On Monday, November 6th, the College Employer Council once again walked away from the bargaining table, starting a process that would extend the college faculty strike by at least another week.
During the negotiations, which had begun on November 2nd, the faculty’s union and the Council had been able to agree on all issues but one — academic freedom, i.e. the faculty’s ability to make decisions about how the courses they teach are delivered and evaluated. Rather than continue negotiations around this no-cost issue, the employer walked away and called a forced vote for next week.
This vote puts faculty in a troubling position. This strike has been going for four weeks now, and with the vote it will reach five. Faculty are torn between their concern for their students and their fight for fair and just employment. The Council is to blame for the collapse in talks, since they refuse to allow even a shred of faculty or student input on campus. They are not only opponents of faculty and students, but opponents of democracy in general.
OPSEU is encouraging faculty to reject the employer’s latest offer. Socialist Fightback Students echos this recommendation. The administration has made it clear that it does not care for students or faculty. We do not need unelected bureaucrats, many of whom have never set foot in the classroom, deciding how those classrooms are run.
To the striking faculty, we say: stay strong! Your fight for academic freedom is our fight, as well. If the Council wins, then we all lose. Socialist Fightback Students will continue to join you on the picket lines for as long as this fight takes. We encourage our fellow students to do the same.