Students should refer to messaging below and to the Frequently Asked Questions for ALL STUDENTS (PDF) … and additional Frequently Asked Questions for INTERNATIONAL Students (PDF)…

Other Questions/Concerns? E-mail strike@confederationcollege.ca and we will respond as soon as possible. Common questions and their responses may get posted to this webpage. 


Academic Strike Updates

November 24, 2017 - Student Strike Relief Fund

November 22, 2017 - Tuition Refund Option & Revised Academic Calendar

November 20, 2017 - College Student to Receive Additional Support to Finish Studies

November 19, 2017 - Government Legislation Passes; Classes Resume Tuesday

November 19, 2017 - Revised 2017/18 Academic Calendar

November 18, 2017 - Students Recommended to Return to Campus

November 17, 2017 - Government Intervenes in Strike Situation

OLRB Vote Results (November 16, 2017)

November 16, 2017 Update - Faculty Reject Offer; Strike Continues

Notice of Vote by Ontario Labour Relations Board 

CURRENT OFFER OF SETTLEMENT from College Employer Council

November 13, 2017 Update - Open Letter to Full-Time & Partial-Load Faculty from the President

November 8, 2017 Update - Vote Details, Flight & Child Care Reimbursements

November 6, 2017 Update - Offer Going to Faculty Vote

November 3, 2017 Update - Fall Semester

November 1, 2017 Update - Talks Resume Nov. 2

October 31, 2017 Update - Winter (Christmas) Break

October 27, 2017 Update - Strike Update for Students

October 23, 2017 Update - Message from the President

October 19, 2017 Update - Regional Information Pickets

October 15, 2017 Update - Strike Begins

October 11, 2017 Update - Potential Strike

November 24, 2017

The Student Strike Relief Fund provides assistance for full-time students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the strike. The Fund is consistent with the framework developed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) in consultation with student leaders and colleges. Students will be able to submit applications starting Monday, November 27, 2017. 

Students who submit a request to withdraw from their program by December 5, 2017 can apply for a full refund of their tuition, including most ancillary fees. Those who choose to withdraw will not be eligible for any additional support through the Student Strike Relief Fund.  

ELIGIBILITY

Full-time domestic and international students who remain enrolled in their program and who have unexpected incremental (additional) costs because of the strike, are eligible to apply to the Student Strike Relief Fund. Apprentices completing their in-school training are also eligible to apply.

Students will be eligible to receive up to $500 for unexpected incremental costs. Incremental costs are additional expenses that students only have as a result of the strike. Examples include:

  • Incremental travel costs (costs of rescheduling plane, train or bus tickets)
  • Incremental living expenses (including food and housing)
  • Incremental child care expenses
  • Other incremental essential expenses occurring as a result of the strike
  • As per the MAESD guidelines, incremental costs do not include loss of income

NOTE: The flight and child care reimbursement process established at Confederation College on November 8, 2017 is now part of the Student Strike Relief Fund and this form should be used for all claims. The maximum amounts indicated in the initial flight and child care reimbursement process surrounding the winter (Christmas) break will be honoured for all eligible full-time students. All other claims will be considered to a maximum amount of $500.

APPLICATION

Students must complete the application form and include supporting documentation as evidence of the extra costs. Examples include but are not limited to flight change fees, rental agreements, receipts for child care expenses, a letter from a landlord, a copy of a post-dated cheque, etc.

The application form, including information about the application process, can be viewed and downloaded from www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike/student-supports or picked up from “The Hub” in Thunder Bay (Shuniah Building) or your Regional Campus. “The Hub” is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30pm ET.

The financial assistance that students receive from this Fund will not impact their OSAP or Second Career funding or eligibility.

In assessing Student Strike Relief Fund applications, the College may consider other forms of financial aid the student receives for living expenses (e.g., OSAP, Second Career).   

Students may submit multiple claims. Total claims may not exceed $500 per student. For example, a student receives $200 with claim #1. The student is then eligible to receive up to an additional $300 for claim #2.

The maximum amounts indicated in the initial flight and child care reimbursement process surrounding the winter (Christmas) break will be honoured for all eligible full-time students.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY MAY 11, 2018 (the end of the winter semester)

The review of applications will begin after December 5, 2017.

Please return completed Student Strike Relief Fund forms and supporting documentation to “The Hub” in Thunder Bay (Shuniah Building), your Regional Campus or submit via e-mail to 2017support@confederationcollege.ca. “The Hub” is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30pm ET. If submitting via e-mail, remember to scan and attach supporting documentation. 

