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On the Line: College Faculty Strike Bulletin #1

On the Line: College Faculty

An Ontario college faculty strike publication Issue #1

Support pours in as faculty strike begins

#Standwithfaculty was trending on social media as college faculty joined picket lines across the province on Monday. Support came pouring in from students, parents, and community and union allies, keeping energy levels high on the first day of a strike that is all about quality education and fairness for faculty.

The steady devaluation of the college system has gone on too long, and faculty are fighting back.

Too many faculty are struggling with four-month contracts without job security. Too many have been working part-time for years and years in the far-too-faint hope of getting a full-time position. A Walmart-style education system built on precarious work isn’t good for faculty, and it isn’t good for students.

It’s time for something better. That’s what thousands of faculty are saying – and thousands of faculty supporters are saying it, too.

Construction workers show solidarity at Confederation and Algonquin College campuses

Striking faculty were overwhelmed by the support Monday when members of Ironworkers Local 759 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 397 walked off the job in solidarity at a construction site during a morning picket at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. 

In Ottawa, another 60 construction workers walked off the work site at Algonquin College to show their support for striking faculty during the 7-11 am picket shift. The workers included members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) L.586 and L.527,  Sheet Metal (SMWIA) L.47, Sprinkler Filters United Association (UA) Local 583, and Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners,  Local 93.

Whose Campus? OUR Campus!

In an extraordinary show of strength, allies from the Cross-Campus Alliance of student, faculty, and staff unions and associations – CUPE 1356, CUPE 3903, York University Faculty Association (YUFA), York Federation of Students (YFS), York University Graduate Student Association (YUGSA), OPSEU L578 at York University English Language Institute (YUELI), York University Staff Association (YUSA) – and the York Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign all held a solidarity picket to support OPSEU Local 560 faculty at the York campus of Seneca.

Liberal government under fire

Meanwhile, at Queens Park, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Deb Matthews, came under fire during Question Period for the government's failure to address ongoing problems in the college system.

Do you have a picket line story and/or photos to contribute to On the Line? 

Email Emily Visser at evisser@opseu.org

Authorized for distribution
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union