The Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU), which represents Partial Load and Full-time Faculty, Counsellors, and Librarians at Ontario Colleges, responded to Friday’s announcement of COVID-19 funding to support Ontario Colleges, including $6.4 million for St. Lawrence College. The OPSEU press release is here.  A news report from the Cornwall Freeholder Standard is available here.

While this is good news, the Local Executive Committee for Local 417 believes it is important to note that it is disappointing to read about the province’s announcement and the comments about fall delivery as there has been no notice or discussion with the Local Unions who represent the support staff, counsellors and faculty. Additionally, as the press release from OPSEU points out, St. Lawrence College is one of the eleven colleges that do not have a librarian on any of our campuses despite offering programs with research components like nursing. The counsellors at all three campuses are under intense pressure during this mental health crisis. As a college with programs associated with Laurentian University, we are also disappointed that Laurentian did not receive any financial assistance.

St. Lawrence College president and chief executive officer Glenn Vollebregt
gestures while speaking at a media event in Brockville last September. (FILE PHOTO)