Strike Vote at Laurentian University

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 1491 .... October 3, 2017

Strike Vote at Laurentian University

In the latest turmoil in the Canadian university sector, faculty at Laurentian University are now on strike. At the core is the longstanding vices of the neoliberal university -- underfunding, lack of hiring faculty, commercialization and privatization, and the hiring of a vast bureaucracy of private managers in the ceaseless efforts to benchmark, marketize and monetize ‘assets’. Ontario is the province that has by many measures the most poorly funded university sector in Canada; it has been steadily running its public university system down, and increasing the portion of operating funds coming from student fees (masked by re-packaging aid programs and misleading selling it as free tuition).

Members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) voted ninety-one per cent in... favour of job action in the event that a new collective agreement cannot be reached with the University’s Board of Governors.

"We are most grateful for this strong show of support from our members," said LUFA president Jim Ketchen. "We don’t want to strike, but will if the administration isn’t willing to negotiate a fair collective agreement." LUFA is fighting concession demands that would erode core faculty rights, reduce salary scale competitiveness and diminish eligibility for parental/pregnancy leave.

The parties met with a mediator but negotiations are now suspended. The union’s previous contract expired on June 30. LUFA represents 367 full-time faculty and over 200 sessional staff, have been in a legal strike position since September 28.

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