Published by OCUFA in Ontario University Report, 4:2 (3 September 2010):
“The consultation process with the government may have ended,” said OCUFA President Mark Langer, “but the wage restraint process the government started in its March Budget has not.”
Langer’s remarks followed an emergency meeting of the OCUFA board of directors Wednesday, Sept.1, convened to give OCUFA direction on how to deal with the government’s wage restraint exercise in the future.
A delegation of faculty association representatives, OCUFA officials, and others attended the Ontario government’s university-sector wage consultations that started August 9. The consultations concluded August 13. (For details see last week’s OUR, “Wage Restraint Consultation: ‘Issues are better addressed at local level’”)
The board unanimously supported a motion mandating OCUFA to pursue a four-part strategy that would fight the restraint exercise going forward, directing OCUFA to:
- Continue its traditional advocacy with the government and with the Council of Ontario Universities, both to receive information and communicate faculty concerns
- Work with other unions in the university sector to develop a coordinated public campaign explaining the union side of the issue
- Conduct regional media workshops across Ontario that will focus on helping faculty associations deal with the issues in the their local communications areas; and
- Provide robust support for collective bargaining at the local level.
Senior officials from other unions representing university employees told the board how they were dealing with the wage restraint consultations.
Peggy Nash of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, Brian Gould of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Donna Carlaw from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Owen Callan from the Service Employees International Union summarized their responses to the wage restraint consultations and strongly affirmed the same principle of free collective bargaining at the local level that OCUFA is defending vigorously.
But, as Langer said, “To move forward on the compensation issue, OCUFA needed direction from its governing body, and the board meeting has produced clear direction and a solid plan.”
“With this plan, he said, “OCUFA will continue to fight the rights of Ontario professors and librarians, who are so important to excellent learning.”