Ontario College strike creates problems at some schools

Long lines and traffic jams from Toronto to Timmins


 

Picketers at George Brown College, by Josh Dehaas

There are three-hour waits in line to register for courses at George Brown College in Toronto, reports the Toronto Star.

In Belleville, picketers at Loyalist College created a monster traffic jam that caused students and teachers to be late for class, reports the Intelligencer. The traffic jam also hindered regular citizens. One mother told the paper that the traffic jam made her four-year-old daughter more than an hour late for her first day of kindergarten.

There were also long lines of cars trying to enter Northern College yesterday, reports the Timmins Times and traffic woes plagued Mohawk College in Hamilton too, writes the The Spectator.

A Seneca College, a student told the Toronto Star that his orientation was cancelled.

The disruptions are all due to picket lines created by 8,000 Ontario college support staff who went on strike at 24 schools on Sept. 1. The The Ontario Public Service Employees Union members work in bookstores, registration, financial aid offices, IT, janitorial, maintenance and more.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, OPSEU President, told Maclean’s On Campus on Thursday that workers are striking to protect full-time jobs, because the colleges want to add more part-time employees. “I tell parents and students that we’re fighting for their futures,” he said.

The union has also asked for wage increases. Under the expiring collective agreement, employees who have worked full-time for more than one year are paid between $18.27 and $44.91 per hour. The College Employer Council’s last offer on August 31st included a 4.75 per cent wage increase, paid over three years, which would have put the average salary at just over $59,000.

Although students have faced delays and headaches at some schools, students at Fanshawe College in London told the London Free Press that there were no serious delays getting to campus on Tuesday. At Georgian College in Barrie, Algonquin College in Ottawa and St. Lawrence College in Brockville, local media also reported only minor delays on the first day of class.

What remains unclear is whether government loans will reach students later than usual. Chris Whitaker, president of St. Lawrence College, told The Canadian Press that managers at his school are working to get students’ Ontario Student Assistance Program loans distributed on time. But at Fleming College in Peterborough, all student loan appointments were cancelled this week.


 

Ontario College strike creates problems at some schools

  1. I hope a resolution comes quickly for the sake of our student’s futures.
    I also hope the media is not influenced by the fact that a provincial election looms in 30 days.

  2. I understand that they have a right to strike, but letting my son’s girlfriend through and then proceed to jump in front of her car is totally stupid. what’s that prove, only that your a moron? If that’s what they want to do then I say run them over. I hope the ones that are on strike have kids that go to college and ask their kids “How was your day”, did the striker’s let you in ok?

    • Really? It is ok if people die? You should realize that the picketers are just average Joes, working at desks and service areas in the college. Most of them have never been on strike (their last strike was 1979) – they’ve probably only had a little bit of training, if any, about holding their lines and traffic control. Maybe the person who “jumped” in front of your son’s girlfriend just didn’t know what to do or didn’t hear directions. Whether or not you agree with them, the strikers have a legal right to be out there, and delays at the entrance are their only way to raise awareness of the issues.
      Tell your son’s girlfriend to leave a little earlier and be patient. She should learn the issues and if she really disagrees maybe should organize a protest of her own. Anyone paying tuition at an Ontario college or university is entering a unionized environment where strikes can happen. Be aware. Have a plan B.

      • It took me 2 hours to get into campus. Perhaps I should picket around their cars and delay them from going home for 2 hours. Stopping students from entering and exiting a campus is a form of bullying and intimidation and should not be tolerated. If there is a real emergency the fire department has no way of getting through due to the traffic jams. They are putting our safety at risk. If you want to picket go off to the side and do it. Don’t give me your problem. If you’re that upset over working conditions then have enough dignity to quit and go somewhere that will make you happy.

  3. Don’t worry, the strike won’t last much longer. With the amount of people that have crossed the lines already, and with the colleges saying they can wait until December, the union will come crawling back in a couple of weeks at the latest.

  4. From the picket lines, we hear people cursing and swearing at us, telling us to get back to work. We would LOVE to get back to work. What needs to happen for a quick resolution to this strike is for BOTH sides to get back to the bargaining table and to negotiate seriously.

