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

LONDON – According to a recent poll commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), 68 per cent of those who live in Southwestern 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 an election on the horizon, it is time for all political parties to make postsecondary education a priority and commit to investing in good jobs at our universities.”

The poll surveyed 2,001 individuals across the province, including 500 in Southwestern Ontario. The regional results show strong support for better working conditions for contract faculty, with 89 per cent supporting equal pay for those teaching the same courses as their full-time colleagues and 85 per cent supporting equal access to benefits, including health insurance and pensions. Further, three out of four individuals living in Southwestern 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.

“As a faculty association, we have been working hard to improve working conditions for our contract faculty members,” said Stephen Pitel, President of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. “When we invest in the faculty who teach our students, we invest in the quality of education, we invest in London, and we invest in Southwestern Ontario.”

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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