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Messages from Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College

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Friday, November 17, 3:39 p.m.

Hi folks,

As most of you know, there will be a resolution shortly. The government is taking steps to end the strike. My hope is that it will be settled over the weekend however none of us can know that for certain.

Regardless of the exact date, please consider this note as your minimum 48-hour notice and begin planning to return to class early next week. You will receive the exact return date as soon as I know.

It is very important that academic managers have the opportunity to meet with their faculty and further discuss plans for completing the semester and the academic year before our students return. As soon as we know that government has passed legislation to end the strike, we will communicate directly to faculty to return the next business day, followed by students the day after. Students can also expect to receive an email from their Campus or Associate Deans outlining further details about their return to class.

I have heard from many students, especially over the past 24 hours indicating that they are very concerned about whether tests or assignments will take place as soon as they are back. I can assure you that neither will occur on your first day back.

I have also heard your concerns about saving the semester. We will save your semester. Are our plans perfect? No as we have lost five weeks. They will however enable you to obtain your course outcomes and learning objectives. Please reserve judgement until you are back in class with your faculty.

As I said yesterday, this strike has gone on too long and I look forward to our students and faculty getting back to class. If there are any developments over the weekend, I will reach out immediately.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, November 16, 3:49 p.m.

Hi folks,

By now I’m sure many of you have heard the outcome of the vote.

OPSEU faculty have exercised their democratic right and voted NO to the Management Offer of Settlement. As a result, the strike continues.

At this moment, it is my understanding that the parties are currently meeting under a media blackout. It is my hope that the two sides can reach an agreement so that our students and faculty are back in class next week.

To our students,

I get it. There is no question, I understand how difficult this is for you. I have responded to over 2000 of your e-mails, messages and tweets expressing your concerns and frustrations. I’m struggling to find the right words to express my sympathies to you as you have been caught in the middle of this strike which is approaching five weeks. The management team here at the College continues to work on our back to class plans and we will work with our faculty when the strike ends so that you will obtain your semester and year.

A student relief fund is currently being finalized with the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development, as is planning around tuition, fees and OSAP. As soon as this work is completed, we will share details with you.

In closing, I want to say that this strike has gone on too long and I hope that an agreement will be reached soon.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, November 16, 11:10 a.m.

Hi folks,

We have just received notice from the Ontario Labour Relations Board that OPSEU faculty have voted NO to the Colleges’ offer of settlement.

We have no further information at this time but will let you know as soon as we have more to share.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Wednesday, November 15, 4:05 p.m.

Hi folks,

Reminding all faculty that electronic and telephone polls close tomorrow at 10:00am (Thursday, November 16th).

I will let everyone know the results of this vote as soon as I am able to.

For more information on the Offer of Settlement and the Vote go to collegevote.ca

Information for SLC faculty accessing College e-mail and what to do if you are having technical problems can be found at www.stlawrencecollege.ca/collegevote.

Again, I encourage all faculty to exercise your right to vote.

Sincerely,

Glenn

Tuesday, November 14, 5:12 p.m.

Hi folks,
 
Today at 9:00am, the faculty vote commenced and will conclude at 10:00am on Thursday, November 16th. We are expecting to know the results of the vote within a few hours after the close of voting.
 
I will let everyone know the results of this vote as soon as I am able to.
 
I have been in Brockville and Cornwall today and have had a number of discussions with faculty regarding the offer being voted on.  As I said yesterday, there is a new website collegevote.ca where folks may find more information on the offer of settlement, listen to an archived Council Q&A webcast as well as finding the Ontario Labour Relations Board information on the vote.
 
Information for faculty on accessing College e-mail and what to do if you are having technical problems can be found at www.stlawrencecollege.ca/collegevote
  
Again, I encourage all faculty to exercise your right to vote.
 
Sincerely,
 
Glenn
 

Monday, November 13, 4:07 p.m.