  5. To Name Witheld @ 7:09 – where did you hear that the colleges can wait until December? I already heard there were many people that have crossed the line. We are being used as pawns by OPSEU in their PR campaign to get more union dues from the part-timers. It’s BS! Smokey and Rod – typical 1970’s union thugs. Times have changed BOYS.

    Many of us don’t agree with the strike at all. I’m about ready to cross as well.

    • Part-timers do not pay union dues as they are not a part of the Union. Where did you get your information. The only time a part-timer would pay union dues if they were backfilling a full-time position on a temporary basis. Interesting that say “many of us don’t agree with the strike” when 77% voted in favour of a strike mandate. You filled out the surveys and indicated what you would and would not strike for.
      Valid information over misrepresentation please.

  6. what isn’t being discussed a lot is those effected by the branches of this. My daughter goes to day care that is run by a college…Sept 1 was to be her first day back from Summer, and she was so excited to the point that she packed her backpack weeks before and I didn’t have the heart to tell her she may not go.

    I have been pinned to a corner on this one and truthfully I do not agree with the right to pressure strike. I fully agree with the right to strike and picket but when pressure is applied to honest working individuals it becomes a matter of NO ONE wins. They don’t want to talk, and maybe OPSEU is asking too much…at this point, the public doesn’t care to a degree! it’s the same old story by the end…a lot of people get inconvenienced because of outrangous demans or ego. This is a situation that the government should FORCE communication by a inpartial mediator, plain and simple. For no one to step in and allow this is go on fuels the fire from both sides, and truely effects more people then necissary.

    I support the right to strike and fight for your rights…but there are means to do that and no involve as many people as possible, which has been the mantality of Union officials in the past (not saying this is the case here). Plain and simple, TALK and leave me out of it!

  7. These people should be thankful they even have jobs. I’m sure they can live with 25.00-45.00$ an hour, PLUS a 4.50$ wage increase each year. The people who work in colleges behind the registration desks and financial aid do nothing but create problems, and are rude to students who need help during the school year. AND BLOCKING STUDENTS FROM THEIR PARKING LOT WHO PAY 600.00$ A YEAR TO PARK THERE … AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN TUTION FEES IS NOT THE ANSWER!
    I PAY FOR MY EDUCATION AND I EXPECT TO BE IN CLASS ON TIME, RECIEVING THE MATERIAL I NEED IN ORDER TO BE SUCCSESSFUL. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WAIT 45 MINUTES TO GET INTO MY PARKING LOT RESULTING IN BEING LATE ON TH FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES AND GETTING IN SHIT FROM PROFESSORS. YOU ARE BLOCKING THE WRONG PEOPLE!!! STUDENTS CANT HELP YOU GET MORE MONEY FOOLS!

    • Normally, I would not respond to such a comment but I am very disappointed in this display of ignorance and thought it deserved to be addressed. Where do I start? First of all, support staff are not asking for a $4.50 wage increase each year. That would be ~10-20% per year which is ridiculous. In fact, if you paid attention to the issues, the main items are not montary. We don’t want to strike but we are trying to protect full time jobs for the future. Your future! We have already lost more money in lost wages in the last week than we can ever make up in raises so saying this is about money is incorrect. Once you finish school and get a job, you might find yourself in a unionize environment and appreciate what we are doing. We don’t want to be out on the lines–we want to be in the colleges doing what we do best. We take pride in our work and enjoy helping students in their journey to success. And regarding your professors giving you shit — from the line, we have found faculty to be most accommodating and supportive. And guess what? They are unionized too and they understand what we are taking a stand for. I suggest that you get involved and use your voice to start up petitions with your SAC offices rather than trashing the support staff.

  8. Many of us want to go back to work. We have rent, children to feed and parents to care for. Already one employee has been very seriously injured by a motorist. If you go back to work you’re also screwed because should you ever need the union they might not back you up. Nobody is winning.

