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Help Western University faculty avoid a strike

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The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) has been working hard to negotiate a fair deal with the university administration. Years of budget cuts have left teachers and researchers over-worked and under-supported.

Contract faculty at Western deserve job security. Just a few days ago, three very popular faculty members did not have their contracts renewed in the Department of History. This happened, despite the fact that, over the last six years, Western has accrued over half a billion dollars in operating budget surpluses.

UWOFA is fighting for meaningful job security for contract faculty and fair compensation for all faculty members, but time is running out.

Help UWOFA avoid a strike.

Send an email to Western University’s President, Provost, and Board of Governors Chair asking the university to reinvest in high quality teaching and research!

OCUFA submits recommendations on Bill 47, calls for reinstatement of fair labour laws

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Faculty across the province are deeply disappointed that recent improvements to labour laws could be cancelled if Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act is passed. Rolling back equal pay, options for consolidating bargaining units, fairer rules for joining unions, and other basic rights represent a major step backwards in efforts to address precarious work across the province.

Limited consultation is now taking place on Bill 47 with requests to present at hearings and written recommendations due November 13th and 15th respectively to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

In a letter sent on November 5th, OCUFA urged the Committee to withdraw all elements of Bill 47 that reverse recent improvements to Ontario’s labour law. Workers on university campuses and in communities across the province are counting on these modest but important labour law improvements to support themselves and their families.

Read the full letter from OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips:

Dear Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs,

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) represents over 17,000 professors and academic librarians at 29 faculty associations at every university in Ontario. OCUFA represents full-time tenure-stream faculty, and at many universities also represents contract faculty members who work either on a limited-term contract or on a per-course basis.

Faculty across the province are deeply disappointed that recent improvements to labour laws could be cancelled if Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act is passed. University professors and academic librarians have been strong advocates for improving labour laws to address precarious work and promote decent work. Faculty welcomed the modest and reasonable changes to labour law in Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act that brought more fairness to workplaces. Dismantling this legislation will have major implications for faculty and our campus communities.

Equal pay

Under existing labour laws, employers are required to offer the same rate of pay to contract, part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal employees, who are doing substantially the same work in the same workplaces as their full-time or permanent counterparts. As long as the work requires substantially the same skills, effort and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions, the equal pay provisions apply. There are exceptions in cases of seniority and merit, as well as for “any other factor”. But the criteria must be transparent and accessible to all workers.

This provision has been in effect for seven months, and represents an important step towards fair pay in postsecondary education and throughout the labour market. It has created a welcome new minimum standard of fairness for contract, part-time, and temporary workers. At Ontario colleges, this legislation has resulted in substantive pay increases for thousands of contract faculty. Unfortunately, broad exceptions and loopholes in this equal pay measure have allowed many employers to continue to avoid paying workers fairly, including contract faculty at Ontario universities.

Repealing this provision, as set out in Bill 47, would be a step back for contract workers, at a time when major progress is needed to deliver fairness for contract faculty and address precarious work on our campuses. Over half of university professors in Ontario now work on contract without job security, and too many are doing the same work as their full-time colleagues for lower pay. Repealing equal pay measures will be felt most acutely by already marginalized workers – racialized, female, and gender non-conforming contract faculty often work more hours and are more likely to be in low-income households than their white male peers.

OCUFA recommends that the repeal of equal pay based on employment status be withdrawn. Existing equal pay provisions should remain in place and be improved to remove loopholes that limit effective application for all contract, part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal employees.

Consolidation of bargaining units

Bill 148 brought in two separate measures governing the consolidation of bargaining units. Under the first provision, faculty associations can request that the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) merge a newly certified bargaining unit with one or more existing units. The second measure allows for a review of the structure of existing units in the same union, but requires agreement from the union and employer to be initiated.

Both are appropriate options for promoting effective and efficient collective bargaining. A number of faculty associations in Ontario have multiple bargaining units as a result of different groups of workers being organized at different times. Consolidation results in less time devoted to bargaining for the union and the employer, and makes collective agreements easier to manage. More efficient bargaining is better for everyone. In addition, having a legal route available to request mergers curbs future fragmentation.

