CALGARY, AB (14 January 2022) – Representatives of student, staff and faculty associations from post-secondary institutions across Calgary will hold a press conference at McDougall Centre at ten o’clock in the morning to declare their support for the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association (CUEFA) in its ongoing job action.
CUEFA, explains University of Calgary Faculty Association (TUCFA) President David Stewart, is “the first university faculty association in Alberta to ever go on strike. There are many important issues at stake including workload, intellectual property, job security and salary. Fair settlements on these issues will benefit the entire academic community. TUCFA is committed to supporting CUEFA in their job action.”
The strike, which began on January 4th and led to contract delays for already precarious contract faculty, highlights the current issues – low pay, high workload, and stressful bargaining – facing workers across the post-secondary education sector in Alberta. Cuts to the Campus Alberta Grant have meant that thousands of non-academic staff have lost their jobs, students have faced skyrocketing tuition increases, and faculty are under worsening working conditions.
“With no increases for the past 4 years,” Michelle Logullo, President of the Mount Royal Staff Association (MRSA) says, “we have effectively seen a 10% erosion of our wages. Staff and Professors are leaving the Alberta post-secondary sector because they are feeling overworked and undervalued. The MRSA firmly stands in solidarity for the equity plight of CUEFA.”
“Approximately 10,000 AUPE members work at universities, colleges, technical institutes, and trade schools,” explains Bobby-Jo Borodey, vice president of the union representing over 95,000 employees across the province. “Our members have had to fight back against the UCP’s continued attacks on post-secondary institutions and we will stand with CUEFA members in their fight to the end.”
Representatives of student, staff and faculty associations will also join picket lines in Edmonton on Friday as part of a coordinated Day of Action.
“The Students’ Association of Bow Valley College (SABVC) acknowledges the importance of having a united front with students throughout the province of Alberta. The student-instructor relationship is one that is imperative to the overall success of post-secondary learners and SABVC hopes for a quick resolution to the CUEFA strike so that students can get back to their studies.”
“We want to thank the Concordia faculty for bravely taking a stand not only for their own working conditions,” states St. Mary’s University Faculty Association (STMUFA) President, Jennifer Garrison, “but also in support of post-secondary faculty and students across the province. By standing up for students and faculty, CUEFA is standing up for a stronger future for all Albertans.”
“Our students and our province need postsecondary education at this juncture more than ever,” insists Lee Easton, President of the Mount Royal Faculty Association. “We must stop eroding the quality of postsecondary education in Alberta now.”