    • dont stand in front of moving cars and you wont get hurt. and to be honest i have seen it happen this week where people are told to drive through and strikers walk across. if you do that ..your asking to get it

  9. The bottom line is your blocking students which have nothing to do with this issue, and can not get you what you are fighting for. I do not come to school to “take a stand and “start petitions”, I come to school to learn, in order become successful in the future. And for what I pay for both parking and tuition, I expect to learn and BE ON TIME, NOT BE HELD UP FOR 45 MINUTES TRYING TO GET INTO MY PARKING LOT THAT I PAID FOR! That is absolutely disgusting and ridiculous! And in the future when I do get a job, I will know exactly what im getting myself into such as wages, salary, and benefits and, therefore will not propose a strike and cause unnecessary problems for others. As for staff, some of them may be supportive, but not all of them and the students are the one who have to hear it for being 45 minutes late for class.

    I understand you are obligated to fight for your rights but you are getting the wrong people involved. Students who pay thousands of dollars for post secondary schooling should not have to suffer this. The first week of school is the most important especially for first year students. This is the time where we are getting all our material for our courses and assignments in order to be successful for this term. So keep doing what your doing and “fighting for my future” but right now all your doing is ruining my present by preventing others and myself from not getting to class on time.

    • I totally agree with the above poster. We just want to get to class. I saved up for three years trying to support myself and a family on minimum wage and finally moved to London, Ontario to obtain the education that an unplanned teen pregnancy (and an absent father) almost denied me. All I want is to rise above my current situation so that my little girl can have a mom who can give her what she needs and be a role model. I want my kids to know how important education is so I need to set an example.

      Yesterday I was thirty minutes late for one of my classes. Then I was told the book store’s hours are cut back, so I have a textbook assignment and no way to complete it.

      I’m sure OPSEU staff have problems. And they might even be big problems. Guess what? I’ve got problems too and I don’t park my ass in front of you and impede your movement when you’re trying to go about your day! I can’t fix your problems. Don’t bother me.

      PICKET RESPECTFULLY. GET OFF THE DAMN SIDEWALK. DON’T BUMP ME, DON’T BLOCK CARS, AND GET YOUR SLOW, DISRESPECTFUL ASSES THE HELL OUT OF MY LITTLE GIRL’S WAY.

      I’d feel a lot more sympathetic if you weren’t so annoying.

    • Hi,
      I just want to say that I understand your frustration with the logisitcs of the strike, however, you really need to grow up. You are in COLLEGE, which requires you to be a PROACTIVE adult. Since you KNOW ALREADY that there are large line ups, you need to plan your trip accordingly, and leave plenty of time. YES, it is frustrating, and annoying, and you aren’t the only student in the province who has been late to class or unable to access services. They (the workers) have been forced to resort to this extreme in order to get people to pay attention! And you might not feel like you should “have to” do anything, but contacting the president of your college will help them along! And if you choose to take no action to help the workers, you are ignorant in the face of the true meaning of this strike, and don’t deserve to complain! Also, you have no idea what circumstances may present themselves when you are a worker, especially if you are unionized! Unions are there so that workers can actually have an influence on their future.

  10. This is absolutely a ridiculous situation. Striking for an increase when most companies are decreasing wages, and trying to survive. Be happy you have a job, suck it up and someone must have enough brains to know with this economy it is not time to strike. If it continues I hope the gov’t fires all of them and contracts the services to private enterprise that will ensure accountability and profitability of the services provided.
    Last note the students are wrong to target, some example of leadership.
    Appalling indeed !

    • You should really do more research, they arent even striking for an increase in wages, they are striking because their jobs are slowly being replaced by part time workers. They are striking so that future generations actually have full time positions to go to. Its not about money.

      • A 6.1% increase over two years versus a 4.7% increase over 3 years is not striking for a wage increase?

        Don’t listen to the Red Herring being thrown in your face. Read the material yourself.

