Sent on behalf of Mark Rosenfeld
Last year, OCUFA was actively engaged in the provincial government’s Changing Workplaces Review — a comprehensive review of employment and labour law aiming to address the rise of precarious work. OCUFA made a submission and thirteen faculty association representatives presented at public consultations across the province. The recommendations put forward included changes to legislation to support equal pay for equal work and access to benefits, promote job security, ensure reasonable notice of work, allow merging of existing bargaining units, and protect the right to collective representation.
On July 27, the long-awaited Interim Report of the Changing Workplaces Review was released. The report summarizes the recommendations that were heard to date and lays out options for ways forward on each issue. The Interim Report confirms that faculty voices were heard. All of our recommendations are included as options and this statement is included on one of our key issues:
“University faculty associations have raised the issue of providing the same wages and benefits to part-time, contract faculty as full-time faculty in order to address growing concerns regarding precarious work in the sector” (p. 227).
OCUFA’s initial response to the report was posted on our website and an update for faculty associations on the Interim Report is attached.
The Interim Report will be followed by a short period for further consultation. All feedback is due no later than October 14. Several issues of concern to faculty have been identified as areas for further comment, including wages and benefits for part-time and contract workers and scheduling. Any faculty association that would like to send a letter providing further feedback on these or other issues, should contact Brynne (email@example.com).
After this next period of consultation wraps up, the Special Advisors who have been leading this process will prepare a final report that includes recommendations for the provincial government to consider. At that point, a political decision will be made about which recommendations to include in proposed legislation and our MPPs will be deciding what to support. This means that the next couple of months are important for advocating that the government take advantage of this opportunity to improve laws to make work more fair for contract faculty and all workers in precarious jobs.
We have some upcoming opportunities to get the word out and make our voice heard on these issues:
– OCUFA will be supporting faculty associations to do outreach on their campus this fall about Fairness for Contract Faculty. We will continue to grow our support by asking faculty, students and community members to sign our pledge at weteachontario.ca. This will take place during CAUT’s Fair Employment Week from October 24 to 28.
– Faculty associations are encouraged to participate in a province-wide Rally for Decent Work on October 1 at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Supporters of the Fight for $15 & Fairness will be travelling from across Ontario to attend. Please be in touch with Brynne (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm how many members from your faculty association are planning to participate and to coordinate so that all faculty can take part together.
– Send the above notice to your members or include it in your next newsletter.
If you have any questions about the Changing Workplaces Review or Fairness for Contract Faculty campaign, please be in touch with Brynne (email@example.com), Graeme (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Andrea (email@example.com) in the OCUFA office.
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229