PROCESSING AND PAYMENT

Applications will be reviewed and processed as quickly as possible after the application is received (the review of applications will begin after December 5, 2017). Students will receive confirmation regarding the result of their application. If the application is approved, funds will be credited to the student’s Confederation College account. If required and if your Confederation account is in good standing, a cheque may be issued for the amount credited.

APPEALS

If your claim is denied, or if the amount of relief you receive is less than $500 and you disagree with the amount of relief you were given, you can appeal the college’s decision once. You must appeal within fourteen (14) days after the College’s decision is issued. You must submit your appeal in writing to the Registrar’s Office via “The Hub” in Thunder Bay (Shuniah Building), your Regional Campus or by e-mailing 2017support@confederationcollege.ca. Appeals will be reviewed by a committee, which will include representation from the Student Union (SUCCI).

EXISTING CONFEDERATION COLLEGE SUPPORTS

Don’t forget, Confederation College has many existing student supports in place to help students in need:

NEED HELP?

Ask questions and get assistance with the Student Strike Relief Fund process and paperwork during one of the following drop-in sessions:

  • Tuesday, November 28 – 12:30-1:30pm – SUCCI Student Commons
  • Wednesday, November 29 – 12:30-1:30pm – McIntyre Lunch Room
  • Thursday, November 30 – 12:30-1:30pm – SUCCI Student Commons
  • Friday, December 1 – 12:30-1:30pm – Aviation Centre of Excellence Lobby

You can also direct questions about this process or paperwork to 2017support@confederationcollege.ca

Jim Madder
President

November 22, 2017

We appreciate that the strike situation has been incredibly difficult for our students and that you may wish to consider withdrawal from your program with a full tuition refund, including most ancillary fees. After working with colleges across Ontario to determine a system-wide process for tuition refunds, we have confirmed how students can withdraw from their program due to the strike. Please also make sure to review the update surrounding the Student Strike Relief Fund near the end of this message.

Please be reminded that we have mainly avoided compression of courses within the academic calendar, only shortening each semester by one week. This means that in general, your academic workload would be quite comparable to a typical academic year.

The revised academic dates for most programs are as follows:

  • Classes will extend to December 22, 2017 and resume early on January 3, 2018
  • The fall semester will continue to January 23, 2018
  • The winter semester will begin on January 29, 2018 and will continue through to May 11, 2018
  • March Break will remain as originally scheduled from March 12-16, 2018
  • The date for withdrawal without academic penalty has been rescheduled to December 20, 2017

See the fully revised 2017/18 academic calendar. Note that the calendar is still in progress for some programs and will be revised as information is confirmed.

To qualify for a full tuition refund, eligible postsecondary and apprenticeship students must withdraw from their program by
December 5, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. ET
through the Registrar’s Office or with their Regional Campus Manager or Director.

Withdrawal forms can be picked up and submitted at “The Hub” in Thunder Bay (Shuniah Building) or your Regional campus. “The Hub” is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30pm ET.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WITHDRAW FROM YOUR PROGRAM, YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT A REQUEST TO THE STUDENT STRIKE RELIEF FUND.

Also note that if you are a student funded by OSAP, a First Nations Band or another funding agency, your tuition may be refunded to the funding partner.

We are asking students to complete the following two steps before submitting the withdrawal form:

1) Speak with your Program Coordinator

Your Program Coordinator will be able to explain the specific semester recovery plan for your program. This information will be critical for you to understand in evaluating whether or not you are prepared to continue in your program.

Information may include: assignment and other deadlines, test/exam schedules, work placements/co-ops, etc.

2) Speak with your Student Success Advisor and/or one of our Counsellors

We want to make sure you are fully aware of all of the student support services available to you before you decide to withdraw. These services include but are not limited to: counselling, tutoring, peer mentoring, academic advising and more.

These services and our Student Success Centre team are valuable resources for students in successfully completing their studies.

STUDENT STRIKE RELIEF FUND

Consultation continues with the Student Union (SUCCI) and colleges across Ontario to ensure that the Student Strike Relief Fund (also known as the Student Support Fund and/or Student Hardship Fund) is developed to support as many students as possible. Details about the Fund, including what areas of support will be available and how to make a request, will be communicated to students by end of this week.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions about any of these items, please contact your Dean and/or e-mail the dedicated account strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Jim Madder
President

November 20, 2017

Please see the news release issued by the Ontario government earlier today (Nov. 20). This release speaks to tuition refunds and a Student Support Fund being established.Please note that the process of requesting these items is being worked on province-wide by Colleges. Details about the request process will be communicated to students as they are confirmed. We anticipate further information being shared by the end of this week.

