Last week saw the launch of the new Education for All coalition campaign. PSAC is a founding member of this coalition that brings together post-secondary workers and students with the goal to mobilize our combined memberships towards an affordable, high quality, publicly funded post-secondary education system. Working together with the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the coalition collectively represents over 1 million workers and students across the country.
The campaign launched with a panel discussion for coalition members that featured a discussion of what Education for All looks like. The coalition will campaign and lobby to ensure:
- A post-secondary education system that is high-quality, fully accessible, publicly funded and respected for its important economic, social and cultural role in our society.
- Fair wages, working conditions and secure employment for all workers at our colleges and universities and an end to contracting out and the privatization of services, including teaching, cleaning, and food services.
- A research ecosystem driven by the quest for knowledge and not corporate priorities, that funds research in all disciplines, protects the public ownership of results and intellectual property, and supports researchers at every stage of their academic careers.
- Open and transparent governance with diverse representation of faculty, students, and workers to ensure that decisions that impact the campus community are made by community members with a stake in the outcomes.
- Strict limits on the ability of corporations or private donors to exercise control over research, curriculum, or employment decisions of post-secondary institutions.
France Filion, PSAC-QC Director for DCLs, and president of PSAC Local 17751 (SERUM) at the University of Montreal, was a panelist and highlighted how key this work is “It’s economic suicide for a developed country not to invest in post-secondary research”.
PSAC currently represents over 25,000 workers in this sector - workers who teach classes, who engage in critical research in all fields, who support students living in residence and who provide supports to other instructors and professors. Throughout the course of the pandemic, PSAC members have been at the forefront of critical measures to respond to the crisis, whether through vaccine research, or infection control.
Campaign activities will roll out over the next year, starting with the release of a major paper later this winter. Members interested in receiving updates about the campaign can request more information.