London post-secondary education town hall addresses crisis: OPSEU

LONDON, ON, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - A new report by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) on the future of post-secondary education in Ontario addresses a growing crisis at our colleges. A special town hall event in London on Tuesday, May 13 will address key issues including the long-term effects of chronic underfunding, privatization, under-staffing and increased student tuition and debt.  These challenges are also being faced in Ontario universities.

WHAT: Town Hall on the Future of Post-secondary Education in Ontario
Panelists include: Daryl Bedford, Fanshawe College Faculty, President of OPSEU Local 110; Kevin MacKay, Mohawk College Faculty and report author; Alison Hearn, President, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association; Alastair Woods, Chair, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

WHEN: Tuesday May 13, 6pm to 7pm reception with light supper, 7pm to 8:30 pm panel presentations and moderated discussion

WHERE: The London Hilton, 300 King St., Grand Ballroom East

NOTE: This event is free of charge

"Our colleges are training the workers who drive the economy. Ontario students deserve to receive quality education and be treated with respect. That includes proper funding of public post-secondary education, small class sizes and reasonable tuition levels. We're talking about an investment that benefits the province as a whole," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "It's time to make post-secondary education a priority."

Researched and written by OPSEU member Kevin MacKay, a Social Sciences professor at Mohawk College, this new report is in part a response to recent mandates from the provincial Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

"Ontario's 24 colleges are attracting more and more students, but their importance is not reflected in the funding provided. In the 1980s, the provincial government provided 75% of all college operating revenues.  Now it funds just 50 per cent." said MacKay.

Attendees at the town hall will include representatives of college and university faculty and students.

Ontario's colleges provide education to more than 50 per cent of all of the province's post-secondary graduates.

SOURCE OPSEU

For further information:

Kevin Mackay, OPSEU College Faculty, Report author: 905-481-4843 kmackay@opseu.org

Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936 evisser@opseu.org