Hi folks,

There have been no substantial developments over the weekend. Faculty are scheduled to vote on management’s offer beginning tomorrow morning, November 14th, at 9:00am. Voting will continue through until 10:00am on Thursday, November 16th. This is an electronic vote managed directly by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). We do not know exactly when we will be informed of the results but we are anticipating that it will be no more than a few hours following the closing of the electronic polls.

The outcome of the vote will be decided by a majority (50% +1) of those faculty voting throughout the province. If faculty vote in favour of the Colleges’ offer, the strike will end and our students and faculty will be back in class as soon as possible. If faculty vote no to the Colleges’ offer, the strike will continue.

I have spoken to many on the Kingston Picket line today and will be available at our Cornwall and Brockville picket lines tomorrow to answer any questions that you may have. I have done this throughout the strike and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability.

Today, Ontario colleges launched a new website – collegevote.ca – to provide information for the 12,000 faculty who will be voting on the colleges’ offer this week. As I recognize many of you were picketing during the 11:00am broadcast of today’s webinar, please note that an archived audio webcast, as well as a transcript of the webcast are also available on this site.

The webcast call dealt directly with faculty questions that have come from the picket lines, phone calls, emails and through social media outlets - many of which I have also received personally. In addition to providing information on the offer, it also deals with issues such as return to work, pay implications and other more complex questions. Please note that information for faculty on accessing College e-mail and what to do if you are having technical problems can be found at www.stlawrencecollege.ca/collegevote 

I encourage all faculty to exercise your right to vote.

Thank you,

Glenn

 

Friday, November 10, 3:44 p.m.

Hi folks,

To our students first

In previous messages, I have indicated that back-to-class plans have been continually evolving as this strike has continued. As of today, the plan for most programs is as follows:

The Fall semester would be extended to include:

  • The week of Monday, December 18th through Friday, December 22nd
  • The first two weeks of the new year Tuesday, January 2nd through Friday, January 12th
  • The fall semester end date will be Friday, January 12th

The Winter semester would be as follows:

  • The winter semester start date is Monday, January 15th
  • The winter break would remain unchanged
  • The winter semester end date would remain as originally scheduled on Friday, April 27th

PLEASE NOTE:

This revised period of study applies to most programs and reflects information that is known to date. It is based on an assumption that students will return to class on or before, Monday, November 20th. These plans remain subject to change depending on the duration of the strike. If the strike extends beyond November 20th, plans will be revised and the semester extended. When the strike concludes all students will receive further detailed information about their program.

As I have said in previous communications, our faculty and your professors are a key component of our back-to-class plans and that is still the case. I do know however that there has been lots of misinformation regarding semester completion and I wanted to assure you that we will do everything we can to help all students achieve the learning outcomes expected in all of your courses for this semester and the year.

I have no doubt that what I am sharing at this point may create more questions and I am fully aware of the many considerations and challenges that all of you as students may face given these circumstances. The college promises to support and accommodate those of you whose circumstances will be significantly impacted by these changes.

Lastly, I also know through your e-mails to me that you are seeking more information than what I can offer. Tuition, residence fees, parking fees, delaying your studies or perhaps even abandoning them are but a few of the many concerns you have expressed. We are working with many folks to fully address these as soon as we possibly can. I offer my personal promise that we will place students first and treat each of you with the fairness and respect you deserve no matter what your decisions are for your future. I know this is an incredibly difficult time and I can only ask that you please continue to allow us the opportunity to address your concerns.

To everyone

As we approach the end of week 4 of the strike, I have only one wish, and that is for this strike to end. Our students and faculty need to be back in class. I will inform you of any changes that may take place over the weekend.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, November 9, 4:44 p.m.

Hi folks,

There is little new information to share today.

In my message, last evening I indicated to faculty that information on the vote can be found at stlawrencecollege.ca/strike

  Electronic Voting Instructions/OLRB Notice of Vote

  Management Offer

  Offer Improvement Summary

  Offer Comparison Chart

I hope that everyone will take the time to read and understand this information.