If Bill 47 is passed, these options will be repealed and replaced with a new set of legal parameters for reviewing the structure of bargaining units. Under Bill 47, parties bringing the application forward must prove that the bargaining units are “no longer appropriate for collective bargaining”, which seems to require failure rather than an emphasis on improvement. The legislation also grants expanded powers to the OLRB that undermine a worker’s right to choose their own union representation. It also threatens to destabilize labour relations, especially in instances where more than one union is involved by opening the door to unnecessary workplace conflict.

OCUFA recommends that the new provision for reviewing the structure of bargaining units be withdrawn. Existing options for consolidation of bargaining units should remain in place.

Fairer rules for joining a union

Recent changes to labour law brought modest reforms to make it easier to join a union in Ontario. Workers in home care, building services, and temporary help agencies now have access to card-based certification; unions have access to employee lists in an organizing drive after 20 per cent of the workers show interest in joining a union; access to remedial certification and return-to-work rights after a strike or lockout were improved; and access to first contract arbitration was expanded. The repeal of these rules under Bill 47 represents a major step backwards in ensuring workers have access to collective representation to make improvements to their working conditions.

Unions play an important role in reducing income inequality and improving workplace fairness. At Ontario’s universities, faculty have recognized the value of collective representation for decades. In recent years, as precarious jobs on university campuses are reaching unprecedented numbers, effective unions will be essential for achieving more security, fair pay, and access to benefits. This is not just the case at universities, but also in other sectors of the economy.

OCUFA recommends that all aspects of Bill 47 that make it more difficult for workers to exercise their right to join a union be withdrawn.

Basic rights

Faculty have also been strong advocates for broader fairness measures that the government is attempting to roll back in Bill 47, including the $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, and fair scheduling. Freezing the minimum wage at $14 an hour until October 1, 2020 will hurt low-wage workers who are struggling to pay for basic necessities. This includes our students, many of whom are working part-time jobs at minimum wage to pay high tuition fees. Eliminating two paid sick days and making personal emergency leave provisions more restrictive will mean more workers going to work sick, which is bad for public health. Retracting fair scheduling measures means even less predictability for workers trying to balance childcare, school or other needs with their work life.

Addressing precarious work at Ontario universities is also crucial for ensuring high-quality education for students. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. Contract faculty are excellent teachers, but without job security, fair pay or dedicated office space, they cannot always be available to provide the mentorship vital for student success. The same is true for other campus workers who provide services and support to students. The government can support quality education by setting a standard of good jobs at Ontario universities. Rolling back recent gains works against this goal.

OCUFA urges the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to withdraw all elements of Bill 47 that reverse recent improvements to Ontario’s labour law. Workers on university campuses and in communities across the province are counting on these modest but important labour law improvements to support themselves and their families.

Sincerely,

Gyllian Phillips, OCUFA President

University and college faculty, students, and staff call on Ontario government to protect workers’ rights and withdraw Bill 47

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TORONTO, November 5, 2018 – The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC), which represents more than 435,000 faculty, students, and staff at every public postsecondary institution in the province, is calling on the Ontario Government to protect decent work laws. Millions of workers, including hundreds of thousands employed by or studying at Ontario’s universities and colleges, depend upon basic rights that are now at risk.

At a press conference this morning, representatives of the OUCC detailed their concerns about Bill 47, which would eliminate important protections for precariously employed contract and part-time workers, including the $15 minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, fair scheduling, paid sick days, and fairer rules for joining a union.

If passed, these rollbacks would fundamentally undermine efforts to ensure universities and colleges are model employers who provide job security, fair pay, and benefits for their employees, many of whom are also students. Existing rules requiring that part-time and contract employees receive equal pay for doing the same work as their full-time colleagues were set to provide enormous improvements to the lives of thousands of faculty and support staff at Ontario’s colleges.

“Part-time and contract faculty and staff work hard and deserve equal pay for equal work,” said RM Kennedy, Ontario Public Service Employees Union College Faculty Division Chair and a faculty member at Centennial College. “Repealing these laws will not just hurt these workers, it will hurt their families, it will hurt their communities, and it will hurt students.”

