As faculty and students return to campuses, I wanted to take a moment to provide you with some updates.
- First of all, last Friday, we sent a letter to the College Employer Council and the presidents of each college to extend them an invitation to join us at Queen’s Park on September 20 as we meet with provincial legislators about the needs of the college system. We pointed out that by standing together, we stand a greater chance of getting the changes and funding we need. Unfortunately, despite our efforts to work together for the sake of our students, we have had no response from them. This is disappointing, but hardly surprising, as it reflects exactly the same attitude we’ve seen at the negotiating table. Whatever proposals we make to improve the system, the management team is unwilling to even discuss them – even when these proposals come with no financial cost whatsoever!
- That is why the September 14 strike vote is so critical. The management team has been clear – they have no interest in discussing ways to improve the system. The only way to bring them back to the table and force them to have those important discussions, is to send them a clear message that the status quo isn’t working. A strong “YES” vote on September 14 will do just that. To help make sure we get the strongest strike vote possible, we’ve set up a new online tool so locals can keep members up to date on voting times and locations.Please go here and pledge your “YES” vote on September 14.When you do this, your local will be given your contact information so that they can remind you about the vote, and let you know where the closest voting locations are for you, as well as what time they’re open. That way we can make sure everyone gets a chance to help us send a clear message to management that they need to get back to the table and get serious about our proposals for improving the college system for both students and faculty.
- Members of the bargaining team continue to tour the province for local meetings at each college, to provide updates on what has happened over the summer and to answer your questions. I hope that we’ll see many of you out for your local meeting. If you missed the meeting at your college, don’t worry! We’ll have a video of one of these presentations posted by next week, so everyone has a chance to hear from the team.
- Finally, do you know someone who’s still unsure about how to vote, or why this round of bargaining is so important? Later this week we’ll be sending out a fact sheet that will break down the list of areas that you identified as needing improvements, and how the management and faculty plans do at meeting those needs. You can help us by sharing this information with your colleagues, and making sure everyone has the information they need to cast their vote.