Ontario Students Stand With College Faculty
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We, the undersigned college students, demand that the College Employer Council immediately return to negotiations and end the work stoppage by accepting the demands of faculty. We support the 12,000 College Faculty, members of OPSEU, who have been out on strike since October 16th. Faculty are fighting for better Colleges in Ontario that will benefit us as students.
While college administrations raise our tuition fees year after year, the College Employer Council attempts to force greater precarity on our Faculty members’ working conditions. This attack on our teachers is also an attack on our learning conditions. In this context, we demand a tuition fee rebate for the period of the strike. The College Employer Councils’ unfair treatment of College Faculty has forced our instructors to go on strike and resulted in the loss of our valuable class time.
College Faculty are taking action in the broader movement against precarity in the workplace. They are demanding an increase to 50 percent in the amount of full-time Faculty in Ontario Colleges, academic freedom to facilitate a stronger say in academic governance, and greater job security for part-time faculty.
70 percent of faculty are in part-time, contract positions, and many face the stress of having to reapply for their teaching positions each semester. Students, also feel the harmful effects of precarious employment. Many of us have part-time jobs at or just above the minimum wage while also studying in college. We take on the added stress of heavy workloads from work and school and increasing debt from rising tuition fees. The college strike not only supports college faculty but also supports the movement against precarity and poverty wages for all workers.
The Government of Ontario has a policy of chronically underfunding colleges in Ontario. Their 0.2 percent increase in funding for this year, and no increase in funding next year are cuts to public education. This strike is also a part of the movement for increased public funding to our colleges. The College Employer Council should be standing with faculty and students in calls for increased public funding to our colleges, instead of attacking the working conditions of faculty on campus.
We call on the College Employer Council to agree to the College Faculty members’ just demands. We also call on the College Employer Council to provide a tuition fee rebate to students for the period of the strike.
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