The Revolutionary Student Movement stands in full solidarity with the striking college faculty workers in Ontario. The strike began on October 16th, after the demands of the faculty have been rejected several times by College Employer Council, an organization responsible for negotiating collective agreements with unionized staff at the 24 Ontario colleges. We are launching a campaign “Students for Ontario College Faculty” with the goal of mobilizing students across the province to show solidarity with the striking faculty workers.
We support the demands made by the faculty and advanced by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing over 12,000 college faculty members across Ontario. These are:
- A 50:50 ratio of full-time to contract faculty, which currently sits at over 70% contract faculty;
- Increased job security for partial-load faculty, who currently work on one-semester contracts; and
- Academic freedom to give faculty a stronger voice in academic decision-making.
We see these demands as fully justified and fighting for them will benefit not only the faculty but the students as well. Winning this battle will improve the quality of our education and the working conditions of our teachers and other faculty workers. We call on all students to mobilize in support of these demands, as well as an additional demand we will be pushing for:
- A refund of tuition fees for the period of the strike to all students.
College administrations across the province have been trying to misrepresent this labour dispute as the fault of the faculty workers, but the opposite is true. It is administrations that have been cutting full-time teaching position and making working conditions harder and harder for faculty, while increasing tuition costs for students and increasing their own salaries. Algonquin and Mohawk college presidents are trying to increase their salaries more than 50% this year, while other college presidents attempt to get a pay increase of around 40%. Median college president salary in Ontario is already at $288,505, with the highest salary at $403,911.
It is clear that college administrations have no interest in making the education more accessible for students, or improving its quality. It is college administrations that treat our education as a business, reaping huge profits at the expense of students and staff. This cannot continue unopposed, students and faculty have the interest to improve the education process and we need to support each other in this struggle if we want to win.
Check our campaign page Students for Ontario College Faculty on Facebook for strike updates and information on how you can get involved! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dare to struggle, dare to win!