Safety on the picket line

There have been incidents both Tuesday and again today on the picket lines where vehicles have proceeded up to, or through the line in an aggressive manner and in doing so, came into contact with our faculty. While at least one colleague was assessed at the hospital on Tuesday, thankfully no one was seriously injured. Regardless of circumstances, all vehicles must yield the right of way.

My messages throughout the strike have consistently reminded everyone to show courtesy and respect for each other. I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of the well-being and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Remember, we are all part of the SLC community.

Sincerely,

Glenn


Wednesday, November 8, 5:13 p.m.

Good afternoon everyone,
 
To our students first:
 
Over the past few days my daily note has been focused on issues related to bargaining. In sharing this information, it has further heightened your concerns and resulted in additional questions. 
 
Questions such as - What is your plan? What are the details of the plan? Will I lose my semester? …
 
I have consistently said that we are working on plans that will ensure that our students obtain their semester and their year.
 
Please know that folks have been working constantly to outline plans to make up for the lost time. Having said that we can only go so far, as a key component of our plans are our faculty. They are your Professors, and we need to work together with them to finalize our back-to-class plans. It is also important to note that these plans vary course by course, program by program, and they are constantly evolving as the strike continues.
 
In order to make up the lost time, changes such as extending the fall semester prior to holidays or resuming classes earlier in January are some of the options being explored. Previous messages in this respect have been met with a number of questions regarding vacation, travel, housing and many other concerns. At this stage, I apologize for not providing definitive answers. What I can say, is that we are dedicated to supporting you through these challenges and we will do all that we can to provide accommodation for your circumstances.
 
To our faculty:
 
My commitment to you and to everyone at SLC is to continue to inform you of what I know each day.
 
Over the past 24 hours I have received a considerable number of inquiries and in some cases, challenges to my statement in yesterday’s note that bargaining is currently ongoing. In my conversations with many on the picket line, this same question has been asked. To this point I sought further confirmation from the Colleges Employer Council this morning as to the status. This is what I received:
 
“The colleges' bargaining team continues to explore settlement options through the mediator.”
 
The other major concern expressed over the last day was uncertainty over which offer would be voted on. Once again, I sought further confirmation and I have been informed by the Colleges' Bargaining Team that the offer that will be voted on is the one that had been the result of negotiations over the past weekend. My understanding is that the major outstanding issue to be resolved relates to Academic Freedom. A summary of changes since the original October 10th offer and the current November 6th offer of settlement that will be voted on can be found at www.stlawrencecollege.ca/strike.
 
And finally, we all want an end to this strike. Everyone is feeling the strain of this and I have been witness to these emotions first-hand. I urge folks to please treat each other with respect and courtesy.
 
Sincerely,
 
Glenn
 

 

Tuesday, November 7, 6:10 p.m.

Good evening folks,
 
I want to take a moment to acknowledge and recognize how difficult a day this has been for our SLC Community. There have been many mixed messages throughout the day. I will share with you what I know as of now.
 
Status of Bargaining
 
Bargaining is currently ongoing. Colleges have been communicating with the OPSEU Bargaining Team through the mediator and remain at the table. It is our understanding that OPSEU is in agreement with all issues except for Academic Freedom. It is also our understanding that Colleges have advanced academic freedom guarantees in the offer. The colleges made significant moves last week to reach a negotiated settlement and tabled additional improvements, which are included in the offer that will be voted on. All the details of the Management Offer for Settlement can be found at thecouncil.ca.
 
Faculty Vote Date and Format
 
I am hopeful that a settlement can be reached at the table so that our students and faculty can return to class. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) confirms the vote will be held from 9:00 am, November 14th, through 10:00 am, November 16th. The vote will be conducted by electronic ballot and will ensure that the maximum number of faculty can exercise their right to vote.
 
This situation remains challenging for all involved. Again, I would urge all of us to continue to maintain our respect and courtesy for each other.
 
