Over 60 ESL Instructors and supporters held a rally for the CUPE 4207-Unit 3 bargaining team outside the Four Points Sheraton Hotel near Brock University this Saturday morning. The team for the ESL Instructors and the university administration’s representatives were scheduled to meet with a government-appointed mediator at the hotel at 10 AM and bargain throughout the day.
Instructors and supporters from the community carried placards stating “It’s Time to Talk” and “It’s Time to Listen”, a sign of their frustration with the university administration’s poor record to engage in bargaining over the past 8 months. “I think we’ve been pretty patient for a resolution (to bargaining) but they have been cancelling and postponing meetings… now we’re out here today to show we are serious about our proposals and that we want a fair agreement” said Ian Wood, a contract worker in ESL Services. “The administration’s side should be focused on this goal even if it is very late at coming to the table.”
Others carried the message that they want fairer working conditions. “We’re tired of being taken advantage of, and as painful as it may be for the administration they need face the fact that their treatment of instructors has been grossly unfair for too long.” Glenn Ewing, who has been doing a full workload for 5 years but is treated as a permanent part-time employee.
The university administration and instructors are in a legal strike or lockout scenario as of Tuesday, March 17 at 12:01 AM. The deadline was originally Saturday, March 21, but the administration requested it be changed to an earlier date.
CUPE 4207 encourages the community to visit their website CUPE4207bargaining.ca for updates and information on bargaining and for suggestions on how to help reach a fair collective agreement.