Classes started Monday at Confederation College here but just how long they keep going depends on how the union of Ontario college professors react to yesterday’s contract offer.
Local campus manager Don Lovisa said the professors will be taking a final vote early in September on whether to accept the offer or not. If not, they will begin a strike which would shut down the province’s entire college system.
“How we’re affected I don’t know but it’s a province-wide strike,” Lovisa said. “If they vote to go out, we’re affected here as well.”
Lovisa wasn’t sure if a strike would close the campus here completely, noting he’ll “cross that bridge when I get to it.” But he also said he’s not going to worry about it.
“You deal with it, postpone classes when necessary, and go on with it,” he said. “Everybody seems to survive a strike.”
In the meantime, classes continue as usual. Enrolment is up to 76 students enrolled in college courses, and about 50 more are enrolled in the adult training courses which start in October.
That’s way up from last year’s total of 85 students, Lovisa said.
“Human resource management, computer program analyst program, and early childhood education—those are the ones that drew nice size classes,” Lovisa noted.
“We’ve got good enrolment,” he added. “I think the new building will have a big impact on that.”
For now, the college is still operating out of an old portion of Westfort High School (it won’t be able to occupy its new home until Sept. 25). And that means students and staff are in a building with no heat, ventilation, or hot water.
“It’s definitely not ideal but we’ll survive,” Lovisa said. “We’re geared up with some temporary heaters if need be.”
But he also said it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and can’t wait to move into the college’s new home in the “multi-use” facility.
“It’s exciting to have something new and permanent,” he said, noting he took the staff on a tour of the new campus last week.
“It’s very exciting to walk through the new campus,” he added. “It can do nothing but improve our operation.”