Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are disappointed that Dalton McGuinty has once again broken his promise to respect collective bargaining by imposing legislation on the province’s broader public sector workers that attacks their constitutional rights.
“A year ago, Premier McGuinty said he would respect the rights of hard-working Ontarians,” said Constance Adamson, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “First, he broke his promise to our teachers. Today, he is breaking his promise to professors, academic librarians, and the broader public sector. I guess we know now what a McGuinty promise is worth.”
Ontario’s professors and academic librarians have a long tradition of responsible bargaining sensitive to the needs of citizens and government. Today’s announcement takes away their ability to reach fair agreements, and will deliver few real benefits to government.
“McGuinty’s own advisor – Don Drummond – made it clear that wage freezes provide no long-term savings to government,” said Adamson. “One wonders why the government spent all that money on Drummond if they were just going to ignore his advice.”
University faculty are also asking why the government would choose to strip away the rights of professors and librarians while also trying to push through a series of controversial university reforms.
“On one hand, the government is asking faculty to be partners in changing our universities. On the other, they are willing to bully away our fundamental rights. From minute to minute, it’s hard to know which version of the government we’re talking to,” said Adamson.
“Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are more than just dedicated educators who help students succeed while building a more vibrant and prosperous province. We are parents. We are members of the community. And when the government plays politics with our constitutional rights, they hurt our families, our communities, and our students.”