For Immediate Release
31 January, 2023
NL NDP Leader and M.H.A. for St. John’s Centre, Jim Dinn is calling on the provincial government to take immediate steps to urge Memorial University back to the bargaining table with MUNFA and reach a collective agreement. Dinn, along with MUN Faculty Association members, students, supporting unions, and members of the public, joined striking workers on picket lines this morning to show their support.
MUNFA, which has been without a collective argument since August 2020, wants key issues addressed, including contract faculty security, workload, collegial governance, and salaries. Dinn says reaching an agreement on those issues is important for faculty as well as for students whose academic programs are caught in the balance of the dispute.
“Both the university and the government are responsible for this,” said Dinn. “The Liberals choice to cut operating funding from the university without a plan is forcing the university to see themselves as a corporation and lose sight of their role as the academic institution for university studies in the province,” said Dinn.
“The working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions of students. This is no different for MUNL,” Dinn said. “Government has failed to recognize that following the PERT report’s recommendation to cut funding without a plan has caused the situation we’re seeing unfold today. Investing in our future must start with people,” said Dinn.
Dinn said government must accept their role in causing this fallout and act to get the university back to the bargaining table. Dinn has concerns about the university’s approach to a legal strike by telling students to cross picket lines.
“The faculty and staff on strike today want to be inside, enriching the minds of students. By not stepping in to clean up the mess left in their wake, the Liberal government is sending a clear message to professors and students that they see little value in what the university and its community brings to the province.”
“Both MUNFA members and students deserve better. MUNL telling students to cross the picket, and frightening international students about their future in Newfoundland and Labrador, is unacceptable.”
For further information, contact Stephanie Curran, Media Relations Manager, NDP Caucus at 330-0328 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org