        The college has increased the number of full-time workers over the past few years. I have read through the “old” collective agreement and part-time workers are only ALLOWED to work less than 24 hours a week, and the College must provide justification for part-time workers currently in employement every 4 months. Where the College must provide justification for providing part-time work, assess the feasibility of converting those part-time positiosn into a full-time positions, and assess staffing those positions that are non-recurring in nature.
        The full-time positions are not being REPLACED by part-time positions. Full-time workers are be GUARANTEED 35- to 40-hour work weeks, that are scheduled on 5 consecutive days… this doesn’t leave much flexibility for the College to provide evening or “after-school” services to students. The College can implement more “flexible” work hours, but that is ONLY if the affected employees agree.
        As for the comment just below me that “they want to be able to can anyone they want at any time” by hiring more part-time employees, why would you not just fight to include part-time employees in the collective agreement with provisions for them to receive benefits and the ability to move into a full-time postitions if they qualify? (That is how it works in the union I am a part of: UFCW Local 12R24)

        Side note: If you are not striking for a wage increase, then accept that part of the agreement provided by the College.

      • *sorry for the few typos contained in my response. It’s late and I got distracted from my homework for class tomorrow morning.

      • Which I will probably be late for, because if it’s anything like today and they put the extra parking lot barriers down (preventing anyone from entering and parking their car), then I won’t be able to park my car unless I arrive by 7:30am and find a spot in the main lot.

    • We are not striking for an increase. We are striking so that the colleges will stop eroding full-time jobs and will hire more full-timers… which is what we need, not less. They want to be able to can anyone they want at any time… and pay less, and offer no benefits. Does that sound like the type of job you want when you graduate?

  11. Great! More unionized employees not happy with their ridiculous salary??

    sign

  12. My daughter waited in line for 3 hours and got Disney Land service. Please get your act together soon.

  13. I’m at St. Clair College and the strikers are holding up cars and causing huge back ups going into the school, out of the school and on the roads that lead to the school. We have no power to help you, so stop trying to extort us by holding up traffic and screwing up labs.

  14. “fighting for our future?”

    Your future is no where near my future. No one in my family makes even $30.00

    No one cares about what you advocate, because as frankly as anyone is concerned your issues are so far up your own ideologies they offer no concerns for immediacy or even for a future.

    It’s always the same with people who work in Universities and Colleges or high school, be it teacher or support staff, always whining about low wages or unfair job security because “they do a thankless job.”

    You do a thankless job when you picket anyway, because you break the laws in more ways than one.

    Way to go! by messing up uninvolved parties, civilians in the society we live in by blocking routes, creating traffic jams, directing bus routes.

    BRAVO!!!!! YOU Make an excellent point.

    • I don’t make $30 per hour either… the administration is exaggerating our salaries and saying that we want raises, so that you will all be angry with us and not support us. It’s a very old public relations trick… they use it in politics quite alot, in case you weren’t aware.

  15. I understand that OPSEU has the right to strike to protect their jobs. This doesn’t mean you can stop every car coming in @ 8am and talking with them for a minute. Cars are being backed up to the point where they are almost blocking off ramps from the highway.

    *PERSONAL OPINION* Unions were useful in the 1920’s when an employers could beat someone to within an inch of their life when they didn’t do their job correctly.

    @ John, September 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm:
    If money wasn’t the issue then why is the union asking for 6% increase over 2 years, when the college cannot afford to provide that without increasing (once again) our tuition fees. Bring to the table job stability istead of asking for a stupid amount of money on top of that. Being able to feel safe about your job is worth fighting for. Asking for more money when your paycheque comes from my tuition (which i fight tooth and nail to be able to pay every year, even with OSAP) generally equals to me paying more money. Money I don’t have. Something’s gotta give, and I sure as hell hope it’s not the colleges that do. I may not come back next year, because I may not be able to afford the increasing tuition.

    Think about that for a moment while you picket for your jobs, pissing off every student you come across. If you get your way, you may not see a few of us next year.

    • Tuition increases every year so the government makes more money. It’s not the schools that raise the cost, it’s the government. Complain to them about the raising tuition costs… not the school.

      I hope all you students get a full time job in a unionized environment when you graduate and go on strike. See how it feels! We want to be there helping you not walking the picket line.

      • Tuition does not increase every year so the governemnt makes more money. The government subsidizes the cost of tuition every year so that it DOESN’T increase. So yes, it is the schools that *try* to raise the tuition, and the government steps in and says NO or limits how much tuition can be raised by each year so that students are able to afford to go to school.

