On November 13, faculty from across the province gathered at Queen’s Park for a day advocating for stronger public funding for postsecondary education, fairness for contract faculty, and good jobs.
The day started with a breakfast reception attended by numerous MPPs and their staff. The reception featured remarks from David Piccini, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Chris Glover, the NDP critic for colleges and universities, and Mike Schreiner, the Leader of the Green Party.
During the day, faculty met with more than 35 MPPs representing all political parties, many of whom have universities in or adjacent to their ridings. With a new government in place and many new faces at Queen’s Park, this fall’s advocacy day provided an important opportunity for MPPs to learn about faculty priorities, including:
- protecting and expanding public funding for postsecondary education in Ontario to promote quality and accessibility;
- delivering fairness for contract faculty and committing to supporting good jobs on university campuses; and
- moving away from punitive university funding models based on performance metrics and urging greater consultation with faculty about university funding frameworks.
As in previous years, faculty gathered in advance to strategize and prepare for their meetings. OCUFA representatives also had a strong social media presence throughout the day, reporting on their meetings with MPPs and the issues they discussed.
Advocacy Day facilitated many important conversations. It is hoped that these conversations with MPPs will continue, not just at Queen’s Park, but also in the ridings where faculty live and work.