Striking faculty from Ontario's Humber College rallied early Wednesday morning in protest to the offer made by the College Employer Council to the OPSEU that would end the Ontario college strike.
Faculty and staff of Humber College met at the college's north campus, which is where Humber's management offices are located.
The rally was encouraged by the local chapter of the OPSEU as a means of rejecting the revised contract offer proposed by the College Employer Council.
Rally members arrived in the early morning hours carrying signs with slogans like "Just Say No" and "College Faculty Have A Better Plan."
Although the voting period on the revised contract offer is still underway, there has been widespread rejection of the new plan by striking faculty, staff and OPSEU members since it was announced earlier this week.
And the rejection of this offer is a bad omen for students hoping to return to the classroom. OPSEU representatives spoke in a news conference on Tuesday about the matter, stating that the timing of the vote "virtually guarantees" that the nearly 500,000 college students affected by the strike will not be returning to the classroom before the Fall semester ends.
Students caught in the middle of the contractual crossfire going on throughout the strike have called the back and forth debating and protesting "anxiety inducing."
Humber College paramedic student Amir Allana expressed a very real concern to many students affected by the strike: "Our biggest concern at this point is eligibility for the once-in-a-year hiring process," he said. Allana is referring to the paramedic hiring process that occurs annually in Ontario very early in the new year, which the strike will likely impact negatively.
Both sides of the strike claim to have made huge revisions to their original position, but Union members find this final contract offer, and the way it was proposed, to be crass and believe that this new offer isn't an improvement from earlier versions.
The faculty vote on the new offer is set to take place next week. In the meantime, it seems that students shouldn't hold their breath about returning to class.