CORNWALL, Ontario – A combination of faculty, students and community supporters came out on a rainy day on Friday, Nov. 3 to support college faculty workers currently on-strike.
The rally was held outside of the office of Progressive Conservative Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) which represents college faculty workers, is striking against the College Employers Council (CEC) over the precarious position of contract workers, getting equal pay for equal work and academic freedom.
“Procarious work is one of the big challenges of the strike group today,” said Louise Lanctot, one of the organizers of the rally. “I commend the strike for being so strong.”
There are 83 St. Lawrence College faculty members in Cornwall who are on strike, 52 of those are partial-load employees. They work on a contract basis and have to renew their contracts at the end of every semester or at the end of every course with no guarantee that their contract will be renewed the following year.
The strike is now into its third week. Negotiations recently resumed on Nov. 1. OPSEU and the CEC had not been negotiating since the strike began.
McDonell could not be at the rally on Friday as he was recovering from a surgery, but his assistant Marilyn McMahon spoke on his behalf.
“He feels that it is important to take the issues being raised here seriously,” she said.