Faculty did not vote for a strike; they voted to give their bargaining team a mandate to call a strike if necessary. No faculty member wants to strike. We would rather be in the classroom or working with students as counsellors and librarians, doing what we do best. A strike vote is a tool that is used in bargaining to let the employer know that we are serious about issues that need to be addressed. For example:
Faculty academic freedom and academic senates will improve the quality and status of college certificates, diplomas and degrees, giving students more options for future study in Canada and abroad. Senates will also include students in academic decision-making.
The exploitation of contract faculty is hurting the quality of college education. The faculty bargaining team is proposing a reasonable ratio of full-time to non-full-time faculty within the system.
Non-full-time faculty are skilled and committed, but their working conditions make it hard for them to do everything they would like for students:
- They don’t receive time for out-of-class student meetings.
- They don’t receive time for faculty meetings.
- They don’t receive enough time for student feedback on assignments.
- They are not given enough time to prepare their courses.
- They don’t know if they will have a job from semester to semester.
- They are often given courses at the last second, leaving no time to prepare.
- They have no job security, and can’t speak up to defend the quality of their courses for fear of losing their jobs.