The Ontario provincial election on June 7, 2018 is fast approaching. OCUFA’s election campaign webpage is designed to keep you informed about how postsecondary issues are being approached throughout the campaign. We’ll be posting responses to questionnaires from major party leaders and preparing platform analyses to explore what’s at stake for faculty across Ontario in this election. We’ll also be reporting on how faculty associations are engaging with candidates in their own ridings, and providing resources for faculty wanting to get involved.
Throughout the election campaign, OCUFA’s work will continue to focus on our three advocacy priorities:
Strong public funding for universities is necessary to support excellence in teaching and research. On a per-student basis, public funding for Ontario’s universities has been on a downward trend since 2008 and our universities receive the lowest level of per-student funding in all of Canada. A re-investment in public universities is long overdue.
Launching a faculty renewal strategy will support quality education through additional full-time faculty hiring, replacing retiring faculty, and creating pathways for contract faculty into secure, full-time positions. In the last decade, student enrolment has increased seven times faster than full-time faculty hiring at Ontario universities. This has left Ontario with the highest student-faculty ratios in Canada, resulting in larger class sizes and less one-on-one engagement between students and their professors.
It’s time to deliver fairness for contract faculty. A growing number of faculty at Ontario universities are being hired on short-term, precarious contracts. OCUFA estimates that the number of courses taught by contract faulty has doubled since 2000. Recent research from the Council of Ontario Universities shows that over 50 per cent of university teaching is done by contract faculty. Government must take leadership to set a standard of equal pay, access to benefits, and job security for contract faculty.
Resources for faculty associations that are available online now include:
- A party leaders’ questionnaire that has been sent to all major party leaders, and which can also be sent to local candidates or used at all-candidates debates.
- A summary of OCUFA’s recent public opinion poll that shows the public believes fair university workplaces are key to high quality education and overwhelmingly support fairness for contract faculty. Please feel free to use these results in your local materials and outreach work.
- A communications toolkit on strategies and tips for crafting key messages and getting media coverage, including how to prepare media releases, op-eds, and letters to the editor.
- A meeting the candidates toolkit that includes a lobbying primer and tips on how to plan an all-candidate event.