On behalf of OPSEU Local 240, representing professors, counselors, librarians and instructors at Mohawk College, we would like to express our strong support for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3903 at York University. We stand in solidarity with the Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Contract Faculty represented by CUPE 3903, and realize the critical importance of your struggle to make post-secondary education more equitable for non-full-time faculty and teaching assistants.
OPSEU Local 240 just came off of an historic 5 week strike in Ontario’s community colleges. Our strike had much in common with what CUPE 3903 is struggling for:
1. Job security for part-time faculty
2. Adequate wages and support for teaching assistants and graduate assistants
3. Adequate employment opportunities for graduate students
4. Accessible and equitable learning and working environments
Post-secondary education in Ontario is in a crisis. We have the lowest level in Canada of government funding per full-time-equivalent student (FTE). In addition, both colleges and universities have experienced steadily growing levels of precarious employment.
For the sake of students and faculty to come, academic workers have to take a stand to re-vitalize post-secondary in Ontario, and to ensure that all part-time faculty and teaching assistants receive the compensation, job security, and support that they deserve.
In addition, we need to ensure that pathways to full-time academic employment are expanded, and that our institutions of higher learning move away from an austerity-driven, corporate business model fueled by precarious work.
Ontario college faculty won historic gains by standing up and walking the picket-line. We know this is never easy, and it was due to the support of countless academic unions, like CUPE, that we were able to stay strong and to win our strike. It is now our great pleasure to extend this same support to the courageous members of CUPE 3903.
Your goals are our goals. Your fight is our fight. You have our respect and support.