Please note that you are currently able to request reimbursement for flights and child care surrounding the winter (Christmas) break using our existing process. Details and eligibility can be reviewed at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike/student-supports.

Jim Madder
President 

November 19, 2017

The government has legislated the full-time and partial-load faculty back to work.

What this means for students:

  • The strike has ended.
  • Classes will resume at their regularly scheduled times on Tuesday, November 21.
  • Program-specific details about how you will transition back into the classroom will be shared the first week back. These details will include information about rescheduled dates for assignments and tests/exams, co-ops and work placements, provincial/national examinations and other program-specific requirements.
  • We wouldn’t expect any deadlines/dates being set within the first week back to class.
  • Our Student Success Centre will remain open in support of students on November 20. Counselling supports will resume on Tuesday, November 21.

Additional information will be sent via e-mail as college-wide details are confirmed including new academic dates, student supports and more. We appreciate your patience as we work through the return to work/study plan implementation process thoughtfully.

Please understand that we may not have all of the answers right away, but we will ensure that we provide information as it is available and confirmed. Please also be assured that we will work with you, our students, to help you succeed.

Please be reminded of the student supports already in place as follows:

If you have questions and/or concerns throughout this transition back to the classroom, please speak with your faculty, your Deans and/or e-mail the dedicated account strike@confederationcollege.ca.

As we move through this transition together, I greatly appreciate your respect for and support of our faculty and other employees, and your fellow students.

Jim Madder
President


Further to President Madder’s earlier message noting that classes will resume on Tuesday morning at their regularly scheduled times, we wanted to provide you with the revised academic dates for the 2017/18 year. Additional dates and information will continue to be shared as available through this process of returning to study. In addition, we wished to let students with placements know that they will be further communicated to tomorrow (Monday) with details of how to return to their workplaces.

In consultation with SUCCI and in an effort to ensure our students are provided with the time to learn and succeed in their programs, we have adjusted the 2017/18 academic schedule to the following for the majority of our programs:

  • Classes will extend to December 22, 2017 and resume early on January 3, 2018
  • The fall semester will continue to January 23, 2018
  • The winter semester will begin on January 29, 2018 and will continue through to May 11, 2018
  • March Break will remain as originally scheduled from March 12-16, 2018

By extending our semesters, we recognize that there may be additional expenses for students. A student hardship fund is being established to help provide support to our students. The details of what the fund will include are yet to be confirmed, but we are looking at many areas. We are consulting with SUCCI on how the fund may work.

We have already provided some student supports surrounding the winter (Christmas) break including flight reimbursements and child care. Details and eligibility can be reviewed at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike/student-supports.

Please continue to monitor your Confederation College e-mail for updates.

Patti Pella
Vice President, Academic

November 18, 2017

Further to President Madder’s e-mail sent on November 17 regarding the government intervening in the strike situation, we are recommending our students make travel arrangements to return to their respective campus. The legislature may be passed as early as tomorrow, which would see classes resume for students on Tuesday morning. 

A reminder to continue monitoring your Confederation College e-mail for updates.

Patti Pella
Vice-President, Academic 

November 17, 2017

We have received information from the College Employer Council that the government is acting to legislate an end to the strike. We ask that all parties in the legislature think of students first and support its speedy passage. The passage of the back-to-work legislation will take a few days and we will provide updates as they are available.

We want our students and faculty back as quickly as possible. We could see classes resume in a matter of days and expect classes to resume at some point next week (the week of November 20). Please continue to monitor your Confederation College e-mail accounts for updates and refer to the dedicated website: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike.

Please e-mail your Deans or the dedicated account strike@confederationcollege.ca with any questions or concerns, but please understand that we don’t have any further information about the potential legislation at this point.

Jim Madder
President

November 16, 2017

The full-time and partial-load faculty have exercised their democratic right, voting to REJECT the management offer. We respect the decision faculty have made and cannot speculate as to what will happen at bargaining. As a next step, the College Employer Council’s bargaining team will be in touch with the provincially appointed mediator to seek his direction to the parties.

What this means:

  • The strike will continue until a return to work/study notice is received.
  • We don’t know when the strike will end or if the Ministry will intervene in the negotiation process.
  • We still intend to provide our students with the opportunity to complete their academics.

We recognize that this is an incredibly difficult situation for all involved – our students, our employees and the full-time and partial-load faculty who remain on strike. We will continue to communicate information and updates as they are available…

Please be reminded that you can review all strike-related updates at the dedicated website: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike. Please revisit our FAQs for all students and our FAQs for International students as many responses to common questions are included and our answers will remain the same until the strike is complete.

