Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, a small group of students appeared at the Kingston St. Lawrence College campus with picket signs of their own in hand.
Caught in the middle of the now five-week long labour dispute, students feel as though they are in Limbo.
Third-year Business Administration/Human Resources student Mindy Coe says not knowing when it will end affects everything in her life.
“Can’t work really, I’m not going to school, I’m just trying to stay afloat, and it’s caused depression, it’s caused anxiety, it’s causing issues in my relationship because I’m stressed out,” Coe said.
Across the street from the striking faculty, a small group of students is urging the college and employees to work out a deal.
Sadie Eves and several other students started organizing the protest about a week ago.
“The students have a side, we’ve been the leverage in a war we have no say in and it’s not fair,” Eves said.
Students from over 20 colleges are protesting over the next three days and Eves says they have their own list of demands including compensation for lost time.
“We deserve a say in how our semester is saved some of us want to compress it, some of us want to restart and I think everyone should have the option of what they want.”
Striking college faculty across Ontario set to vote on final contract offer
But a deal seems unlikely with this vote forced by the college employer council.
OPSEU local 417’s president Grant Currie thinks it was a bad call by management.
“I’m hearing from local presidents that it’s overwhelmingly we’re going to be rejecting this offer so hopefully that will drive the council bargaining team back to the table on Friday.”
OPSEU urges Ontario colleges’ striking faculty to reject offer as vote set to begin
Coe thinks if this offer is rejected, and she agrees with Currie, then the government should step in with back to work legislation.
“At this point, we’re not bargaining in good faith,” Coe said. “This isn’t good faith 29 days standing on a sidewalk isn’t good faith so I really do feel the higher authority needs to step in and say enough is enough.”
And while the votes are being tabulated, half a million college students will wait to see if they will be returning to school anytime soon.