McGuinty taking easy way out, ducking real issues
Dalton McGuinty is taking the easy way out and ducking the real issues behind the York University strike by trying to ram through back-to-work legislation, says NDP Leader Howard Hampton.
“Dalton McGuinty’s chronic underfunding of Ontario’s universities is at the root cause of not only this strike, but the real possibility of further labour disputes at other Ontario universities,” said Hampton, noting Ontario ranks dead last among all Canadian provinces in per-capita funding for universities.
“Rather than scrambling to bring the legislature back today to force through back-to-work legislation that strips York workers of their right to collectively bargain, the McGuinty Liberals should take steps to ensure all of Ontario’s universities are properly funded. University workers and all students and parents across the province deserve nothing less.”
Hampton also slammed the McGuinty government for not doing more to avert the crisis at York.
“We didn’t need to reach this unprecedented stage, but the McGuinty Liberals chose to sit on the sidelines for nearly three months while York students and workers suffered through this strike,” said Hampton.
“Dalton McGuinty looked the other way as the University refused to negotiate in good faith, putting the academic future of 50,000 students at risk. Now the Premier is at his clumsy best trying to clean up the mess he created and providing a crutch for a University administration unwilling to negotiate with its workers to give students the educational experience they've paid for.”
York’s striking workers perform 54 per cent of the teaching at the University yet only receive 7.5 per cent of the University’s entire annual budget in salary and benefits. They also have little job security.
“Where is the fairness when senior University administrators make almost half a million dollars in salary, benefits and perks alone?” asked Hampton.
“These workers, many of them students themselves, are demanding fairness. That’s why we will stand with them and vote against Dalton McGuinty’s back-to-work bill,” he said.