Sincerely,
 
Glenn
 

 

Monday, November 6, 5:43 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

As I said earlier today, I am extremely disappointed for our students and our faculty that OPSEU has rejected a revised offer from the Ontario Colleges that they felt had addressed all of the issues raised by OPSEU at the bargaining table.

It is important that College faculty have an opportunity to vote directly on this offer. An employer vote is not the preferred path however, in an effort to end this strike and get our students and faculty back in class, Colleges’ are asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to schedule a vote. A meeting tomorrow with the OLRB will provide us with the timing of the vote by late day. Colleges had requested that OPSEU suspend the strike in the interim so that classes could resume however, this request has been denied.

All the details of the November 6th Management Offer for Settlement can be found at thecouncil.ca.

I recognize that today’s events have further increased anxiety and frustration for everyone involved. I hope that we all continue to maintain our respect and courtesy for one another as we seek to resolve this dispute.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Monday, November 6, 1:02 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

I am extremely disappointed to let you know that OPSEU faculty have rejected a revised offer from Ontario Colleges that addressed the concerns raised at the bargaining table. This is an upsetting outcome for both students and faculty.

Ontario colleges have asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on the Colleges’ offer. The vote will let our faculty decide on the offer and hopefully end the strike.

The colleges have requested that the strike be suspended and let faculty and students return to class. 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.

The Labour Board will determine the vote date. It is expected that the vote will take between five and ten days to organize. This length of time is why we are asking the union to allow faculty to return to class so that students will not lose another week of studies.

Attached please find details on the bargaining process from the College Employer Council: Bargaining Update; Media Release. Full details on the Colleges’ offer can be found at thecouncil.ca.

I will continue to keep you updated as new details arise.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Friday, November 3, 4:06 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

There is little to update on the strike status today, but in this case, no news is good news. It means that the parties are working hard to reach an agreement that hopefully brings an end to the strike.

It’s important to note that although the Colleges and the OPSEU bargaining team continue negotiations, an end to the strike is not yet a certainty and no date has been set for returning to class. I remain hopeful that we will receive good news soon that will see our students and faculty back in the classroom next week.

You have my continued assurance that I will keep you updated on any new developments in this strike. I will reach out over the weekend if there is anything new to report.

Please make sure to check the St. Lawrence College strike site for up-to-the-minute information: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike 

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, November 2, 4:07 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

I know we all share a renewed hope and optimism today now that the OPSEU faculty union and the Colleges’ bargaining team are back at the negotiating table. We need to end this strike and I know we’re all hoping for a quick resolution and a speedy return to the classroom.

Strike updates and back-to-class plans will continue to be posted on the SLC strike site as information becomes available. Check our website regularly: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike 

I encourage students to be on campus, focus on your studies and be prepared for your return to class. Services are operating and Student Government offices are open.

The parties are working hard to reach a collective agreement and end the strike by faculty so that we can continue the semester. I’m confident that the SLC community will work together – as we always do – to support the success of our students.

Sincerely,

Glenn


Wednesday, November 1, 4:25 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

Earlier today, Ontario Colleges took action to end the faculty strike by asking the provincial mediator to resume bargaining tomorrow, Thursday, November 2nd.

I cannot speculate on what might happen at the bargaining table, but the Colleges’ bargaining team will work very hard to get an agreement. I am hopeful that a settlement can be reached quickly that will see students back in class next week.

We have been actively working on plans for getting students back in the classroom. These plans will evolve until we know for certain when the strike will end. Faculty are a vital ingredient to the successful restart of classes and we are unable to include them in back-to-class planning until the strike is over.

That said, it's important for you to understand some of the ways in which the College could make up lost time:

   Most Program classes were originally scheduled to finish by Friday, December 15th and resume on Monday, January 8th. Depending on the length of the strike, this may no longer be possible.  It is possible that classes will be held the week of December 18th and resume on January 2nd.  We will ensure that this information is included in our back-to-class messaging as soon as we are able to confirm. 

