The Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO), a union representing 1,800 contract professors who teach about half of all undergraduate courses at the University of Ottawa, express our solidarity with all professors in Quebec who are facing an unacceptable regime of austerity.
Under Philippe Couillard’s Liberal Government, University and Cégep professors are facing cuts to courses, a reduction in salaries particularly targeted at the most precarious professors, an increase in tasks without additional compensation, and an elimination of privileges and social benefits. With these austerity policies, it is clear that learning institutions are no longer a priority for this Quebec government. It is a problem that affects professors in Quebec as well as professors across the country. We will not accept a culture in which cuts to education become the norm.
Cuts to programs and courses in Quebec are not only a Quebecois affair. The current assault on post-secondary education is part of a larger ideology aiming to reduce the importance of the public sector as well as to reduce the role of the state in society. The effects of the cuts on the quality of education are undeniable. A good number of APTPUO members who also teach in Quebec are directly affected by these policies of austerity.
Austerity policies have not demonstrated their efficiency or their utility in countries that practice them. They are solely ideological decisions. It is a question of priority and now is the time that we need to prioritize and invest in public education, and not privatization.
It is for those reasons that we stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Quebec during these difficult times. We will not accept cuts to education, we will refuse the politics of austerity. The struggle for high-quality, public education continues!
To learn more, please visit the websites of our colleagues at the FNEEQ and the CSN: http://refusons.org/
The Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa