OCUFA hosted its annual Queen’s Park lobby day and reception on Wednesday, October 23. Faculty representatives from across the province were in Toronto for the day to meet with their local MPPs at the provincial legislature. Over the course of a busy day, representatives met with 27 MPPs who have a university in or near their ridings to discuss issues of concern to professors and academic librarians in Ontario.
Of the three major issues that were raised (a made-in-the-sector solution for the challenges facing university pension plans; an impartial research project looking at contract academic staff in Ontario; and the restoration of per-student funding for teacher training programs), discussions about teacher training seemed to have the most traction with the MPPs. But across the board, MPPs listened to what faculty had to say – particularly about their local experiences with each of these issues – and were open to the solutions OCUFA proposed. Many MPPs agreed to write letters of support and to raise our issues in caucus.
Faculty had another opportunity to speak with MPPs in a more informal setting at our reception at the end of the day. Over 100 people dropped by the OCUFA reception at the legislature, including 28 MPPs, several dozen political staff and interns, and OCUFA’s faculty representatives.
Photo: OCUFA President Kate Lawson, Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities Brad Duguid, Speaker Dave Levac, and OCUFA Chair Constance Adamson. By Juris Kornets.