Submission to the Treasury Board Secretariat consultations on collective bargaining in the public sector

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“These are turbulent times for universities in Ontario, starting with the government’s introduction of needless directives on free speech, then the cuts to OSAP for students and the 10 per cent tuition reduction that cut over $350 million from the system, and, most recently, the introduction through the Ontario Budget of so called performance-based funding tied to 60 per cent of the operating budgets of our institutions.

The clear pattern of all of these measures is government intrusion into the autonomy of Ontario universities. And that is not merely a budgetary problem or a political annoyance, it is a direct attack on the societal purpose of universities and what makes universities effective and unique social institutions that address the most pressing social, economic, and cultural problems facing the people of Ontario. The principles of tenure, academic freedom, and collegial governance are not job perks but rather the lifeblood of any modern university and the living, breathing guarantee that universities remain autonomous from state and private interests.

Further, the autonomy of each university is integral to its ability to serve the local and individual needs of its community, students, and faculty. It is this autonomy that fosters the distinct character and culture of each institution, contributing to differentiation and providing unique value to local communities and the people of Ontario.

Regrettably, we see these consultations as the latest attack by the government on university autonomy and university faculty. Like much of this government’s policy thus far, it is, in essence, a manipulative, cynical solution in search of a problem.”

Lisez la présentation de l’OCUFA dans sa version intégrale.

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