The Forgotten Majority

Unions, OPSEU, the CEC, Deadlines, and of course… The Strike. If you’re a follower of the news, these are headlines and key phrases that you’ve probably noticed in the paper and on social media over the past couple of weeks. Notice anything missing? Anything at all? Well let me help you out, It’s called the students. My description when talking about them is the Forgotten Majority.

So let me break it down for you;

OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employee Union) and  the CEC (College Employer Council) were in negotiations. OPSEU proposed a new agreement, the CEC declined and blah blah blah. Now before you start sending in your hate about my anti-union views, there is no need. I AM PRO UNION.

My issue lies with the lack of consultation and consideration for the forgotten majority, the students. People often forget that there is an unwilling participant in this battle. As a result, the students and their education are the casualty.

While this labour dispute will eventually end and both sides will declare victory, I can’t help but feel for my fellow cohorts. When will the administration and the faculty consider our needs? As it currently stands they are looking out for their own interest. But have we forgotten that if there is no student then there is no need for them?

This is call out to all of my fellow students, now is the time to have your voices heard. Now is the time to do something. This is a battle that we didn’t choose, but if we must fight, fight we will.

I would implore all students, regardless of the institution, to have your voices heard. If there is a petition going around, sign it. If writing is your passion, write it. If your’re one to brave the cold, go to the picket line and remind the faculty of their obligation to us, then make your way in and let the administration know too.

It is time to redesign the Collective Bargaining process. We need to be inclusive of all of the parties involved, both willing and unwilling.

Sean Vanderklis
Student Number – Irrelevant

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