After reviewing all available information, if you still have questions and/or concerns, please continue to bring them forward to your Dean and/or the strike@confederationcollege.ca dedicated e-mail account. 

We greatly appreciate your continued ability to maintain respect and remain calm through what we know to be a very unfortunate circumstance.

Jim Madder
President

November 13, 2017

OPEN LETTER TO FULL-TIME AND PARTIAL-LOAD FACULTY FROM PRESIDENT JIM MADDER 

I know the strike has affected all of you personally, along with your families and your students. I hoped - as each of you did - that we would have returned to classes by now.

We can all agree that the strike needs to end.

The union recently confirmed to faculty that major issues in bargaining had been resolved. This includes issues around precarious work and staff complement, which will be referred to a provincial task force. This has left one major issue to resolve - academic freedom.

On Monday, both sides said that, with the help of the province, they had agreed to deal with staffing as part of a provincial task force.

But there was no agreement on academic freedom, said J.P. Hornick, chief faculty negotiator for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Source – Toronto Star, Monday, November 6, 2017

It is important to understand that J.P. Hornick’s comments about academic freedom being the outstanding issue were made after the union received the November 6 offer that you will be voting on. Nothing has been removed or altered from the offer that the union received on November 6. This is the offer you will be voting on.

Academic freedom remains the outstanding issue that needs to be resolved to end the strike.

To respond to academic freedom and reach an agreement, the colleges agreed that academic freedom in the Ontario College system will be enshrined in the collective agreement. The full text has been appended to this letter. The union has refused to accept the colleges’ solution.

The union’s position on academic freedom was summarized in a message to faculty:

“There is one major issue outstanding. In whose hands will the authority and responsibility to deliver your curriculum fall, yours or college management’s?” – OPSEU Message to Members, November 8, 2017.

We respectfully disagree with framing this issue as between faculty and college management.

Rather, we believe that all stakeholders should continue to participate in the academic decision-making process.

We rely on you to make the decisions in the classroom on how to teach the curriculum to your students so that they learn and succeed. That is at the core of faculty expertise and the close relationship between faculty and students. Our objective is to support that, not to compromise it.

Faculty have the central voice in academic decision making but not the only voice. All of our faculty regularly meet to collegially discuss program review and development. Many play a key role serving alongside college partners on program advisory committees. Faculty are consulted when it comes to developing, changing and discontinuing programs. Faculty are encouraged and supported to create programs, bring forward ideas to forge partnerships with employers, and keep programs at the leading edge for students.

These are the reasons why we hire outstanding faculty who bring a wealth of industry experience and connections to our college programming.

However, along with responding to the current and future needs of employers, our programs must remain fully compliant with provincial program standards, external accrediting and regulatory agencies, and professional associations.

Our view remains that working collaboratively to develop and deliver programs is the best way to keep our colleges relevant and responsive to the needs of employers and to successfully launch the careers of college graduates.

Why we called for a faculty vote

We had remained hopeful that the faculty union would accept our academic freedom guarantees and finalize a negotiated settlement.

The inability to reach a negotiated settlement is why we have asked for a faculty vote. We came to the decision that we could not postpone a resolution indefinitely – not for you and not for students. When the vote was ordered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, students and faculty had been out of the classroom for over three weeks.

We understand that this decision is contentious. We would have preferred you vote on an offer recommended by the union.

Yet, the time has come to let faculty decide whether the offer is acceptable. A vote to accept would end the strike.

Please review the entire offer at the OLRB site: www.olrb.gov.on.ca/english/ACAD_ManagementOffer_20171106.pdf and come to your own conclusions. Please exercise your right to vote.

Signed,

Jim Madder
President


Here is the text of the colleges’ proposal on academic freedom guarantees that is within the offer you will vote on:

Every College will have an academic freedom policy. The Policy will recognize that academic freedom is fundamental to the realization and preservation of the Colleges’ commitment to academic excellence. The purpose of the Policy will be to define the rights, obligations and limitations related to academic freedom. Colleges are free to develop policies reflective of their individual cultures however they will reflect the following basic elements:

