The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is in solidarity with the striking workers at Universities in the United Kingdom. We support the staff and educators who are at a ‘breaking point’ and for the ‘fight for the future of higher education’ strike.
After decades of cuts to pension plans, falling wages, job precarity, unmanageable workloads and work conditions, the University and College Union (UCU) has called for industrial-scale strike action in the form of walkouts that will be impacting 68 universities across the United Kingdom, with more than one million students witnessing the effects of the strike. The staff and educator strike actions have been called for succinctly to coincide with student strike action that begins on Thursday, March 3, 2022. The National Union of Students (NUS), representing 7 million students, is calling for a student strike to make higher education completely free and accessible. Additionally, the students’ union and student organizers are carrying forward the tradition of solidarity with staff and educators, as they understand that the current education system model is unequal and inequitable for students as well as staff and educators.
The Federation understands the sentiments and the conditions that students, staff and educators live under, as we live under similar cuts to education and austerity measures. The strike actions across the United Kingdom are a response to increasingly privatized and corporate model education systems. Ontario students and workers have also been impacted by further privatization of post-secondary education, with the proposal of performance-based funding, cuts to student grants and an increase in student loans, the ever-increasing precarious faculty working conditions and contracting out of campus services and support workers. Students and workers are united in the call for a publicly funded and free education system.
The Federation stands in solidarity with the students and staff across the UK; we also urge students’ unions and organizers to amplify such global actions and draw inspiration from them. We encourage students to support workers and take action against increasingly unbearable conditions in the post-secondary education sector.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the oldest and largest student organization in Ontario, representing over 350,000 college and university students in every region of the province.