We asked Fanshawe College striking faculty:
How will you vote?
Jeff Miles, English
“I have not voted yet,” said Miles, who has a good idea about which way he’s going to cast his ballot.
“We have been strongly encouraged by the union to vote ‘no.’ It would seem like a big waste of time to be on strike for four-and-a-half weeks and to vote on an agreement that was worse than the original offer . . . I think one would be wise to vote ‘no.’
Janet Foster, early childhood education
“I see a contract that is going backward, not forward,” said Foster, wearing a sandwich board that read ‘Ask me why I voted no.’ “We’re not asking for the world. We’re asking for fairness.”
Though the student intake has increased to 600 from 200, Foster said her program has the same number of full-time instructors as when she started teaching 27 years ago. The balance is made up of part-time staff.
“The majority of them have other jobs. When I’m done class, I can stay around . . . I’m available to my students all the time,” she said, adding it’s often harder for her part-time colleagues to put in face-time with students.
“It’s about quality. You want to have quality programs.”
Darryl Bedford, information technology instructor
“I voted to reject,” said Bedford, who is critical of changes to workload limits and other clauses in the proposed contract.
“It is sneaky stuff,” said the OPSEU bargaining team member. “It has language they’re hoping people won’t look at. They’re hoping people won’t read it. This language, if it were to pass, undermines everything we’ve achieved in the bargaining process.”