Conference, day of action to challenge rise of precarious work at Ontario universities

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Faculty, staff, and students are coming together to challenge the rise of precarious work at universities and colleges across Ontario. An online day of action will be marked by a variety of events, including a major conference in Toronto.

"Thousands of talented professors are stuck in precarious academic jobs with unfair pay, lack of access to benefits, and poor job security," said Fran Cachon, a contract faculty member at the University of Windsor. "This growing problem not only hurts individuals, their families, and their communities, but it also threatens the quality of education in Ontario."

At campuses across the province, contract faculty members will be sharing their experiences and calling for fairness under the hashtag #precariousPSE. In Toronto, students, faculty, and policymakers will gather at the "Challenging precarious academic work" conference, organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

OCUFA is also launching an online pledge as part of its We Teach Ontario initiative, where students, faculty, and citizens can demonstrate their commitment to fairness for contract faculty.

As part of the day of action, OCUFA released the results of a public opinion poll examining attitudes about precarious work in Ontario's universities – the first of its kind in the province.

The results include:

  • 94 per cent of Ontarians think universities should be model employers and support good jobs in their communities.
  • 88 per cent want part-time professors to be converted into full-time positions before more part-time professors are hired.
  • 85 per cent want part-time professors to receive fair pay and 84 per cent believe part-time professors should have the same access to benefits as their full-time colleagues.
  • 64 per cent of Ontarians want to be taught by, or have their child taught by, a full-time professor with job security and benefits.
  • 60 per cent are in favour of more public funding for universities to promote long-term employment relationships with faculty

"The poll results clearly show that Ontarians want universities to employ full-time professors, and to treat their contract faculty with fairness and respect," said Judy Bates, President of OCUFA. "In other words, the people of Ontario want every academic job to be a good job."

The complete poll results are available on the OCUFA website. The poll was conducted by Mission Research on behalf OCUFA with a sample of 1000 individuals with results accurate to within +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 full-time and contract faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. OCUFA proudly supports the province-wide campaign for $15 and Fairness.  For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

For further information: contact Graeme Stewart, Director of Communications at 416 306 6033 (office), 647 241 7011 (mobile), gstewart@ocufa.on.ca; Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director, 416 306 6030, mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ocufa.on.ca

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Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

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