After all negotiations failed, a final contract offer was rejected by vote, and over 5 weeks of missed classes, Ontario college students will finally be returning to school this week.
A debate took place early Friday afternoon at Queen's Park regarding the back-to-work legislation Premier Kathleen Wynne tabled Thursday afternoon, a last resort effort made by the Ontario government to reopen Ontario college classrooms to students and forcibly end the strike.
Soon after Wynne introduced the bill, the NDP quickly shot it down, leading to a nearly weekend-long debate. Wynne's back-to-work bill would have required classes to resume Monday, as Ontario legislation allows bills with the unanimous consent of all parties to be fast-tracked.
But since the NDP rejected Wynne's proposed bill, a debate was expedited today, wherein the parties met to discuss the back-to-work legislation and come to a solution, which we're happy to say, they did.
Wynne does have a majority government, meaning that she would have ultimately been able to ensure that the legislation passed regardless the NDP's position on the matter.
And now that the strike has forcibly been brought to an end, student can expect their colleges from across the province to announce their back-to-school schedule. Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to return to Ontario colleges this Tuesday.
With the back-to-work bill passed, Wynne now has some "serious questions" for the OPSEU and College Employer Council about why the strike went on for as long as it did in the first place.