CUPE 3903 members responded to a call for solidarity from contract faculty at Seneca College, and joined an information picket on November 12 to protest senior management’s attack on “partial-load” teachers. Organized by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Local 560, the picket attracted support from students, faculty and staff from both Seneca College and York University. Many passers-by asked for extra leaflets and buttons to distribute to their classmates and colleagues.
Management tried to ban the Union’s leaflet, telling OPSEU members that they were prohibited from distributing it to students on campus. Shortly after the picket began, security guards showed up to try to keep the picket off Seneca property, while someone recorded picketers from inside an SUV that was parked across the street.
Despite management’s intimidation tactics, the picket distributed hundreds of leaflets and buttons to Seneca students, who were surprised and angry to learn about the attacks on their teachers’ work conditions – and that the changes would come into effect in January with no warning for students.
Picketers emphasized the point that any attack on teaching conditions at Seneca is an attack on learning conditions, too. If the attacks go unchallenged, students who rely on support from faculty inside and outside of the classroom will see a rapid decline in the quality of their education, as teaching resources and assistance disappear. In other words, the fight to defend contract faculty at Seneca is a fight to defend the quality of education for all Seneca students.
Read more about the fight to save unionized teaching jobs at Seneca:
Show your support for contract faculty at Seneca! Sign the petition here.
For more information, please visit Partial Load Faculty Crisis.
The following text appeared on the leaflet distributed by OPSEU members and supporters:
Cuts to Faculty Fail Students
Seneca College management prohibited the faculty Union from distributing this flyer to students on-campus. Please help us to inform students of these changes that will affect your education by leaving this flyer inside the building.
Support OPSEU Local 560 for Quality Education
STOP the ELIMINATION of Partial-Load Faculty positions at Seneca College
Seneca President David Agnew and Vice-President Academic Joy McKinnon plan to reduce the pay, hours, benefits, and working conditions of hundreds of contract faculty at Seneca, starting January. They don’t want you to know how this staffing change will hurt the education you receive.
Contract faculty are paid by the hours they teach each wee. Seneca management is preventing hundreds of these faculty from teaching more than six hours a week, starting in the Winter Semester. As a consequence of this decision, these faculty members…
- Will not teach enough hours to live on
- Face a pay cut in their hourly wage
- Will lack the right to health benefits
- Will lack the right to sick days and may be forced to work when sick
- Will lack Union representation, to prevent exploitation
Giving contract faculty fewer hours and less pay will force them to work other jobs while teaching you. This could lead to:
- Contract faculty not being available after class to meet with you
- Contract faculty not being able to respond to emails quickly
- Contract faculty leaving Seneca for jobs that offer more hours, benefits, and pay
- High faculty turnover, with newer, less experienced faculty
- Faculty not being around years from now, if you need a letter of reference from them
- Faculty being less willing to go “the extra mile” for a school that disrespects them
Please help us fight against these changes to faculty working conditions and students’ learning conditions at Seneca College. Help to ensure that Seneca faculty members can make Seneca students their priority.
Get more information at partial load.org, and please sign the online petition linked there.
OPSEU Local 560 represents Full-Time and Partial-Load Professors, Instructors, Counsellors and Librarians at Seneca College