Repealing these laws would also affect students. Many work part-time jobs to help pay for their education and are forced to juggle work and class schedules. Freezing the minimum wage at $14 will make it more difficult for students to pay for tuition, rent, food, and textbooks. In addition, repealing fair scheduling rules will make it harder for students to balance their work shifts with classes and the time they have to set aside for schoolwork.

“Ontario has the highest tuition fees in Canada, and students already struggle to pay for their postsecondary education,” said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario and a student at the University of Toronto–Mississauga. “For students working both on and off campus, reducing the minimum wage, cancelling fair scheduling rules, and repealing equal pay provisions will make it even more difficult to pay the bills.”

At universities and colleges across the province, over half of faculty are now employed through precarious contracts without job security, and are often paid less than their full-time colleagues for the same work. Many are forced to juggle work at multiple institutions just to make ends meet.

“Living contract-to-contract with low pay and anxiously awaiting news about whether we will be hired to teach the next semester is incredibly stressful,” said Kimberly Ellis-Hale, contract faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University and Chair of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations’ Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee. “We should be making progress in addressing fairness for contract faculty, not rolling back reasonable and essential improvements to workers’ rights.”

Academic working conditions are students’ learning conditions, so the rise of low-paid precarious work on Ontario campuses has major implications for education quality. Many students will also be impacted by the repeal of two paid sick days each year. Without paid time off for illness, they will be forced to choose between going to work sick or losing a much needed paycheque.

“The rise of precarious work on Ontario campuses impacts students and the quality of education students receive,” said Hamish Russell, an international graduate student and Canadian Union of Public Employees member at the University of Toronto. “The new labour laws introduced last year provided the foundations for fairer campuses with better working and learning conditions for students.”

Faculty, students, and staff across Ontario know first-hand how important existing labour laws are for the well-being of our families and communities. Ontario workers deserve fair wages and good jobs, including at our universities and colleges. If this government is truly for the people, it should do the right thing and withdraw Bill 47 immediately.

The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary institution in Ontario. It includes members of the Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation, Public Service Alliance of Canada, and United Steelworkers.

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To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
blewis@ocufa.on.ca | 416-306-6033

With no consultation, government cuts funding for expansion campuses

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In a surprise announcement made at 6pm on Tuesday, October 23rd, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities declared they would no longer be funding three new university and college campuses. The expansion campuses being built by York University and Seneca College in Markham, Ryerson University and Sheridan College in Brampton, and Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College in Milton were all well into development, with over $300 million in funding having been promised by the previous government, land committed, buildings designed, and years of hard work completed.

The sudden decision was made without consultation with stakeholder groups, including the universities, colleges, and communities affected. This represents a continued lack of interest on the part of this government in talking to stakeholders before making destructive decisions with long-term implications.

Although these campuses might still be built, other revenue sources will have to be identified, and it may result in the affected postsecondary institutions reallocating resources from their main campuses – a development that is of concern to faculty.

This represents the first major funding cut for postsecondary education under Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, raising questions about this government’s commitment to public postsecondary education.

All three planned campuses are located in ridings held by PC MPPs who vocally supported those campuses during the provincial election. Doug Ford promised no cuts to education during his election campaign, and had no mandate to cut funding for expansion campuses. This announcement demonstrates this government cannot be trusted to deliver on their promises.

Faculty across Ontario are concerned that this announcement is signaling further cuts under the guise of promoting “fiscal responsibility and accountability”. Cuts to university funding undermine the accessibility of postsecondary education, and threaten the quality of the student experience, teaching, and research at our institutions.

Faculty will continue to work with students, staff, and supporters of public postsecondary education in our communities to ensure robust public funding for Ontario’s colleges and universities.

Fairness for contract faculty means job security, fair pay, and benefits!

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All contract faculty deserve job security, fair pay, and benefits. It’s time to deliver fairness for contract faculty and hire more full-time tenure-stream faculty. Together we can support good jobs on our campus.

Join a movement of students, staff, faculty, and community members advocating for fairness for contract faculty and good jobs!

Show your support and sign the petition today.

Stand up for decent work: Join an emergency action near you

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Yesterday, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government announced they intend to cancel recently introduced fair work laws, including the $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, enhanced bargaining unit consolidation provisions, and fairer rules for joining a union.

