The following was sent to all college faculty members today:
Dear college faculty members,
We head into collective agreement negotiations with the colleges this summer. As we look ahead, we know that we face some significant challenges to creating a better environment for both students and faculty.
We know, right now, 70 per cent of faculty are working in precarious, under-paid contract positions. When we raise concerns with senior administrators about this, we are told that the colleges have no choice, as they have no money to create good paying secure jobs for faculty.
Yet at the same time that they are claiming they’re out of money, new buildings are going up on many campuses; more high-paid administrators are being hired, outpacing full-time faculty hiring; and student tuition continues to rise.
From this, we know that the issue is priorities, not money. The colleges are certainly underfunded, but that fact makes it even more important they put the limited funds they have into students and faculty first.
As we get ready for negotiations, we are producing a series of videos and position papers that explore several of the most important issues facing faculty and students at Ontario’s public colleges. You can find the first video here. It explores this issue of permanent and contract faculty, the growing numbers of administrators, and the impacts that the college presidents’ mixed-up priorities have on students.
We dive deeper into the issues, the numbers behind them, and some personal stories that give insight into the challenges presented by the current context in the first issue of Ontario’s public colleges at 50: A better plan. This issue, “Students and Faculty First,” can be found here.
As a faculty member working on contract for many years (and the first contract faculty member of the bargaining team, where I serve as an alternate), this is an issue that hits close to home. But, precarious faculty jobs affect all faculty and students. Our members have identified that job security and better conditions for contract faculty are priorities in this round of bargaining, in order to put faculty and students first.
It’s all about priorities – and it’s time for a better plan.
Alternate member, College faculty bargaining team