University professors and librarians: Ontario budget adds up to less funding and more intervention

University professors and librarians: Ontario budget adds up to less funding and more intervention

TORONTO – Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are disappointed that today’s provincial
budget effectively cuts university resources while signaling increased government intervention in
labour relations.

“If you look behind the numbers in the budget, the government is providing less money to
universities than recommended by Don Drummond,” said Constance Adamson, President of the Ontario
Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “University education is one of the best
investments a government can make to promote economic growth. It is too bad that the government has
missed this important fact in their deficit reduction strategy.”

In his report on public sector reform, Don Drummond recommended that university funding increase by
1.5 per cent per year. In the face of rising enrolment and inflation, this would mean an effective
cut to university operating funding. Surprisingly, the 2012 Budget goes even further than Drummond,
limiting yearly increases to an average of one per cent. This leaves universities with $46 million
less funding than Drummond recommended, and far less money than they need to provide high quality
education for every student.

Professors and librarians are also concerned about the apparent willingness of the Government of
Ontario to consider intervention in collective bargaining at Ontario universities. The budget
signals the government’s interest in sector-wide bargaining, top-down pension reform, and steering
compensation settlements. Ontario’s universities and faculty have a long history of responsible
local bargaining sensitive to local needs, the sector’s bottom line, and the interests of Ontario’s
citizens. Many of the government’s proposals could seriously harm this record of success.

“We will hold the government to their promise that they will consult meaningfully on pensions,
compensation, and bargaining,” said Adamson. “If the outcome is predetermined, then there is no
point consulting. But if they really want to work with the sector, professors and academic
librarians are ready as always with ideas and insights that promote fair and responsible collective

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 27 faculty associations
across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at

Contact: Graeme Stewart – 416 979 2117 x232 (office) or 647 280 3175 (mobile) or
[email protected]

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