The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) extends its full support to the 12,000 college faculty, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), who are on strike at Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) across the province.
The strike began on October 16, after the College Employer Council (CEC) rejected a streamlined final offer from the union and walked away from the table. The offer, described by the union as “bare minimum we need to ensure quality education for students and treat contract faculty fairly,” included non-monetary proposals such as stronger recognition of academic freedom, improved seniority provisions, and longer notice periods for teaching contracts and work assignments.
The key demand in the union’s offer is for a 50:50 ratio of full-time to non-full-time faculty. This is a response to the colleges’ increasing reliance on part-time and contract teaching positions. Between 2004 and 2016 part-time college faculty increased by a huge 45%, while full-time faculty only increased by 15%. Currently, part-time and precariously employed faculty now outnumber full-time faculty by almost three times. (more…)