Planning for action: Engaging and mobilizing the university community

The lead-up to the June 2, 2022 Ontario election is a crucial moment to mobilize your membership to elect MPPs committed to championing fully funded, public postsecondary education and fairness for contract faculty. Planning education and engagement opportunities over the winter semester will mean you and your members are ready for election day (with materials, an organizing plan, and commitments from allies).

Action you can take now:

  • Map your members (see the guide here) and create a group of a few members who will work with you on your election campaign.
  • With your team, review OCUFA’s provincial election priorities and pick the issues that will resonate most among your members and on your campus.
  • Send a delegate to OCUFA’s monthly Election Action Network meetings.
  • Find out who the candidates are in your riding and make note of their contact information, including social media handles. It would be useful to find out if they have taken a position on election issues important to your association.
  • Develop materials (leaflets, petitions, posters, newsletters, departmental presentations) to aid you in reaching out to your members (you can also use and co-brand OCUFA materials). When speaking to members, make note of individuals who are passionate about and will champion a fully funded postsecondary education system.
  • Meet with other unions, student groups, and community allies on campus. Work with them to organize local events and actions. Could you host a joint campus town hall? Would representatives from your faculty associations and unions be willing to meet with your local MPP to discuss your campaign priorities? Could you do a campus tour with a friendly candidate and invite the media?
  • Find a friendly member on Senate to work with to pass a motion supporting OCUFA’s campaign points. Organize a large turnout and let the media know using this press release template.
  • Use the templates provided by OCUFA to write emails to your local MPP and the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
  • Encourage faculty and campus allies to email the party leaders through OCUFA’s website. OCUFA can provide you a list of association members and allies from your region who have sent an email.
  • Attend faculty council or department meetings so that you can build support for OCUFA’s election priorities and encourage your colleagues to get involved in election advocacy.
  • If it is safe to do so, set up tables at campus events to raise awareness about OCUFA’s election priorities and engage with potential community allies.
  • Focus on local candidates and incumbent MPPs who are running again. Keep the pressure on by asking them to pledge their commitment to OCUFA’s demands (you can use the candidates survey). Make sure to share the outcome of the meeting with the campus community and local media.

Key dates

January: Back to school and orientation

Start reaching out to potential election action team members and hold your first meeting to plan out the next few months.

February: Contract Faculty Committee Social media day of action

February 26: OCUFA Board Meeting

March 31: Ontario Budget

May 1: Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Day of Action

May 14–15: OCUFA Board Meeting

June 2: Provincial election