Fanshawe College students rally against class cancelling faculty strike, November 10, 2017. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Class Action Lawsuit Over College Strike Is Still On

A Wheatley woman who helped initiate a class-action lawsuit on behalf of students during the college faculty strike has no intention of withdrawing the legal action.

The Ontario government announced Monday it would refund tuition for students who had to drop out during the five-week strike. Premier Kathleen Wynne also reaffirmed a hardship fund for students would give them up to $500 for things like childcare costs and rent. Apprentices who lost classroom time will also be refunded a portion of their tuition.

However, Catelyn Foulon says the hardship fund is only for those who stay in school, and $500 is not nearly enough.

“I talked to a mom today who over the course of the strike paid over $1,600 for daycare for her son,” she says. “So, $500 is kind of a joke at this point.”

Foulon says the Toronto-based law firm hired to file the class-action is still looking over the announcement from the province, but unlike the hardship fund, the action demands money for residence fees, meal plans, transportation costs, and child care.

It alleges the colleges breached their contract with students by not providing the in-class time for which they paid.

Foulon says the response to the class-action has taken off across the province.

“As of Friday we were around 15,000,” she says. “I can only assume that it has way surpassed that this weekend.”

Students are expected to resume classes Tuesday after the government legislated faculty back to work over the weekend.

It does not mean faculty has a collective agreement with the College Employer Council. At least in the short term, faculty will work without an agreement.