Statement of solidarity with Ontario college faculty members in bargaining

As a member of the York Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA), YUFA is pleased to join fellow CCA members in issuing the following statement of support for Ontario college faculty members who are currently bargaining with their employer.

Since this statement has been issued, the college faculty bargaining team has requested a “no-board” report, putting the union on track to be in a legal strike position. For updates, please click here and here.

YUFA encourages faculty associations and cross-campus alliances on other campuses in Ontario and across Canada to issue similar statements of support and to help generate solidarity with Ontario college faculty. To learn more about how to support Ontario college faculty, please click here.

An image of buttons that display the slogan, “Fairness for Contract Faculty” (credit: OPSEU Local 110)

The Cross-Campus Alliance at York University sends its solidarity to the 12,000 members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)’s College Academic Division who are currently in bargaining with their employer, College Employer Council.

Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a rise in the number of precarious contract faculty positions in both the university and college sectors to the point that currently 81 percent of the college teaching positions are performed by underpaid contract faculty. These are positions with little to no job security which are paid a fraction of the rate for full-time faculty, yet the colleges refuse to care about the security of thousands of contract faculty – and the stability hundreds of thousands of college students need.

On September 14, full-time and partial-load faculty (including instructors, librarians and professors) at Ontario’s 24 public colleges voted to give a strong strike mandate vote (68 per cent voted in favour) to the CAAT-A bargaining team to go back to the negotiating table.

JP Hornick, the chair of the CAAT-A Bargaining Team, recently explained how college faculty from across Ontario debated and voted on 16 proposals to improve the quality and fairness of the college system in Ontario. They are opposing the employer’s proposed freeze on hiring preference for full-time faculty positions, the wage offer that would lock them into a 1.875 per cent wage increase until 2021, and the employer’s unwillingness to enforce the pay for equal work provision under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148), which is expected to pass this fall. The union is also calling for a more meaningful inclusion of faculty in the academic decision-making processes of the colleges. Hornick said of the 16 proposals: “Since bargaining started 10 weeks ago, management has ignored every single one of them.”

We call on the College Employer Council to bargain in good faith and meet the fair demands of the college faculty and we urge the York University community to sign the petition to improve the learning and teaching environment of Ontario’s public colleges.

The petition can be found here.

In solidarity,
York Cross-Campus Alliance

For more information, please contact Mina Rajabi Paak: president@yugsa.ca.

The York Cross-Campus Alliance represents tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty at York University. The Cross-Campus Alliance includes: