TORONTO – Ontario’s colleges and the union representing striking faculty members are accusing each other of spreading misinformation ahead of a contract vote in the labour dispute that has left half a million students out of class for a month.Some 12,000 Ontario college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians haven’t been at work since Oct. 15.The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the striking faculty, said the dispute was the longest strike in the colleges’ history.“It’s the only time in the history of the colleges the semester has been under threat,” Kevin MacKay, a member of the OPSEU faculty bargaining team said Monday. “And I’m telling you, if the strike doesn’t end this week, the semester is under threat — serious threat.”The council representing the province’s 24 colleges said acceptance of the latest contract offer would mean students could be back in the classroom as early as next Tuesday.Talks between the College Employer Council and the union broke down last week, with the council asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer.With the vote set to begin Tuesday and end Thursday, the council was reaching out directly to faculty to address what is called the union’s “continued misrepresentation” of the contract offer. The council launched a new website — www.collegevote.ca — and posted an audio webcast on Monday in which it discussed the contents of the offer.The colleges said the offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits — including extended pregnancy and parental leave, and a $500 increase in coverage for paramedical services — and measures to address concerns regarding part-time faculty.Sonia Del Missier, the chair of the colleges’ bargaining team, said all major issues in the offer have been agreed on by both sides except for language surrounding academic freedom.But the union said the offer contains “serious concessions” that were not agreed to, and which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model.Among them are concessions around the process for hiring full-time faculty, provisions that would allow faculty to exceed overtime limits and make it harder to take professional development days, MacKay said.“There’s no way we agreed to those things,” he said.The union has said its main point of contention has been the level of input college instructors have into the way courses are taught and evaluated, and MacKay said the colleges’ attempt to address the issue is worse than if they had done nothing.“It’s not about academic freedom at all, it’s actually about all the ways in which you can get in trouble if you say the wrong thing,” he said.Del Messier, meanwhile, said the offer “enshrines academic freedom,” which she called the only key issue still outstanding.“From the union’s perspective, they talk about academic control and they’ve really determined that it’s got to be either (faculty) or (management). And from our perspective, it’s not an either/or,” she said.“When we look at how the colleges set up programs and how they continue to ensure programs are relevant, you need the input of your key stakeholders,” including employers, industry representatives and graduates, she said.The Ontario government has ordered the colleges to create a fund to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship because of the strike.Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews has said the government wants to see students return to the classroom as quickly as possible.
When the vote was eventually taken the joint opposition walked out and the bill was passed. The Active Liability Management Bill was passed in Parliament with amendments today.Parliament was adjourned for 10 minutes earlier when a technical failure during the vote saw the wrong results being given.
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TAYLOR, B.C. – At a recent District of Taylor Council Meeting, Council gave authorization to District Staff to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission to convert a piece of land to non-farm use status for a new public works shop.The District is looking to build a new public works shop on the grounds of the Lone Wolf Golf Club but must apply to the ALC in order to proceed with the project. The zoning will need to be changed as the property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.One option is to build in the present LWGC maintenance yard, and the other option is to build to the east of the Golf Club. Either option will need to apply to the ALC. Option one for the location of the new public works shop. Source District of TaylorOption two for the location of the new public works shop. Source District of TaylorStaff say the application to the ALC could take up to six months or more to be finalized if approved, but that is a wait they are willing to take. The Golf Club location is the ideal option as it is already connected with services such as water and electricity.The shop was initially planned to be built in 2019 but has now been rescheduled to start in 2020 as the District waits on the application.
New Delhi: In a scathing criticism of the BJP manifesto, the Congress on Monday said the ruling party has “simply copy pasted” its 2014 poll document and changed all previous deadlines. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the BJP should have come out with a ‘maafinama’ (letter of apology) instead of a manifesto. In a series of tweets, Patel said the difference between the BJP’s manifesto and that of the Congress can be seen from the cover page itself. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “Our’s has a crowd of people, and BJP manifesto has face of just one man. Instead of a manifesto BJP should have come out with a ‘maafinama’,” the Congress Rajya Sabha MP said. “For its 2019 manifesto, BJP has simply copy pasted its 2014 manifesto & changed all previous deadlines from 2019 to 2022,2032,2047,2097. Luckily they didn’t shift any deadlines to the next century,” he wrote on the microblogging site. Patel also hit out at the BJP leaders for not taking any questions after releasing the manifesto and compared that with Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with journalists after releasing the poll document. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “After we presented our manifesto, we held a detailed Q&A session. And immediately after BJP presented its manifesto, all of their leaders went home without even taking a single question. No answers on their 5 years? It is this arrogance which will bring them down on May 23rd,” Patel tweeted. Eyeing another stint in power, the BJP on Monday made a string of promises, including expeditious construction of a Ram temple, a firm hand in dealing with terrorism and doubling farmers income in the next three years.