   Please note that regardless of our back-to-class plans that there will be no classes scheduled between December 23rd and January 1st. 

I am hopeful the strike will end soon and that our students and faculty can get back to class. 

For updated information on the faculty strike please continue to check our strike site: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike

Sincerely,

Glenn

Wednesday, November 1, 10:57 a.m.

Good Morning Folks,

This morning, the College Employer Council asked the provincially-appointed mediator to resume negotiations with the OPSEU faculty bargaining union.

The news release is attached here. [click here to view the news release online]

I will continue to communicate important updates to you through my daily emails and posts to the SLC strike page.

As a reminder, the SLC strike page can be found here: https://www.stlawrencecollege.ca/about/opseu-strike-updates/

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Tuesday, October 31, 4:35 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,
 
I’ve had a number of students inquiring about strategies for voicing their opinions on the strike. Specifically, students want to send a message to Colleges and the faculty union to get back to the bargaining table and bring an end to the strike.

Since Colleges are one of the parties involved in this collective bargaining process, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to offer such advice to our students, however, a few things I do want to note:

  • You have every right to have your voice heard in this dispute whether you support the position of faculty, Colleges, neither or both. 
  • You have the right to peaceful demonstration.
  • You have the right to voice your opinion.

I encourage you to inform yourself on the facts and not to rely on rumours or misinformation. The best way to get informed is by reviewing the bargaining positions of both parties on the website of the College Employer Council: thecouncil.ca
 
Like staff, students and faculty, I remain hopeful that the parties will get back to the table and work out a deal to end the strike.
 
Sincerely,
 
Glenn

 

Monday, October 30, 2:59 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

As many of you know, I’ve spent the weekend responding to emails, most from students frustrated that the strike by College faculty is now stretching into its third week. The clear message that I am hearing is that Colleges and faculty need to get back to the table and work out a new collective agreement that gets students back in class.

I share this view and I am hopeful that talks will resume sooner rather than later.

It’s important to remember that the decision to return to the bargaining table is made by a provincially-appointed mediator. The mediator does not propose solutions – the ideas for resolving the strike must come from either faculty or Colleges and at this point, the two parties have fundamental disagreements on matters of academic freedom and full-time faculty ratios. When the mediator is of the view that one or both parties are ready to alter their position, bargaining will resume.

I also want to caution everyone that misinformation is beginning to circulate on social media. I encourage you to inform yourself on the facts. The bargaining positions of both OPSEU faculty and the Colleges can be found here: thecouncil.ca

And finally, as the strike is now in its 3rd week, tension and anxiety has increased as this is a very difficult time for students, staff and faculty at SLC. I expect everyone to continue to conduct themselves with courtesy and respect and I encourage students to come to campus and continue to focus on their studies. 

Tomorrow, I will be at our Brockville and Cornwall campuses to answer any questions folks may have.

Thank you and take care,

Glenn


Friday, October 27, 2:54 p,m.

Good afternoon folks,

I want to thank everyone again for your patience and thoughtful comments as the faculty strike reaches the two-week mark. I appreciate the frustrations and I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions via email and Twitter.

I want to advise students that the deadline for second semester residence fees will be postponed. These fees were originally due on November 6th. We will provide further details at a later date. 

A few things we know this week:

  • The strike will end and when it does, the College will have plans in place to get students back to class and to placements as quickly as possible.
  • Students will receive at least 48 hours notice of classes resuming.
  • Tuition deadlines for winter semester will be extended. Fees are no longer due on November 15th. The Registrar’s Office will communicate details early next week.

Things we don’t know:

  • How long the strike will last.
  • When the provincial mediator will call Colleges and the union back to the bargaining table. The two parties remain far apart on very important issues of academic freedom and full-time faculty ratios.

