URFA stands in solidarity with Faculty Associations and the labour movement in Alberta, who are facing attacks from the United Conservative Party Government (UCP) including massive cuts to post secondary education and draconian labour legislation that limits the ability of unions to organize and advocate on behalf of their members.
Over the past year, we have watched with great concern as the UCP has forced a number of alarming measures on Alberta Universities. From performance-based funding and institutional restructuring to massive budget cuts- their decisions undermine and do great damage to publicly funded post secondary education in Alberta, and have had a major impact on those who work in Alberta’s educational institutions. At the University of Alberta alone, 600 positions have been eliminated, and 400 more are expected to be cut in the next year alone.
The situation has only been made worse by the UCP’s proposed anti-union labour legislation that places restrictions on the ability of unions to picket and limits the ability of unions to publicly advocate on behalf of their members. This legislation, expected to be challenged in court, threatens to do great damage to the labour movement in Alberta, and to the workers they represent.
As a labour organization in a neighbouring province and as workers in the post secondary sector, we must show our colleagues at Faculty Associations and in the broader labour movement in Alberta solidarity. The actions by the UCP government in Alberta affect us all. Not only do they damage the reputation of higher education in Canada and strip away the power of unions while undermining worker’s rights, their actions, if successful, may encourage other provincial governments to do the same. We must call out and condemn these attacks against public education and the labour movement, and do all that we can to ensure that public, post secondary education is valued by all governments, and the rights of unions and workers across Canada are protected.
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