  • All members of the College community shall support and protect the fundamental principle of academic freedom and work collaboratively to create an environment of tolerance and mutual respect. Every member of the College community shall have the opportunity to work, teach and learn in an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination as reflected in the collective agreement.
  • Academic freedom at the College includes the right to enquire about, investigate, pursue and speak freely about academic issues without fear of impairment to position or other reprisal.
  • The exercise of academic freedom is subject to the following responsibilities:
    • In classes, laboratories and all learning environments, faculty members are free to discuss any aspect of a topic pertinent to the achievement of the learning outcomes of the course as documented in the course outline. Faculty shall encourage students to participate in legitimate classroom discussion and to advocate a diversity of opinions in the learning environment.
    • Academic freedom is not an absolute freedom. Academic freedom does not relieve any member of the College community from their obligations or duties inherent in the roles associated with the teaching and learning process and with student achievement of course and program learning outcomes.
    • In exercising academic freedom, employees shall be responsible for adhering to legal parameters (such as but not limited to The Human Rights Code, Criminal Code of Canada, civil liability, collective agreement obligations), institutional regulations, Ministry Directives, requirements of accrediting bodies and applicable College policies and procedures.
    • Freedom to express ideas carries with it an attendant responsibility and accountability. The College affirms that faculty shall be free to act and speak in their capacity as public citizens provided they indicate they are speaking as individuals and not acting as representatives of the College. As professionals and representatives of their institution, their discipline or field of study, faculty have a responsibility to be honest, accurate and respectful in all statements and activities.

November 8, 2017

We have a few important updates for you (listed below) about the current status of the strike and our efforts to support students moving forward. First and foremost, we want to reassure you that we will ensure our students are provided with the opportunity to complete their academics. We also will continue to keep you informed throughout this process. As always, if you have questions or concerns relating to the strike, please contact your Dean or e-mail the dedicated account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

FACULTY VOTE DATE CONFIRMED
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ordered a full-time and partial-load faculty vote to be held from 9:00 AM on November 14 through 10:00 AM November 16 (see the notice of vote). The vote will be conducted by electronic ballot to ensure that the maximum number of faculty can exercise their right to vote.

WINTER REGISTRATION DATE ADJUSTMENT
Registration for the winter semester will now open on January 3, 2018. A reminder that the tuition deadline has also been changed and is now January 8, 2018.

FLIGHT REIMBURSEMENTS
Full-time students
can now access the application form to submit their flight reimbursement requests at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike/student-supports. Please read the conditions carefully, complete the form and ensure all required supporting documentation is included with your application. Applications must be received by January 31, 2018. Only one request can be made per full-time student.

CHILD CARE REIMBURSEMENTS
We have established a process for full-time students to apply for partial reimbursement of costs associated with child care, subject to the following conditions:

  • One claim per child (i.e. if both parents are full-time students, only one claim will be considered for each child) – all children should be included in ONE form submission
  • Child care reimbursement rates will be considered for up to 8 business days, which must fall between December 18-22, 2017 and/or January 3-5, 2018.
  • Documented proof of payment receipt(s) must be provided. Subsidized amounts will not be reimbursed.
  • Reimbursement rates are as follows:
    • Up to $16 per day for 1 child
    • Up to $32 per day for 2 children
    • Up to $42 per day for 3 children
    • Up to $47 per day for 4 children
    • Up to $52 per day for 5 children

The application form is available for download at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike/student-supports. Please read the conditions carefully, complete the form and ensure all required supporting documentation is included in your application. Applications must be received by January 31, 2018.

Jim Madder
President

November 6, 2017

See the College Employer Council’s current offer…

During the latest round of negotiations between the College Employer Council (CEC) and the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union, a revised offer was presented to OPSEU by the CEC, which addresses the priorities of the Union. Negotiations ended due to a lack of agreement on the issue of academic freedom. The CEC proposal guarantees academic freedom.

In response to the unsuccessful negotiations, Colleges will be calling for a faculty vote on the current offer in an effort to end the strike. This is the faculty’s collective agreement and faculty should have the right to decide. The faculty vote will be crucial for faculty, students and the wider college community to resolve the strike.

Colleges asked OPSEU to suspend the strike and let faculty and students back in the classroom. Suspending the strike will also allow voting at college campus locations so that the largest number of faculty are able to exercise their right to vote. OPSEU rejected this request.

What this means is that we know the strike will continue for the remainder of this week, while a vote for the offer is being arranged by the Ontario Labour Relations Board for full-time and partial-load faculty. The vote will be decided by a 50% + 1 majority of those who show up and cast their vote. If the majority of faculty accept the offer, then the strike will end. If the majority of faculty reject the offer, then the strike will continue.

We will continue to provide updates as available. Please review the offer… and stay informed at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike. Please direct any questions to your Dean or the dedicated e-mail account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Jim Madder
President

November 3, 2017

First, I would like to thank you for your continued patience and understanding through this very difficult process. We have been doing our best to respond to your questions and concerns, but as you may imagine there are many details to consider, one of which is the duration of the strike. We are hopeful that as talks resumed yesterday, November 2, a fair resolution will soon be reached between the College Employer Council and the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union, but cannot yet say when that might happen.

