Eastern Ontarians believe fair university workplaces are key to high quality education

KINGSTON – According to a recent poll commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), 65 per cent of those who live in Eastern Ontario want professors with job security and benefits teaching university courses. Among Ontario youth considering a postsecondary education, support was even higher, with 71 per cent stating this as their preference.

“This poll reaffirms the public’s support for fairness for contract faculty,” said Gyllian Phillips, President of OCUFA. “With the provincial budget tomorrow and an election on the horizon, it is time for the government to make postsecondary education a priority and invest in good jobs at our universities.”

The poll surveyed 2,001 individuals across the province, including 500 in Eastern Ontario. The regional results show strong support for better working conditions for contract faculty, with 86 per cent supporting equal pay for those teaching the same courses as their full-time colleagues as well as equal access to benefits, including health insurance and pensions. Further, three out of four individuals living in Eastern Ontario agreed that declining faculty working conditions would negatively impact education quality.

As part of the poll, youth across the province were asked for their perspectives on precarious academic work. Precarious work is a significant concern for them, with a majority worried they won’t be able to find a well-paid, full-time job upon graduation. These results show that students firmly support improving working conditions for contract faculty.

“The public understands that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions,” said Kayll Lake, President of the Queen’s University Faculty Association. “As a faculty association, we will continue to do everything we can do to improve working conditions for our contract members.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. You can read the poll results here..

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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