        You (@educated opinion) claim to know when you don’t. That is ignorance.

  16. To all of you students who complain about the strike… I hope when you graduate with all your dept, you end up working three part time jobs at mcdonalsd to pay off you loans because there will be no good jobs left for you. PAY ATTENTION!

  17. lol the last support staff that stated they hope students graduate to work 3 part time jobs is obviously lost grip on reality.

    In fact…both unions and business have lost concept of reality and respect.

    The day of the union should have long past…and I completely agree with the right to fight, as long as you fight your own fight. You work in an unionized position, and you’re fighting for what you want…don’t try to involve anyone else to get what you want. My 3 year old daughter does that and I pray she learns how to fight for herself by the time she is grown.

    Here are the facts…companys and employers DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU, they care about profits and shareholders. I started at my job a year and half out of college and it took me all of 2 seconds to realize that. I also realized that in a none unionized environment, all you can do is your best and make yourself valuable. EVERYTIME I have seen an employee behave as such, they have naturally been given rewards (raises) and job security. Now maybe my company is more responsible then most, but we still have yearly cut backs and downsizes…and if those are handled in a responsible and respectful manor then that is the way of the world! Accept it!!! Truth is; if my company was unionized (god forbid) I would have lost my job because of my hire date, and the fact that I am one of the more hard working and Statistically strong employees would not matter. Unions (in the past) have given job security to those who don’t deserve it and made for a subpar work ethic! Wonder why companys don’t bow down anymore?

    Take the garbage strike years ago in Toronto…a garbage worker at that time started @ 45K when a cop in toronto started at 48k! they wanted more money? give me a break you pick up trash, GET TO WORK!

    Job security is not a reality even in a union. It’s only secure if someone has been hired after you! People are out of work, lots of people…we live in a country with one of the higher tax systems (income and retail) and living in a economy that can crumble at ANYTIME. You don’t want to work, don’t…you want to fight, fight. FIGHT FOR YOURSELFS AND LEAVE EVERYONE OUT OF IT. That goes for ALL strikes. LEAVE ME ALONE, you will not win me over by annoying me, what are you a 5 year old!????

    And specifically about this strike…the colleges want more part time employees, of course. More part time employees means less unioned employees! I would want that too…I bet if you didn’t have a union they wouldn’t push for part time employee thing. NOW, ask yourself…are you so nieve to believe you’re still fighting for ‘the future’ or are you fighting blindly for the future of the union? Don’t think for one second the union isn’t playing both sides here…they need you and more full time employees to survive.

  18. Yes I’m definitely going to want to support the people who are making my semester a living hell by causing Traffic jams and blocking parking lots. That’s exactly what I’m going to do……. YA RIGHT!!! If support staff really thinks they are going to gain support from the students and “bring awareness” to their situation…They are sadly mistaken because all your doing is pissing us off. I hope they hire more part time employees and fire all your asses because I’m sure several people would be happy to have a job with an income.

  19. Keyboard warriors here venting to your fellow middle class. Redirect your energy to the negotiators making 200 grand. Do your homework.

  20. I’m not meaning this response in an aggressive way. Picketers are “directing their energy” towards the wrong people. Students who have no direct influence with the ongoings of wages and part-time versus full-time employment of support staff, are being targeted. Has the safety and security of students and other employees of the colleges come to question? Every entrance to our college has been blocked off and barricaded by picketers, which in our college’s case, has created immense traffic jams and line-ups. This has not only affected students and employees of the college, it has also caused the everyday driver insane amounts of chaos.

    God forbid we have a medical emergency at the college, because I have absolutely no idea how an ambulance, firetruck, or any other emergency vehicle can bypass the mess of traffic that the picketers have created.

    Beyond safety issues, I have so much resentment towards support workers now. To begin with, I’ve only had negative experiences with them. Perhaps it’s just my college, but they have always been rude, unhelpful, and actually hateful towards me and all other students. With all the tuition costs, I’d hoped to be treated reasonably and decently by the staff of my college.