We are now able to address some of your questions and concerns regarding the completion of the fall semester. As you know, we anticipate a shortening of the winter (Christmas) break, with classes likely continuing until December 22, 2017 and resuming early on January 3, 2018. The start of the winter semester will also likely be delayed and will begin upon completion of the fall semester. Confirmed dates and details will be shared regarding both semesters upon completion of the strike.

*NOTE: There are a number of topics below. Please take the time to read them all.

 

ACADEMIC DEADLINES (REGISTRAR’S OFFICE)
Academic deadlines managed within the Registrar’s Office will be extended upon completion of the strike. Specific dates and details will be confirmed when the strike is over. This would include the deadline for withdrawing from a class or program without academic penalty.

TUITION DEADLINE FOR WINTER SEMESTER
The tuition deadline for the winter semester has been changed to January 8, 2018. Late fees will not apply until after January 8, 2018.

COLLEGE SERVICES
There are several Confederation College services which will be extended upon completion of the strike. Specific dates and details will be confirmed when the strike is over in the return to work/study plan. These services include: parking passes, book rentals and Sodexo meal plans.

PROGRAM-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
Criminal record checks and TB skin tests are valid for one year after receipt. These will remain valid for the winter semester and there is no need for concern. We are aware of questions and concerns regarding program-specific provincial and national exams. We will address those upon completion of the strike.

CHILD CARE
We recommend you contact your current child care provider to confirm additional availability. Should additional out-of-pocket expenses be incurred (excluding subsidized amounts) with a licensed child care provider to accommodate the additional dates, full-time students should contact 2017support@confederationcollege.ca with details and we will review further.

TRAVEL – FLIGHTS
We recommend students change their flights to fall within the dates of December 23, 2017 and January 2, 2018. We have developed a process to help support students who may incur unexpected expenses as a result of rescheduling or cancelling flights. PLEASE NOTE: This process does not confirm any academic accommodations being made for students. Academic accommodations will have to be discussed individually with faculty, upon the return to class.

Details of the travel support process are as follows:

Full-time students will be eligible to apply for partial reimbursement of costs associated with flight changes or cancellations, subject to the following conditions:

  • One claim per student
  • Flights must have been booked and paid for prior to October 16, 2017.
  • Travel dates booked must be between December 9, 2017 and January 14, 2018.
  • Travel insurance should be the first point of recovery for any costs associated with changing or cancelling flights (trip interruption and cancellation coverage).
  • FOR FLIGHT CHANGES
    • CHANGE FEES
      • For full-time domestic students – reimbursement of change fees up to $150 each way.
      • For full-time international students – reimbursement of change fees up to $250 each way.
      • Documented proof of original bookings, payment receipt and change fees must be provided.
    • INCREASED COST OF FLIGHT(S)
      • For full-time domestic students – reimbursement of 75% of cost differential up to $250 each way.
      • For full-time international students – reimbursement of 75% of cost differential up to $750 each way.
      • Documented proof of original bookings, payment receipt and increased cost must be provided.
  • FOR FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS
    • Students should recover full credit for flights if possible.
    • For full-time domestic students – reimbursement of 75% of non-recoverable amounts up to $250 each way.
    • For full-time international students – reimbursement of 75% of non-recoverable amounts up to $750 each way.
    • Documented proof of original bookings, payment receipt, cancellation fees and non-recoverable amounts must be provided.
  • Additional conditions may apply. Full details and the reimbursement application form will be made available to students early next week. Application will not guarantee reimbursement.

RETURN TO WORK/STUDY PLAN
Additional information regarding a complete return to work/study plan will be confirmed upon completion of the strike and will address items such as the academic schedule, what to expect with returning to classes, implications for the balance of the academic year, etc. We are generally provided with a couple days’ notice of a return to work/study.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS
If you have additional questions, including those relating to tuition refunds, academic funding, work placements and international study permits, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section of our dedicated strike website: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike. If your question still remains unanswered, please contact your Dean or e-mail our dedicated account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Jim Madder
President

November 1, 2017

We are pleased to share that earlier today the Ministry-appointed mediator announced scheduled talks between the College Employer Council and OPSEU CAAT Academic Union for tomorrow, November 2. We are hopeful that these talks will result in progress made towards reaching a fair resolution to this ongoing negotiation.