Reminders:

Other News:

  • Yesterday, the College Employer Council (CEC), which leads bargaining for Ontario’s 24 colleges, issued a statement that outlines the College position on the key issues. You can find this information on the website of the CEC, along with the bargaining position of the OPSEU faculty union: thecouncil.on.ca

Should new information arise over the weekend, I will be in touch via email and Twitter. Otherwise, my next update will be on Monday.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, October 26, 2:59 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

I want to thank all of the staff who are working hard every day to support our students. Many students are on our campuses, continuing to focus on their studies and taking advantage of activities offered by the student government, student services and athletics. I encourage all students to do the same.

Two key concerns are being raised with me this week: Fees and Schedules

Fees

In light of the ongoing faculty strike, St. Lawrence College will be extending the deadline for current students to submit winter semester tuition fees. They are no longer due on November 15th. More information and new fee deadlines will be provided by the Registrar’s Office early next week.

Schedules

Until we know when the strike will end, we can’t know what the rest of the school year will look like. I know this is frustrating and I’m deeply sorry we don’t have an answer for you, but we simply will not be able to make firm plans until the strike ends.

Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Wednesday, October 25, 4:06 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

First of all, I want to thank all of our faculty for your professionalism and the thoughtful conversations that we have had out on the picket line. I appreciate that you are taking the time to discuss your issues with me.

I also want to thank our students for your patience. Your questions via email, twitter and in person have been respectful and courteous. I am doing my best to keep up with your inquiries and I promise to get back to each of you.

I have received many inquiries over the past week from faculty, students and staff asking when talks will resume between Colleges and the faculty union to reach a new collective agreement, and bring an end to the strike.

It is important to note that the decision to return to the bargaining table is made by a provincially-appointed mediator. When the mediator is convinced that one or the other party is ready to change a position, they will invite the parties back to the bargaining table. At this point, Colleges and the union remain far apart on a number of key issues, specifically full-time faculty ratios and academic freedom.

As I have said many times, this strike will end, they always do, and when it does, we all need to work together to ensure that we get back to doing what we are all here to do at SLC and that is helping to prepare our future leaders.

Take care,

Glenn

Tuesday, October 24, 2:55 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

I’m receiving a lot of emails this week from understandably anxious students who are seeking answers on some very important issues.I want to assure our students that work is underway to develop return-to-class plans. These plans are constantly evolving but please be assured that as soon as new information becomes available – and as we’re able to answer more of your questions -  we are posting updates on the SLC strike site: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike.

I encourage students not to presume that the second week of a strike means that the semester will be lost. We will be reviewing a number of options to achieve the intended learning outcomes for the semester.  All of these options are being explored by the College and as I said, we will continue to provide updates through your SLC email and on the strike site. I will remind you that in the 50-year history of Ontario colleges, no student has ever lost a semester.

I encourage students to be on campus, to focus on your studies and to participate in ongoing student government activities.

And I expect the entire SLC community to continue to demonstrate patience and respect as Colleges and the union work out some complex bargaining issues.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Monday, October 23, 3:00 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

Thank you for your continuing patience and respect as we move into the second week of a strike by College faculty. I appreciate the feedback, questions and comments I’ve received over the past few days. I want to take this opportunity to answer some of the most pressing questions in my inbox:

What happens to my apprenticeship training during the strike?

Like any other full-time program, apprenticeship training is suspended for the duration of the strike. 

Are my assignments due during the strike?

Students are not expected to submit assignments or write tests in suspended programs during the strike. Any assignments due or tests scheduled during the strike will be rescheduled.

Does SLC have a plan for getting me back to class?

Plans will continue to evolve until we know the end date of the strike. The College will give students a minimum of 48 hours notice before classes begin. We will post a full back-to-class plan at stlawrencecollege.ca/strike when the end date of the strike is confirmed.

I will be on the Cornwall and Brockville campuses tomorrow. Please wave me down if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Glenn



Friday, October 20, 3:00 p.m. 

Good afternoon folks,

I appreciate this has been a tough week for everyone and I want to thank students, faculty and staff for being patient and respectful while faculty are on strike.