This rollback legislation seeks to take away basic protections from those who need them most and represents a massive setback for precariously employed workers on our campuses.

Today, the campaign for $15 and Fairness will be rolling out emergency actions across Ontario.

It’s important that we all show up and send Doug Ford’s government the message that this legislation will hurt millions of workers across Ontario and that we will fight it every step of the way.

Find an event near you: https://www.15andfairness.org/events

Ontario faculty deeply disappointed with government repeal of $15 minimum wage and fair labour laws

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TORONTO – Ontario faculty are deeply disappointed that Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has announced they will cancel fair labour laws, including the $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, enhanced bargaining unit consolidation provisions, and fairer rules for joining a union. Workers on university campuses and in communities across the province had been counting on these modest but important labour law improvements to support themselves and their families.

“Workers across Ontario deserve fair wages and good jobs,” said Gyllian Phillips, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “Faculty understand the devastating impact that the rise of low-wage and precarious work is having in our communities.”

Existing bargaining unit consolidation provisions would have allowed for streamlined collective bargaining and more efficient workplaces. Several Ontario faculty unions and universities have already started the process of consolidating bargaining units and this legislation could put those initiatives in jeopardy.

Cuts to decent work laws are of particular concern to Ontario contract faculty. At universities across the province, over half of faculty are now employed through precarious contracts without job security, and often paid less than their full-time colleagues for the same work. Many are forced to juggle work at multiple institutions just to make ends meet.

“Living contract-to-contract with low pay and anxiously awaiting news about whether we will be hired to teach the next semester is incredibly stressful,” said Kimberly Ellis-Hale, contract faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University and Chair of OCUFA’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee. “We should be making progress in addressing fairness for contract faculty, not rolling back reasonable and essential improvements to worker rights.”

The equal pay legislation the Ford government plans to dismantle created a new minimum standard of fairness for contract, part-time, and temporary workers. It represented a step towards fair pay in postsecondary education, with thousands of contract faculty at Ontario colleges set to receive better compensation. The loss of this provision will be felt most acutely by already marginalized workers – racialized, female, and gender non-conforming contract faculty often work more hours and are more likely to be in low-income households than their white male peers.

The prevalence of precarious employment at Ontario universities doesn’t just negatively impact contract faculty, it also impacts students and the quality of education they receive. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. Contract faculty are excellent teachers, but without job security and dedicated office space, they can’t always be available to provide the mentorship vital for student success. Additionally, these rollbacks will hurt students because many work precarious jobs to pay high university tuition fees.

“Faculty are committed to working with students, staff, and other members of our campus communities to push back against this government’s anti-worker agenda,” says Phillips. “We are part of a growing movement that will continue to stand up for fair labour laws and decent work across Ontario.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

It’s Fair Employment Week

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An increasing number of teachers at Canada’s colleges and universities are trapped in precarious contract and part-time work. Contract and part-time work has quietly gone from a short-term stepping stone to a career-long condition where many earn less than a living wage.

This week, faculty associations across the country are organizing events to recognize the dedication and hard work of contract faculty!

Click here to find an event near you.

In new article, OCUFA President writes about need for faculty renewal and fairness for contract faculty

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This year’s Educated Solutions, the annual magazine published by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, features a thought-provoking article by OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips on the need to invest in faculty renewal at Ontario’s universities.

The article explains how Ontario’s universities are underfunded, and the dangers associated with increasing student tuition fees, even when they are being subsidized by the provincial government. It describes the faculty hiring gap, the need to prioritize tenure-stream faculty renewal, and the importance of delivering fairness for contract faculty.

Ontario’s universities are at a vital crossroads, and additional investment will be needed to maintain the high quality of education the province’s students and parents have come to expect.

You can read the article and the rest of Educated Solutions for free on the OUSA website.

Introducing Chris Glover, the NDP Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities

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MPP Chris Glover was appointed the NDP Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities on August 23, 2018. In this role, he will be the voice of the Official Opposition on postsecondary issues.

