On Friday, November 2nd, students, faculty, and campus workers in Ottawa visited the constituency office of Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, to speak with her about the impact Bill 47 will have on postsecondary education. More than 50 participants from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Saint Paul University, Algonquin College, College La Cité, and OPSEU Local 470 attended a rally in front of her office.
“Bill 47 will result in the continued rise of precarious work on our campuses, which will undoubtedly have consequences on the quality of education,” said Susan Spronk, President of the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO). “About half of the professors who teach at the University of Ottawa are working on part-time contracts, making about half the salary of full-time professors for similar work, with reduced capacity to host regular office hours, provide detailed feedback on students’ assignments, or write letters of reference. This is unfair to both contract faculty and students.”
Speakers also noted the devastating implications that repealing equal pay laws, fair scheduling provisions, paid sick days, and the $15 minimum wage will have on campus communities.
As part of the rally, participants attempted to deliver a pledge to the Minister, asking her to vote against Bill 47. However, even though it was constituency day, when MPPs are supposed to be in their riding offices meeting with the public, Fullerton’s office was closed. Attendees ended the rally by leaving the Minister a note and phone message asking her to call them back.
The rally in Ottawa is part of a series of actions taking place across Ontario since the introduction of Bill 47. Check out 15andfairness.org/events to join an event near you.