Some Friday facts:

   The strike will end. We can’t guess when, but I can assure you that St. Lawrence College will do everything possible to make sure students do not lose the semester.

   When the strike ends, the College will give students a minimum of 48 hours notice before classes begin. We can’t be more precise than that on timing. If, for example, the strike concludes on a Friday, it could be more than 48 hours before you are back in class. All we can promise at this point is a minimum of 48 hours’ notice.

   The College is open and we encourage students to come to campus and use the opportunity to study and participate in some of the events taking place through the student government.

   The St. Lawrence College strike site contains up-to-date information and answers to many of your frequently asked questions. Check in often to www.stlawrencecollege.ca/strike. There are some questions for which we just don’t have answers at this time. For example, we don’t know how long the strike will last. I guarantee that as soon as we know these details, we will share them with you.

This is a very difficult time for faculty as well as for students and staff at SLC. I’ve spent many hours on picket lines at all three campuses this week and what’s clear is that the entire St. Lawrence College community hopes for a speedy resolution to this collective bargaining dispute. Let’s remember that Colleges and the union are attempting to work out a fair agreement that involves some highly complex and contentious points of disagreement.

Please be courteous, respectful and above all, safe, on the picket lines.

I will keep you posted should new information arise over the weekend. Otherwise, I will resume daily correspondence on Monday.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Thursday, October 19, 3:00 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

I want to remind St. Lawrence College students that all campuses are open with many services and activities available. You are welcome on campus and I recommend that you take time during the strike to connect with your peers and work ahead when possible.

    Libraries and bookstores are open

    Cafeterias are open

    Fitness facilities are operating on regularly scheduled hours

A complete list of available services and facilities can be found on the SLC strike site: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike

Student government offices on all three campuses are open and student events are running. Learn more about student government activities on their individual sites:

     Brockville Student Administrative Council (SAC): www.brockvillesac.com and www.facebook.com/BrockvilleSAC

     Cornwall Student Union (CSU): www.facebook.com/cornwallcsu

     Kingston Student Association (SA): www.facebook.com/saslc.ca

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time and remember that up-to-date information on the strike, including answers to your frequently-asked questions, can be found on the SLC strike site: stlawrencecollege.ca/strike.

I encourage all students to continue to focus on your studies.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Wednesday, October 18, 4:35 p,m.

Good afternoon folks,

As we conclude the third day of a strike by our faculty, I want to remind you that the issues driving this strike are complex and may not be quickly resolved. Colleges and the union have a lot of work ahead to reach an agreement. A provincial mediator has been appointed to lead the negotiations and the mediator will indicate when the parties should return to the bargaining table. Your patience is much appreciated during this very difficult time.

I want to thank the SLC community for your continuing courtesy and respect in the halls and on the picket line. Picketing will be the norm at all entrances to all campuses for the duration of the strike so a few reminders:

- Picketing at campus entrances is a legal activity.

- If you are entering SLC premises in a vehicle, slow down and proceed with extreme caution. It’s the law.

- Prepare for delays to allow faculty to share information. Manage your time accordingly.

- The courteous and respectful way to cross the picket line is to roll down your window and politely listen to the information being shared.

I expect everyone at SLC to be respectful and courteous while College and faculty negotiators continue to work out a new collective agreement. Nothing is more important than the safety of our SLC community.

Slow Down. Drive safely when crossing picket lines. Give pedestrians the right of way. It's the law.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Tuesday, October 17, 3:51 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

While there is no change in the status of contract negotiations between OPSEU faculty and Colleges, I wanted to provide a reminder of places to seek up-to-date information during the strike.

SLC has dedicated part of our website to providing important information on the strike, including answers to many of your frequently-asked questions. Check in often at stlawrencecollege.ca/strike

The strike site also has a full list of facilities and services that remain available to students.