MPP Chris Glover is one of 74 new MPPs elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in June 2018 and represents the riding of Spadina-Fort York. He became politically active as a parent fighting cuts to schools during the provincial governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.

Chris is an educator and has taught at Ryerson Public School, East York Collegiate, Centennial College, and the University of Toronto. Most recently, he was an Adjunct Professor at York University where he taught a course on the history and economics of Ontario through an equity lens. He has a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and published a thesis focused on the impact of student debt.

Prior to his election to the legislature, Chris was a two term Trustee for the Toronto District School Board and served on the Toronto Board of Health. As a Trustee Chris is best known for his work advocating for employment opportunities for students with disabilities.

Faculty at University of Sudbury narrow pay gap with Laurentian colleagues

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The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) has reached a collective agreement with the University of Sudbury on behalf of the university’s tenure-stream and sessional faculty. LUFA achieved competitive across-the-board salary increases and adjustments to compensation that have narrowed the pay gap between faculty at the University of Sudbury and Laurentian University’s other federated institutions. Significantly, LUFA established language that further enshrines collegial governance in the collective agreement. The agreement also provides improved teaching assistant support and better equipped offices for the sessional faculty.

On October 15: Speak out for decent work across Ontario

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People across Ontario are planning to show their support for a $15 minimum wage and decent work on October 15. On university and college campuses, all faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to join in.

In recent announcements, the Conservative government has indicated their intention to freeze the minimum wage at $14 an hour and consider repealing recent decent work reforms, including paid sick days, fair scheduling measures, and equal pay protections for contract, part-time, and temporary workers.

This is a position on which the current government can me moved. They are facing a lot of pressure from constituents because 66 per cent of Ontarians and 42 per cent of Conservative voters support a $15 minimum wage.

For faculty at Ontario universities, the repeal of Bill 148 would represent a major step back at just the time we need to be making leaps forward to deliver fairness for contract faculty. Too many contract faculty are working contract-to-contract without job security and doing the same work as their full-time colleagues for lower pay. At Ontario colleges, new equal pay measures have already delivered a substantive pay bump for non-unionized contract faculty.

To learn more about how you can join others to support the Fight for $15 & Fairness on October 15th, visit www.15andFairness.org and email Brynne at bsinclair-waters@ocufa.on.ca.

Job posting: Policy Analyst, Community and Government Relations (contract position)

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The Policy Analyst is part of a dynamic team of staff who work collaboratively to deliver the services required to meet OCUFA’s mandate.

Main Duties

  • Providing analysis of and advice related to legislation, regulations, programs, and policy directions that impact OCUFA and its member associations
  • Researching and writing policy papers and submissions to the provincial government
  • Implementing, and assisting in the development of, advocacy initiatives and campaigns
  • Coordinating with other sector stakeholders, including student groups and trade unions, on advocacy and communications
  • Preparing regular advocacy-related content for OCUFA communications, including website, social media and newsletters
  • Developing and maintaining contacts in the Ontario government, opposition parties, and relevant government agencies, including arranging, preparing for and attending meetings
  • Preparing speaking notes, correspondence, reports, and briefing notes for OCUFA’s President, Executive Director, Executive members, Board of Directors, and relevant committees
  • Providing staff support to OCUFA’s Board and Executive, as well as other committees, workshops, and conferences as assigned
  • Representing OCUFA at meetings, where appropriate
  • Other duties may be assigned from time to time as the needs of OCUFA, or its circumstances, change. Such duties shall be discussed prior to assignment to ensure compatibility with workload and area of expertise

Skills and experience

  • Excellent communication, writing, and analytical skills
  • Experience in research and critical policy analysis
  • Ability to synthesize and filter a large amount of information in a succinct and accessible manner
  • Experience in strategic advocacy and campaigns
  • Experience in communications, including writing for a variety of formats and channels would be an asset
  • Knowledge of the postsecondary sector would be an asset
  • Strong coordination and organizing skills
  • High level of computer literacy, graphic design and layout skills would be an asset
  • A minimum of a graduate degree, and 5 years experience with advocacy organizations, labour unions, provincial government, public sector agencies, or professional associations (or the equivalent combination of education and work experience)
  • Bilingualism would be an asset
  • Ability to work on projects individually and in collaboration with other staff members independent of supervision 

Staffing Structure

  • All staff act under the direction and authority of the Executive Director

This is a 21 month contract position at the Policy Officer 2 level. The salary range for this position is $82,500 – $86,400 plus a benefits plan fully paid for by OCUFA and a generous pension plan.

