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Letter to the Editor: Why we strike

Rally4Faculty at Queen's Park on Nov. 2. Photo: @OPSEU/Twitter

Letter to the Editor (Submitted to the Toronto Star)
Re: College Professors on Strike

I hate being on strike. Being on strike is never enjoyable, and especially not when you love your job.

I am a full-time professor and I have been on strike for the past three weeks. I voted for the strike not because I have anything to gain from it personally. Quite the contrary, I assumed from the outset that I would lose weeks of salary. I am on strike not for myself but on behalf of a principle.

This strike presents all of us in Ontario with a fundamental question: what kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want a society of precarious part-time jobs? Only 20 per cent of college professors in Ontario are full-time. Our union has asked for that number to be increased to 50 per cent. The College Employer Council (CEC) claims that this important change is unrealistic due to cost. Yet the colleges have posted a $188 million surplus over the past year alone.

Beyond the obvious financial ability of our colleges to treat their employees fairly, this is a debate about our vision of the future. I am striking for a better society, a society which enables full-time employment.

Thomas Ponniah
Professor, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences 
George Brown College
Toronto, Ont.

Photo: @OPSEU/Twitter

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