    I could only hope for a job like they have with the pay that they have, part-time or full-time. The area I live in mainly has jobs working in either a car factory or a college, so anyone in my area should feel lucky to have any job at all. Especially one in such a clean, well-maintained environment. Everyday of work should mean taking pride in oneself and focusing on how to create a good experience for all the students.

    When the strike is over and a deal has been agreed upon, I sincerely hope that the attitude and treatment of the students improves. After causing so much havoc on our lives for the past week and a half, they really need to prove to themselves and to us that their work is worthy of all the trouble.

    Just a different perspective of the situation.

  21. I have read all of the comments above and thought I would weigh in. All of the support staff I work with including myself have had mixed feelings about how we should proceed.

    We were hoping that the strike would be over in a few days and as a result, we took a friendly “welcoming committee” approach – even gave out treats and smiled as we let people through quickly.

    As we entered the second week, we realized that nothing was getting done because nobody was paying attention. We reached out to the media and had students complain about how bad things were getting on the inside… the media replied by editing their words to make it sound like they were against us when in reality they were the only BRAVE ones willing to walk the line with us.

    When this failed, we realized that the ONLY and the BEST way to get everyone’s attention and implore everyone to take action was to hold up the lines coming in and out of the college. This has upset all of us a great deal – it breaks our hearts to see students leaving the school in tears – THINKING that we don’t care when the only reason why we took these jobs and are defending these jobs is because we DO care!

    Yes, we need to look out for our own security as well and yes many of us feel as though we are being manipulated by BOTH sides, but we feel as though we have no choice.

    Our bills pile up and all we get is rhetoric from the union, from the college management team and now from the students. We can’t cross the line or we will be letting down our team not to mention the threats of reprisal if we do. We are just as frustrated and angry as ANYONE if not MORE!! You may be held up for 45 minutes in a line, but we are out there getting less than $5.00 an hour and nothing else in return each and every single day!

    We can’t solve your problems but OPSEU and college management CAN. Make sure your voice is heard… and soon please, for ALL of us!!!!!

  22. For those who think that support staff are just making too much money. How much are the chosen professions that you are attending school for going to pay you when you graduate? Bet you won’t be saying that is just too much for someone who just got out of school pay me less. Many of these people have years of experience and not just in the colleges. That counts for something. If you want them back to work tell the management at your college to get back to the table. If you think that it is just the support staff asking for 3% raise that is causing your fee’s to go up you are crazy just how much to you think the management team earns non of the support staff are on the sunshine list but their are a number of management and they got on average 20% raise last year the teachers got 6% so it isn’t out of line. The we don’t have any money is always the what they say then spend 35000 on decorating the presidents office. Nice I have never spent that on doing my whole house. For those who think it should be done on a individual basis management would have to hire a full time person at 80,000 just to do that. These are skilled workers with college degrees not the janitors(they work hard and it takes skill) that are on the picket line they are the IT people media people.

  23. Enraged student they pay for that parking lot as well you don’t think the college lets them park for free do you. Do you not pay attention to the media that there is a strike what did you think was going to happen. The line ups are a normal part of the getting into the college so just how much did they hold each car for this 45 min seems to be a standard at all colleges Kingston was holding cars at the most 1 min so for it to take you 45 min to get it you must have been 50 in line.

  24. Please don’t run us over.
    The Union polled the membership for a strike vote during the summer when many were on holidays. Many of us feel bullied into the strike tactics, find the issues unclear and the unwillingness to negociate, unreasonable. It is an environment that is difficult to voice this in.
    It truly is hell.

  25. It seems the way to go these days to provide more part time jobs in order to allow working families, both mums and dads, an opportunity for employment. Why should the full time workers protest over this. Is not part time work the way to better integrate employemnt into our 24 hour, 7 day society?

  26. 90% of the full-time college and university support staff I’ve encountered are rude, slow, unhelpful, inaccurate, impunctual, and are generally poor customer service providers. That’s not just at one school either, it’s 4-5 post-secondaries that I’ve had direct contact with, in Ontario. In fact, the students and recent graduates who work there part time are a lot swifter and more effective with their service.