We also wish to advise you that we have received your questions and concerns about the recent communication regarding potential impacts to the winter (Christmas) break. We are working on a more detailed strategy to be able to thoughtfully and accurately respond to your questions by end of this week. This will come in the form of additions to our Frequently Asked Questions page found within the dedicated website: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike. We understand your frustration and appreciate your patience.

Please continue to send your questions and concerns to your Deans or the dedicated e-mail account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Jim Madder
President

October 31, 2017

Given that we are now entering week three of the OPSEU CAAT Academic Strike, it is likely that we will make up lost time by utilizing a portion of the winter (Christmas) break. With that in mind, we are suggesting that students prepare for the possibility that classes would extend to Friday, December 22, 2017 and that we would start classes early on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. This would leave a winter break starting Saturday, December 23, 2017 through to Tuesday, January 2, 2018. The extension of the fall semester into January may also impact the start of the winter semester.

We recognize that this may cause some complications for those traveling or arranging child care, and to that end wished to give you as much notice of this as possible to allow time for making new or alternate arrangements.

The specific return to work/study plans will still be dependent on the duration of the strike, and will be confirmed upon completion of the strike. We will continue to communicate with students as information is available.

As this process continues, if you have questions, please reach out to your Dean or e-mail our dedicated account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Jim Madder
President

October 27, 2017

I wish to keep you informed about the status of the current Academic strike. At this point, there are no scheduled talks between the College Employer Council and the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union. While we don’t know how long the strike will last, we do know it will continue into next week. As each day goes by, we understand it gets more difficult for you and for all of us, including our faculty in the Union. We remain hopeful that both parties will reach a fair resolution as soon as possible.

We encourage you to continue studying and working on any assignments which were given to you prior to the start of the strike. All assignment and other deadlines, as well as tests/exams, co-ops and work placements will be rescheduled upon completion of the strike. We are working with Colleges across Ontario to determine a system-wide approach to preparing for a return to work/study when a notice is received. As we are able to confirm any information, we will make sure to communicate it to you immediately.

Please continue to share your specific questions and concerns with Confederation College by contacting your Dean or e-mailing our dedicated account: strike@confederationcollege.ca. We will do our best to answer and respond with the information we have at this time.

Thank you,

Jim Madder
President

October 23, 2017

Today marks the beginning of a second week in which our full-time and partial-load faculty are walking the picket lines. I wanted to make sure that you, our students, understand how deeply we recognize the challenges and frustrations this situation creates for you. It is a difficult situation for us all and I have been thoroughly impressed with the respect you have shown members of the union and those employees who remain working during this time.

Though we still don’t know how long the strike will last, I assure you that your learning remains our top priority. With respect for the union’s right to strike, we have cancelled all classes and academic programming until further notice. A return to work/study plan will be developed upon completion of the strike. Among other factors, this plan will depend on the duration of the strike, which we cannot anticipate. That said, we are exploring a variety of scenarios. While we are unable to confirm what the specific plan will be for each program, we will ensure that our students have the opportunity to complete their academics. No student at an Ontario college has ever lost their year due to a strike.

We will be monitoring the situation carefully and will immediately communicate with students upon receipt of a return to work notice. We are generally provided with at least a couple days’ notice. Of course we hope that both parties can reach a fair resolution as soon as possible.

As we continue through this process together, I encourage you to stay informed about the positions of both the College Employer Council (www.thecouncil.on.ca) and OPSEU (www.opseu.org/sector/caat-academic). I also encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions for all students and for international students (found at www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike). Finally, I encourage you to keep asking questions and raising your concerns through our dedicated account: strike@confederationcollege.ca.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. 

Jim Madder
President

October 19, 2017

Please note that the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union has given notice that they will be holding information pickets at some of our regional campuses as per the below schedule. As always, safety will continue to be of the utmost concern for Confederation College. Please be patient and respectful when crossing picket lines, and refer to the Regional Picket Line Protocol for more information. 

  • October 23 - Greenstone Campus (Geraldton) - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT  
  • October 23 - Dryden Campus - 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. CST
  • November 1 - Lake of the Woods Campus (Kenora) - 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. CST
  • November 2 - Rainy River District Campus (Fort Frances) -  3:00 - 6:00 p.m. CST

October 15, 2017

Please be advised that the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union has confirmed that a strike will begin on Monday, October 16, 2017 across Ontario Colleges, including Confederation College. Classes for all academic programming at Confederation have been cancelled for the duration of the strike. Many college services will remain available.

Confederation College will ensure that our students have the opportunity to complete their year. It is important to note that no student at an Ontario college has ever lost their year due to a strike. 

