Home CommentaryOpinions CUPFA has been driven to strike

CUPFA has been driven to strike

by Archives April 1, 2008

Part-time teachers are picketing on the streets, and there is more at stake than just their salaries, benefits and a collective agreement.
Six years without a contract for part-time teachers is hardly an attractive prospect for professors looking for potential positions at Concordia, and even from a business point of view, the practice is hardly the model for a good service provider.
One cannot expect good returns on a lackadaisical investment. Concordia is no longer an institution of higher learning; it is selling education as if it was a commodity – a product that can be bought cheap.
However, the dispute transcends economics and number crunching, because as the president of the part-time teacher’s union has repeatedly said, it is pedagogical.
Put simply, universities are not companies, they do not sell products and they do not have customers. They are private, non-profit corporations. The university’s position so far has shown the commoditization of teaching at Concordia, with greater emphasis on the bottom line than on the quality of education provided.
It is no secret that Concordia is looking to expand enrolment, the construction of two brand new buildings downtown is tangible proof. As students, our concerns are only growing, in part because the university is unwilling to settle with underpaid professors and is seeking to expand the online course regiment, e-Concordia. Appropriately, increasing class sizes is one of the main grievances that CUPFA is seeking to address at the bargaining table.
The $5,400 Concordia’s part-time teachers receive per semester for a 3-credit course may seem a sizable salary if one takes on a full complement of courses, but not when compared to the $7,000 their counterparts are paid at the Université du Québec

Related Articles

Leave a Comment