    Striking in this economy for full-time job protection simply isn’t viable. Based on the anecdotal tactics some lines are employing, this is quite unacceptable, which further reduces popularity. I feel really bad for the part-time OPSEU employees who have to suffer through this as well.

    That’s not to say there is innocence on the sides of these post-secondary institutions either. Most of them make a heap of money that is very unfairly divided, which is pretty disgusting, based on what students go through to pay tuition fees for the caliber of education they receive.

    I also wanted to respond to a comment about teacher striking someone mentioned above. Good educators should be a lot more highly valued and should earn a lot more than they do in Ontario. Teaching shouldn’t be viewed as a fall back profession. Historically, having good instruction can be a matter of life and death- and real educators recognize the importance and responsibility of their jobs, even if Ontarian society doesn’t. That’s why they have the passion to do disproportional work for a reduced rate of pay.

    • Greeting from the picket line. If you have never been on a picket line, like if have never before been either, you will find that it is not a nice place to be. We are required to walk the picket line 20 hours a week to receive $150.00 per week strike pay. And no other income. We still have to feed our families, pay bills and pay for gas to get to the picket line. Many staff members are single income families.
      Also we have to put up with rude verbal and hand gestures from students. We are also in danger of being hit by a vehicle.

      If you did some research you will find out that the number of OPSEU members who came out to vote and voted for a strike is very low.
      Not all of us wanted a strike.

      As far as passionate faculty goes, please compare their current salaries with those being paid to support staff. You will see that passion does to come into the picture everyday.

      Unfortunately you have experienced staff that you consider rude,
      slow and not punctual. Well in my 32 years of experience at a college I can say that I certainly have met many students who are rude, slow as in late for class and disrespectful in class and to staff members.

      Come out an try walking the picket line for an hour and see what it is really like.

  27. I’m not a fan of your argument, “from the picket line”, nor any responses that are completely biased and one-sided. I can truly understand and sympathize with where you are coming from, especially in regards to not wanting to be on strike and being concerned about your family’s income. I show a great deal of respect towards all the support workers everyday, and I’m one of many who do so. Obviously you are going to get the odd frustrated person, but isn’t that understandable? This strike is inconveniencing many people, and more than just students. I think you need to change your perspective and try to see things from our end. I’m also not a fan of the argument that you (as in the support staff) are doing this for “our future” (as in the students). This has nothing to do with us, and it’s strictly an attempt at justifying how awful this situation has been for our party.

    Would you care to know that I sat in a traffic jam for 40 minutes, using up gas and time (think about the extra environment damage this is creating as well). Keep in mind a lot of us students are dealing with severe debt. Me personally, I have to pay for tuition costs, book costs, food, insurance, rent, phone bills, and several other costs. I am a full-time student and also trying to work part-time just to stay afloat.

    I am never late for anything and today I was late (even though I gave myself an extra 30 minutes). I have anxiety issues. Would you “care” enough about your students to know that I had a massive anxiety attack in my vehicle. Forcefully shaking, crying, and hyperventilating. Not to mention witnessing several students crying out of despair to get the one thing we deserve – an education that we’ve paid for without extra stress and anxiety from this strike!

    Please try to put yourself in our shoes for once. We are all dealing with this so that you (and all support staff) can reach a reasonable agreement, and somehow you have no sympathetic bone in your body for the trouble you’ve caused us. Please ask yourself what us students get out of this – nothing. Now if this strike was to benefit us, sure, go ahead and be angry. If I was you or any support staff, I wouldn’t have the nerve to put down students after continuing to cause havoc in their lives.

    I pray you are not working in my college because you must (like many support staff in my college) have some kind of resentment towards students. I am a hard-working, respectful student. Not that it should matter, because unlike you, I am paying to be there. You are PAID to be there and that is the difference. You are the ones paid to be informed, friendly, and competent.

  28. I don’t know what world you grew up in but If I was unhappy with my Job I wouldn’t whine and complain about it. If you want a good full time job, go to school and get an education like the rest of us.

    II’m sure there are many people who would love to be on the contracts you’re on.