A possible strike is threatening classes at colleges across the north and throughout Ontario.

The union representing faculty at Ontario's 24 public colleges has set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on October 16.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said in a news release late Tuesday that the date was set after the College Employer Council walked away from the bargaining table.

J.P. Hornick, the chair of the OPSEU bargaining team, said the employer again refused to consider key issues in the ongoing dispute.

She called the goal of setting a strike deadline is ‘to get negotiations moving before it’s too late.’


However, the council said it did not walk away from the table.

OPSEU, which represents more than 12,000 employees in the college system, has said the key issues include giving faculty and students more of a voice in academic decisions and what it calls the “ongoing exploitation of contract faculty.”

Hornick says the employer “is not moving forward on the issues faculty care about most — even in the case of no-cost items like academic freedom or longer contracts for contract faculty.”

Public colleges in the north includes Canadore College (North Bay), Cambrian College (Sudbury), Collège Boréal (Sudbury), Confederation College (Thunder Bay), Northern College (Timmins) and Sault College (Sault Ste. Marie).

with files from The Canadian Press