On Monday, over 12,000 faculty at Ontario’s 24 public colleges went on strike. For over three months, they have been working hard at the bargaining table, pushing for a better plan for Ontario’s colleges, including fairness for contract faculty, collegial governance that includes faculty in academic decision-making, and academic freedom.
Unfortunately, the College Employer Council rejected a last-minute faculty proposal aimed at averting a strike. The colleges even refused to agree to no-cost items, such as longer contracts for contract faculty and academic freedom. This left college faculty with no choice but to withdraw their services until the College Employer Council is ready to come back to the table and put forward a fair offer.
Ontario’s university faculty and academic librarians stand in solidarity with our college colleagues, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). The issues they are fighting for are vital ones that are foundational for the delivery of high-quality postsecondary education for Ontario’s students.
On September 28, OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips sent a letter to the Chairs of OPSEU’s Ontario College Faculty Division and Bargaining Team. In it she argues that it is unacceptable that over 70 per cent of faculty at Ontario colleges are working on contract, and expresses support for college faculty as they work to enhance the academic integrity and governance of Ontario’s colleges.
Now is the time for college administrators to show leadership, return to the table, and invest in good jobs that will provide a strong educational foundation for college students for years to come.
Here are some of the many ways you can show your support for college faculty today:
Write a letter to your local newspaper.