Sault professor sides with students during college strike

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Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Jerry Zuchlinski, a natural resources professor at Sault College, is taking the side of the administration during the 2006 Ontario, Canada college teachers' strike.

The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario professor disagrees with OPSEU's suggestions that staff is overworked and underpaid, while joining his colleagues on the picket lines. He told newspaper Soo Today, "I don't feel that the faculty concern with being overworked is valid. I do the same job that they do." While the rest of the faculty carried signs stating, "Faculty care about quality education," Professor Zuchlinski's read, "FACULTY LAZY GREEDY + STUPID."

The position is especially bold, as 92.2% of Sault's faculty support the strike, the fourth highest percentage overall. St Clair voted overwhelmingly in favour, with 96.6%, while Loyalist was least supportive of the action, with 64.0%.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union denied the final deal offered by the College Compensation and Appointments Council on Monday night. Faculty have been without contracts since 31 August 2005.

Zuchlinski said the faculty were offered a deal that would pay many as much as $95,000 per year, which, according to Sault College Campus News represents a 12.6% increase over four years.

The strike comes just a month before the end of the school year, which means courses may be extended into the spring and summer, making it difficult for students to find jobs to pay tuition.