The CUPE post-secondary task force, representing members active in university and colleges across the country, stands in solidarity with CUPE post-secondary locals currently in difficult negotiations with their employer.
“Many locals are currently in very difficult negotiations with their employer in British-Columbia. Many challenges, in the post-secondary education sector, are similar across the country. It’s important for us to support one another,” says Leo Cheverie, co-chair of CUPE’s post-secondary task force.
In British-Columbia, almost 12,000 university CUPE members are currently in negotiations and strike votes have been taken at the CUPE locals at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), Thompson Rivers University (TRU), University of British Columbia, University of Victoria (UVIC) and Royal Roads. Also, 3000 CUPE members at BC colleges are actively in bargaining at this time.
The task force also sends out solidarity to CUPE members in Ontario who are fighting against Bill 115 and any other legislation that seeks to strip the fundamental rights of Ontarians. Ontario needs to solve the problem of chronic underfunding to the post-secondary sector and build an accessible, accountable, and affordable public post-secondary education system.
“I am excited about the work already being accomplished by this new CUPE task force, and the solidarity being built across Canada in post-secondary education,” says Michelle Waite, a member of the task force from British Columbia.
As part of its mandate, the task force is also focussing on priority issues, including a national vision for post-secondary education which includes progressive funding, the fight for accessible public education and against escalating tuition fees, and anti-privatization.
The task force also aims to establish partnerships with other organizations that share its goals. During this latest meeting, Erika Shaker, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, presented her study Eduflation and the High Cost of Learning.
The post-secondary task force had its first meeting in April.