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March 2018 Faculty Voice

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OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty
OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty2 days ago
Remembering Why We Walked Out October 16, 2017

As we fast approach the anniversary of our strike, it is again time to rally and push to protect what we won and to make further gains.
As faculty, we made many important gains—we won Academic Freedom and the Partial-Load Registry, which will work to provide a measure of stability and predictability for partial-load faculty.
We now need to use our newly-won Academic Freedom to talk to our students, in all our classes, about what pushed us to strike one year ago and why our most pressing issues, equal pay for equal work and academic governance, remain unresolved.
I urge you to use this script, or, if you prefer, to invite one of your local stewards into your classroom, to inform your students. We need their support in fighting for a better future for us all.
………
One year ago more than 12 000 faculty, librarians, and counsellors voted to go on strike rather than accept our unjust and unrepresentative system.
We protested against the fact that 72% of us are contract workers who get paid a percentage of the amount that full-time faculty get paid, even as they do the same work. We refused to accept that contract faculty had to take work at multiple colleges and universities, just to cobble together a living wage. We demanded fairness. We demanded equality.
We refused to tolerate a system where the management of the colleges, who are themselves not professors, make all the academic decisions in our institutions. We called for collegial governance, in the form of academic senates, where all the members of our institutions, including students, could have meaningful input into governing our colleges.
We marched every day for five difficult weeks, when we would have preferred to be in the classroom, to change this system.
Instead of negotiating with us, management forced us to vote on an offer that did not address our most pressing issues. 94% of us voted, and we rejected the offer with a resounding 89%. This was a historic rejection and demonstrated how committed we are to fairness and equality.
The Liberal government, instead of demanding that the colleges negotiate with us, promptly legislated us back to work. We returned to a workplace that was unchanged. The arbitrator assigned to our case issued us a new contract, which included the new right of Academic Freedom and the creation of a Taskforce to investigate our pressing issues, most significantly, complement (ratio of contract to full-time faculty) and academic governance.
On June 27th, 2018, the day the new Progressive Conservative government was sworn in, Premier Ford cancelled all Orders in Council, among them the Colleges’ Taskforce. The Taskforce had been one of the main wins from our 2017 strike, and had held the promise of proposing a solution to the high rate of contract employment in Colleges. It was also considering our demand for Collegial Governance. In losing the Taskforce, we lost the capacity to address these two crucial demands from the strike.
Bill 148— Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act
Bill 148 mandates a $14 minimum wage on January 1, 2018, to be raised to $15 on January 1, 2019, fair scheduling laws, paid sick days, and job protected personal leave time. Most significantly for our sector, it affirms the principle that contract workers doing substantially the same work as full-time workers deserve the same pay. This new law gave all workers more rights and dignity in their workplaces.
Bill 148 is now also under threat, as the Chamber of Commerce is urging the new government to repeal it, arguing that the higher minimum wage is bad for business. In fact, as economists have shown, a higher minimum wage leads to more spending power, which leads to economic growth (https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/why-a-15-minimum-wage-is-good-for-business/)
We now have to push back to protect this very important legislation that grants worker rights and respect in their workplaces.
The 12 000 professors, librarians, and counsellors who struck last year are going to continue to fight for the security and dignity of our contract workers, and, in doing so, fight for the dignity of all workers. We are fighting to see a day were you no longer face the threat of precarious, low-wage work, and where your skills and labour are recognized.
OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty
OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty added 8 new photos.2 weeks ago
Pictures from the annual Labour Day Parade in Hamilton, 2018
OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty
OPSEU Local 240 - Mohawk College Faculty shared Hamilton & District Labour Council's post.2 months ago
HAMILTON & DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL JOINS BOYCOTT

IATSE 129 (Hamilton) has asked the Hamilton and District Labour Council to support the IATSE Local 58 boycott of the CNE and Exhibition Place venues, including at BMO Field and the Enercare Centre. Our Executive has supported the request in lieu of our suspended July meeting.

These workers have been LOCKED OUT by management and scabs have been called in to replace them. Management had the temerity to ask them not to picket during the CNE.

If you do make a trip to the CNE grounds this summer, make sure it's to join their picket line and NOT cross it. Stand in solidarity; never cross a picket line!

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