I also want to remind you that the Student Governments at St. Lawrence College have information available for students on their respective websites and/or social media channels:

Brockville Student Administrative Council (SAC): www.brockvillesac.com and www.facebook.com/BrockvilleSAC

Cornwall Student Union (CSU): www.facebook.com/cornwallcsu

Kingston Student Association (SA): www.facebook.com/saslc.ca

Since Monday morning, I have been welcomed by faculty, staff and students on all three campuses and I want to thank you all for your support of one another during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Glenn

 

Monday, October 16, 4:45 p.m.

Good afternoon folks.

Even though there is little information to share on the OPSEU strike today, I want to help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening at SLC. A few things to know:

- When the strike ends, SLC will give students a minimum of 48 hours notice before classes begin.

- The College remains open. Many students are on campus. You’re welcome to join us here and in fact, your student governments are encouraging you to do so.

- The College has a strike section on our website with lots of information. The site is being updated as new information arrives. Check in often to www.stlawrencecollege.ca/strike

- There are some questions for which we just don’t have answers at this time. For example, we don’t know how long the strike will last. I guarantee that as soon as we know these details, we will share them with you.

Today is a very difficult day for all of us. As I’ve visited picket lines at the Kingston campus one thing has been clear: the entire St. Lawrence College community hopes for a speedy resolution to this collective bargaining dispute. 

Tomorrow, I’ll be in Cornwall and Brockville and I look forward to connecting with our faculty, staff and students on those campuses. Be sure to wave me down if you want to chat.

The Colleges and the union are doing their best to work out a fair agreement and at present, they remain far apart in their positions. Let’s continue to support one another and treat our colleagues and friends with respect as the two parties work out a new collective agreement.

Sincerely,

Glenn


Sunday, October 15, 9:00 p.m.

We regret to inform you that Ontario Colleges and their academic union have been unable to reach a new contract agreement. Faculty will begin a legal strike at 12:01 tomorrow morning.

As a result, all full time programs at St. Lawrence College are suspended, with the exception of some work/field placement activities.

The College website and your SLC email will be our main communications vehicles for sharing information with you during a strike.

Our website www.stlawrencecollege.ca/strike will have regular updates on the strike. You can find information on the site now that may answer some of your questions.

Campuses in Cornwall, Brockville and Kingston will remain open during the strike and all managers and support staff will be at work. Most services are operating as usual. A complete list of facilities and services available can be found on the SLC strike website.

Expect picket lines at all entrances to our campuses beginning tomorrow morning and be prepared for delays to allow faculty to share information. 

I want to emphasize again that this is a legal picket. As I have said before, please remember that striking workers are our professors, our colleagues and our friends. This is a very difficult time for students, for staff and for faculty. I expect everyone to conduct themselves with the utmost courtesy and respect during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Glenn


Thursday, October 12, 4:30 p.m.

Good afternoon folks,

We’re all aware that faculty at Ontario colleges are scheduled to go on strike at midnight on Sunday. We remain hopeful that the two sides can reach a contract agreement before the deadline.

In the event an agreement is not reached and to help you prepare for a Monday strike, here is some information you need to know:

- Check your SLC email or the SLC website http://www.stlawrencecollege.ca/  first thing Monday morning to confirm a strike is taking place

- The College website http://www.stlawrencecollege.ca/ and your SLC email will be our main communications vehicles for sharing information with you leading up to, and during, a strike.

- For up-to-date information including answers to frequently asked questions:

- A strike will mean the cancellation of all full-time classes.  The College will remain open with most services and most facilities available.

- College employees who are not part of the faculty union will be at work.

- Student Association and Student Union offices and services will be operating on all three campuses

In the event of a Monday strike, you can expect to see picket lines at all entrances to the College.  Expect to be delayed to allow faculty time to exchange information. 

Above all, please remember that striking workers are our professors, our colleagues and our friends. This is a very difficult time for students, for staff and for faculty. I expect everyone at SLC to be respectful and courteous while College and faculty negotiators continue to work out a new collective agreement.

Sincerely,

Glenn