On November 6, faculty from across the province gathered at Queen’s Park to advocate for stronger public funding for postsecondary education, fairness for contract faculty, faculty renewal, and against Bill 124.
The annual OCUFA Advocacy Day provided an opportunity for faculty to meet with their local Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and brief them about faculty priorities for Ontario’s universities.
The day started with a breakfast reception attended by numerous MPPs and their staff. The reception featured remarks from Rahul Sapra, OCUFA President; Laurie LeBlanc, Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities; and Chris Glover, the NDP critic for colleges and universities.
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. 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;
- moving away from punitive university funding models based on performance metrics and urging greater consultation with faculty about university funding frameworks; and
- respecting the right to free and fair collective bargaining and withdrawing Bill 124.
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 discussions 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.