Toronto – College faculty members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will join Contract Faculty Forward at events across the province today to call for better working conditions for their contract colleagues at Ontario colleges.
Contract faculty comprise a growing majority of teaching staff at Ontario colleges, currently representing 70 per cent of all faculty. “These workers have no job security, they are paid far less than their work is worth, and many have no access to benefits or sick days,” said RM Kennedy, Chair of OPSEU’s College Academic Division.
“The full-time members I represent know the importance of the work these faculty members do – after all, it’s essentially the exact same work,” said Kennedy. “Sadly, colleges are more concerned with their bottom lines than providing decent work for all of their employees, or fostering student success – which is suffering in a system that forces professors to seek other jobs just to make ends meet.”
A Humber College student shows his support for contract faculty at an event on September 27
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas noted that these workers are not alone in facing the challenges of precarious work.
“Ontario is creeping closer and closer to a crisis in labour,” said Thomas. “Good, full-time jobs are being replaced by precarious jobs at an alarming rate, and this trend is spreading across the entire labour market.
“We stand in solidarity with contract faculty,” he said. “We join them in demanding equal pay for equal work, benefits, and recognition of the critically important work they’re doing.
“The role of educating the next generation of workers certainly deserves that.”
For more information: Roz Gunn, A/Communications Officer, OPSEU, 416-708-7390