OCUFA is committed to the principle of employment equity, is a unionized and equal opportunity employer, and welcomes diversity in the workplace.

Please submit your application with resume and the names of three references by Thursday, October 18, 2018 to:

Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
OCUFA
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1M7
mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca

Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition:
Statement on government-mandated free speech policies

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Ontario’s universities and colleges are vital spaces where a culture of rich academic debate and free expression should be fostered. Core to the mandate of our postsecondary institutions is the advancement of knowledge, and that requires our campuses to be places where all community members have the right to speak their minds and respectfully challenge each other intellectually. Faculty associations, labour unions, and student unions deeply believe in these rights, and will continue our collective work to uphold them.

There is no free speech crisis on Ontario campuses. This is an ideological fiction advanced by the government to justify interference in the academic governance and autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges. It is telling that the government did not consult with any sector stakeholders before announcing the new requirement for campus “free speech” policies and disciplinary measures tied to possible cuts to university and college funding.

This intervention is not just unnecessary, it is harmful. These policies will actually limit the rights of faculty, staff, and students to express themselves and will jeopardize the quality of student education and research:

  • Threatening to discipline students, staff, and faculty actually limits expression rights on campus, especially for systemically marginalized groups. Members of the campus community may be discouraged from speaking up for fear of being disciplined.
  • Threatening to withhold financial support or recognition from campus student groups suppresses student voices and denies students their right to freedom of association.
  • Threatening budget cuts for already underfunded universities and colleges undermines their academic integrity and jeopardizes education and research quality.
  • Requiring universities and colleges to develop free speech policies undermines institutional autonomy and overrides important protections that allow our postsecondary institutions to operate free of political interference from government.

Given these many real dangers, we encourage the Ontario Government to reconsider this directive, withdraw their prescribed disciplinary measures, withdraw their threatened funding cuts, respect the autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges, and support the speech rights of students, staff, and faculty.

Ontario’s universities and colleges already have policies in place that govern campus speech, and it does not make sense to require them to be arbitrarily rewritten just to conform to a set of principles developed by a private university in the United States.

There are improvements that could be made to foster stronger speech freedoms on our campuses. The rise of precarious academic work means that a majority of university and college faculty cannot depend on the academic freedom protections afforded to tenure-stream faculty and, although university faculty and students are represented on institutional decision-making bodies, representative collegial governance bodies are lacking at Ontario’s colleges.

However, the government’s new free speech policy requirement will do nothing to address these issues or foster better speech on campus. It will only create a more polarized and litigious environment that risks suppressing speech.

Meaningfully addressing the real challenges our campuses face will require postsecondary institutions to embrace collegial governance by adopting more transparent and accountable decision-making bodies that represent all members of the campus community. It is through more democratic campuses that we will ensure freedom of expression and the continued vitality of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions.

 

Nour Alideeb, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario
Janice Folk-Dawson, Chair, CUPE Ontario University Sector
Gyllian Phillips, President, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
Chris Buckley, President, Ontario Federation of Labour
RM Kennedy, Chair, OPSEU College Faculty
Janice Hagan, Chair, OPSEU College Support Staff
Kella Loschiavo, Chair, OPSEU University Sector 9
Harvey Bischof, President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Sharon DeSousa, Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Ontario
Marty Warren, Director, United Steelworkers–District 6

 

 

For media inquiries, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
blewis@ocufa.on.ca | 416-306-6033

OCUFA announces winners of the 2017-2018 Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards

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TORONTO – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce the winners of its prestigious Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Since 1973, these awards have recognized the exceptional contributions made by professors and librarians to the quality of higher education in Ontario.

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

The 2017-2018 Teaching Award recipients are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

The 45th annual awards ceremony, hosted by CBC’s Nana aba Duncan, will take place at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto on October 20, 2018.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca