Victory to the Strikers!
More than 12,000 community college faculty, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union, have been making headlines since the start of their province-wide strike October 16.
The union is fighting to improve education quality for students and to stop the shameful trend towards more precarious jobs on campus. An inspiring feature of the strike is the unity of full-time faculty with their part-time teaching co-workers.
OPSEU is calling for:
- More full-time faculty to teach students – In the last decade, the number of students has gone up much faster than the number of full-time faculty.
- Democracy at school. For faculty and student input into academic decision-making – for the creation of an “academic senate” that includes both student and faculty representatives.
- Ensure that there are enough counselors for students – put an end to outsourcing of mental health services so that colleges can adequately meet the mental health needs of students.
- Job security and better working conditions for contract faculty – contract faculty need to reapply to teach every semester, never knowing whether they will have a job next semester.
- “Equal pay for equal work” for contract faculty – Contract faculty are not paid to prepare courses, correct assignments, or offer out-of-class support to students. Most of them have to work several part-time jobs to make ends meet.
Congratulations to the striking college teachers for showing the way forward to the entire workers’ movement. For standing up to management on issues of quality education and student services, good jobs, equity, and against the bosses’ austerity agenda, the teachers deserve full support.
Mass rallies, demonstrations, solidarity picketing and sympathy strikes are the order of the day.
Help to turn the tide against the capitalist state and its servile institutions. Get involved. Make a difference. Build solidarity. Take action. Victory to the Strikers!
(The text above is based on a leaflet Socialist Action has been distributing widely for weeks.)
Photo: THOMAS CAMPEAN / THE CANADIAN PRES