Jan 29 2009

Hon. Howard Hamption Questions Dalton McGuinty

Category: Strike Discussion (2008-09)Bob Hanke @ 10:39 pm

The following is an excerpt from today’s debate in the Ontario Legislative Assembly regarding the York University labour dispute:

Mr. Howard Hampton: My question is for the Premier. We’ve heard a lot about putting students first and doing what is best for them, and I know the Premier wants to believe that now, by simply legislating the workers back, everything is fixed.

My question is this: Can the Premier tell us how the needs of York University students will be served by continuing a scenario where many of their teachers will continue to be paid wages that are below the poverty line?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: First of all, I want to congratulate CUPE for its decision to, as quickly as possible, get this dispute behind them, return to their classes and provide the excellent-quality instruction that is available to students at York University. I want to thank them for pursuing this.

The leader of the NDP says that there are remaining issues, outstanding issues. I acknowledge that. We’ve turned this matter over to a process of binding arbitration. We expect that that will be resolved sooner rather than later, in a way that is as fair as possible to both sides. I expect that both sides will do everything they need to do-it may not be easy-to reconcile outstanding differences and to conduct themselves in a way that serves the best interests of the students.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Supplementary?

Mr. Howard Hampton: I notice that once again the Premier didn’t answer the question. He has to know that what’s happening at York University is literally that hundreds of people who were on the picket line have been teaching and working and have been paid wages that are less than the poverty line.

The Premier should also know that quality planning, quality teaching and quality evaluation at the university level is demanding and it’s time-consuming. Time spent planning a course has a direct impact on the quality of education that students receive.

My question is this: How are the needs of York University students served by forcing the contract faculty-who do most of the teaching-to continue to exist on short-term contracts of one year or less when they don’t know from one semester to the next what courses they will be teaching or if they’ll be teaching at all?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: My colleague asks that I insinuate myself into the employment relationship-

To read the rest of this exchange, click Howard Hampton Questions Dalton McGuinty Jan 29 2009

To read the complete Hansard transcripts of today’s proceedings, click Legislative Assembly of Ontario Handard Transcripts Jan 29 2009


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login now.