Strike hurting students

November 16, 2017

To the Editor,

As a Sheridan College graduate, past chairperson of the board of governors of Loyalist College, I express my disappointment with the state of college negotiations in the current strike situation. My disappointment is not with a particular negotiation party and what they may want out of the system but more specifically with the lack of recognition and attention to the financial burden to the consumer — the student and their family.

It is hugely disappointing when you recognize that the cost of such a strike is hugely borne on the backs of the paying student considering their tuition fees, other fees and total living expenses. In the interest of fairness and acceptability, it is ludicrous observing young adults being held hostage by a system that says it cares and values students.

Like too many similar strike situations, the paying students are twice victimized. The first by the mere fact that there is a strike. The second victimization is when the college institutions articulates having to give up holidays, or by extending the  school year and the list goes on. Whatever the system proposes will never be enough to repair the enormity of the personal damage. Resolution may be a win-win for the parties but this strike is by no means a WIN in any way shape or form for the paying public.   

The answer to this travesty will take a fundamental shift in political and union mindset that truly puts the student first within the negotiating paradigm. The time is long overdue where the province and unions need to find a better more humane, more timely, more fair and a more just process of bargaining.

I challenge every politician to put their money where their mouth is, to stop the partisan diatribes and condescending politic-speak and do something that authentically protects the interest of college and university students; their education and their financial stability.

So! Let’s see who steps up to the plate or better still who provides a grocery list of excuses to prop up the damaging status quo. There is an election coming up June 7, 2018. Ask your local party candidate if they support a change to the collective bargaining process related to colleges and universities. If they don’t support significant change, don’t vote for them and let them know it — that is what matters to them — getting elected or staying elected.

W. E. White, Centre Hastings



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