In last week’s editorial, we conjectured that perhaps being president of the Concordia Student Union was the worst job in the world. This week, we can’t help but wonder if indeed, being a professor at Concordia is also in the running for that coveted title.
For those who don’t know, the Concordia University Faculty Association voted 74 per cent in favour of a strike mandate this weekend.
This means that CUFA members have now joined the ranks of the part-time professors’ union and the university steelworkers union who have already held strike mandates for months. It’s not news to anyone that Concordia has had difficult labour relations in the past, but with this newest development, things are looking especially dire.
How university administrators think that they can get away with financial scandals upon scandals and still refuse to pay professors a fair wage is beyond us. It is not administrators who are responsible for the product that students take away from their “Concordia experience.” On the contrary, they act more as shadowy figures who make decisions behind the scenes and shy away from accountability at all costs.
There’s a reason why no student at Concordia (in their right mind) has a favourite administrator. But everyone has had a teacher that made an impact on them. Someone who inspired actual learning instead of textbook memorization and regurgitation.
What is most frustrating about the ongoing conflict between the university and its unions is the fundamental lack of respect shown towards educators. We are entirely fed up and frankly, pissed off with the way this school treats the people who strive to make it great.
Concordia may not be built on a gold mine but there is no argument to be made that the money to pay professors, both full-time and part-time, doesn’t exist.
Declaring a strike mandate is an excellent bargaining chip to bring back to the table, but if this step doesn’t produce concrete results soon, a full-scale establishment-crippling strike may become a reality.
Concordia has more than 1,000 full-time professors and a solid majority of them turned out to vote this weekend. What do the university higher-ups think they’re going to do when every single professor on campus (excepting those who are not in favour) walk out of their classrooms? Is anyone with an office in the GM building truly foolish enough to believe that this place can run without faculty?
We hope not. Because we sure as hell wouldn’t cross a union picket line if all that’s waiting on the other side is a lousy Concordia degree.