On March 8, 2016, over 20 representatives of Ontario’s faculty associations met with MPPs and Cabinet Ministers as part of OCUFA’s annual Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. In all, 30 meetings were held, each a chance to discuss OCUFA’s priorities for 2016: faculty hiring and good academic jobs; better data on Ontario’s higher education sector; and resources to address the gender wage gap in the province’s universities.
Faculty representatives were seeking specific commitments from MPPs and Ministers on these issues:
- Support legislative changes that will improve workplace fairness and address the rise of precarious work across sectors at the conclusion of the Changing Workplaces Review.
- Support fairness for contract faculty by signing the We Teach Ontario pledge.
- Encourage MPPs to oppose the use of performance funding in Ontario as the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities considers options for the future of the university funding model.
- Support for the creation of an arm’s length higher education data agency.
- Support the idea of government financial incentives for the implementation of gender salary reviews and corrections.
MPPs were asked to write a letter to the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities to demonstrate their support for OCUFA’s recommendations. Over the coming weeks, OCUFA staff will be following up on these commitments to make sure action is taken.
In addition to advancing specific priorities, Advocacy Day is an excellent opportunity for faculty representatives to forge relationships with their local elected representatives. It is also a chance for faculty leaders to hone their advocacy skills with the support of OCUFA staff.
The day concluded with a reception at Queen’s Park, giving faculty representatives an opportunity to interact with their local MPPs in a more informal setting.