On November 4th and 5th, 2015, OCUFA President Judy Bates and Executive Director Mark Rosenfeld were in North Bay to show solidarity with striking full-time faculty at Nipissing University. She met with members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) and spoke briefly to professors walking the picket line. Here is a transcript of her remarks:
My name is Judy Bates, and I am the President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. I am also a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. With me today is also Mark Rosenfeld, the Executive Director of OCUFA.
I bring greetings and messages of support from the Board and Executive of OCUFA, our 28 member faculty associations, and 17,000 professors and academic librarians across Ontario.
I am honoured to be standing with you today.
I want to commend you for the stand you are taking here today. It takes conviction to fight for your values on a picket line. Nobody ever wants a strike, but it falls to the courageous, the principled, and the bold when one becomes necessary.
I also want you to know that the issues you are fighting for today – fair compensation; good, full-time academic jobs; and a fair say in university governance – are issues faced by professors and academic librarians across Ontario.
You are at the forefront of a fight to make sure our universities are open, accountable, and embody the principles of collegial governance that are so important to the quality of higher education in Ontario.
As you stand here today, know that you do not stand alone. OCUFA stands behind you. Faculty associations across Ontario and Canada stand with you. Tens of thousands of professors and academic librarians are also here with you in spirit.
You have the leadership and the resolve to achieve your goals and to win a fair and equitable agreement that works for you and secures the future of Nipissing University.
Good luck to all of you. And thank you.
Full-time faculty at Nipissing have been on strike since November 2, 2015. NUFA is fighting for a restoration of collegial governance and to protect and expand the faculty complement at the university. For the latest news, please visit nufastrike.ca. You can also send a letter of support.