As always, safety will continue to be of the utmost concern for Confederation College. Please be patient and respectful when crossing picket lines, and refer to the Picket Line Protocol for more information. People should expect picket lines at each of the four entrances to the Thunder Bay campus, as well as a picket line at the entrance to the Aviation Centre of Excellence. At this time, there are no planned picket lines for our regional campuses.

Below is a summary of what to expect for the duration of the strike:

  • All academic delivery has ceased at Confederation College. This includes Workforce Development/Contract Training, Continuing and Distance Education, Co-op and Work Placements, Apprenticeships, Academic Upgrading, and International, Collaborative and     Dual-Credit programming. This means that all classes have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Regional campuses and all Thunder Bay campus buildings will remain open unless otherwise notified. Reduced hours may be in effect and will be communicated in advance of any changes to operating hours
  • The SUCCI Wellness Centre – Minowaadiziiwin, Health Centre, Children and Family Centre and Northwest Employment Works (NEW) will remain open for the duration of the strike.
  • Sodexo (food services) will remain open in the Ryan Hall Cafeteria of the Shuniah Building at Thunder Bay’s main campus. All other locations have been closed for the duration of the strike. Reduced hours are in effect for Ryan Hall as follows:
    • Monday-Friday, 8:30am-6:30pm
    • Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am-6:00pm
  • The Follett Bookstore will remain open with reduced hours effective Monday, October 23. Hours of operation for the duration of the strike are Monday-Friday, 10:00am-3:00pm.
  • Recreational programming will be offered by SUCCI, the International Education Centre and CICE.
  • SUCCI, APIWIN, the International Education Centre, Paterson Library Commons and computer labs will remain open for students.
  • The public is advised not to use Confederation College’s roadways for through traffic.
  • Those coming to campus should expect delays. Please be patient and respectful when entering the College and crossing picket lines. Refer to the Picket Line Protocol for more information.
  • City of Thunder Bay Transit stops have been temporarily relocated outside of the main entrances for Confederation College. See the temporary transit locations.

Updates will continue to be posted throughout the strike to the dedicated webpage: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike. Once notice of a return to work/study has been received (at the end of the strike), students will be advised directly via e-mail, in addition to a message being posted to our website and social media platforms.

We appreciate that this is a difficult situation for you and thank you for your understanding. We ask that you respect faculty and other employees of the College as this process continues. We also encourage you to ask questions and raise concerns e-mailing strike@confederationcollege.ca or by contacting your Dean.

 

October 11, 2017

Please be advised that late yesterday, October 10, the OPSEU CAAT Academic Union gave notice that a strike action will start on Monday, October 16. Though there is still opportunity for a settlement to be reached by Sunday, October 15, Confederation College is preparing to initiate its contingency plan.

If there is a strike, Confederation College will ensure that our students have the opportunity to complete their year. It is important to note that no student at an Ontario college has ever lost their year due to a strike. 

Should a strike begin on Monday, the following summarizes what students and the public can expect:

  • All academic delivery will cease at Confederation College. This includes Workforce Development/Contract Training, Continuing and Distance Education, Co-op and Work Placements, and International and Collaborative programming.
  • Regional campuses and all Thunder Bay campus buildings will remain open unless otherwise notified. Reduced hours may be in effect and will be communicated.
  • The SUCCI Wellness Centre – Minowaadiziiwin, Health Centre, Children and Family Centre and Follett Bookstore and will remain open for the duration of the strike.
  • Sodexo (food services) will remain open, however certain locations may be closed and reduced hours may be in effect. Details will be communicated accordingly. 
  • Recreational programming will be offered by SUCCI, the International Education Centre and CICE.
  • APIWIN, computer labs and the Paterson Library Commons will remain open for students.
  • The public will be advised not to use Confederation College’s roadways for through traffic. Those coming to campus should expect delays.
  • City of Thunder Bay Transit stops will be temporarily relocated outside of the main entrances for Confederation College.

As always, safety will continue to be of the utmost concern for Confederation College. Please be patient and respectful if crossing picket lines, and refer to the Picket Line Protocol for more information.  

A confirmation of strike or settlement will be provided in advance of Monday, October 16 to alert students and the public to the result. This confirmation may be issued as late as Sunday evening. Additional details will be provided to students via e-mail at that time regarding what to expect.

Updates will also be posted to the dedicated webpage: www.confederationcollege.ca/academic-strike.

We appreciate that this is a difficult situation for you, our students and thank you for your understanding. We ask that you respect faculty and other employees of the College as this process continues. We also encourage you to ask questions and raise concerns by contacting your Dean.