Union disputes Canadore’s ‘mistruths’
To the editor: as we begin another week on the picket line, I feel compelled to address a number of mistruths that have been published by george burton, the president of Canadore College, in the past week .
First and foremost is the assertion by the colleges that they are at the table and willing to negotiate.
They are not at the table and they are not willing to negotiate. The union is willing and able to negotiate at any time. Why would we want to wait two weeks to have a vote and keep our students out of the classroom? sadly, we believed that a deal was at hand last monday and the colleges recklessly walked away.
The colleges assert they are concerned about students. If they are concerned about students why would they walk away from the table and ask for a forced offer vote? They did this knowing the vote would take at least two weeks to complete and that it would prolong the strike for another two weeks.
The colleges assert they have a plan for students so they will not lose their semester or their year. however, the colleges’ plan treats all programs as though they are the same. We continue to say that, depending on the program, many students are in jeopardy now. Neither faculty nor students were consulted on their “plan.”
The colleges assert this deal is the same deal negotiated at the table. This is not true. The offer before us for a vote is a new offer with new concessions. These concessions purposely undermine much of what was agreed to the previous weekend.
Of all these assertions, mr. burton has affixed his name. however, I doubt he is the author as the same letters appear across all colleges. The public should know that the colleges have paid thousands of taxpayers dollars to a Pr firm to fabricate their story and sway your opinion.
In closing, I want to say what the union has asked for is simple and reasonable. We want fair treatment for our contract faculty, including a fair wage and recognition for all of the work that they do – equal pay for equal work. We want to be able to fill vacant full-time positions. We want a reasonable ratio of full-time to contract faculty in the college – 50/50. We want a guaranteed voice in academic decisions for both faculty and students – collegial governance. Finally, we want faculty to have the say in how they teach their classes – academic freedom.
I think that any reasonable person can see these demands will lead to a quality college system and a quality education for our students.
If you want to learn more about the faculty position go to collegefaculty.org
John Patterson president Local 657 Canadore College faculty union