We are passing along a message from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.
Subject: Laurentian University CCAA Insolvency Proceeding Update
On March 5th, OCUFA filed a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal the judge’s decision to seal correspondence between the Ministry and Laurentian University.
Last week, OCUFA filed an extensive affidavit to support our contention that chronic and severe underfunding of the Ontario university sector is the root cause of the Laurentian University financial crisis. The affidavit also makes the case for the mission and regional specific funding required by Laurentian University as a Northern University with a bilingual and tricultural mission.
We continue to await word from the Appeal court as to whether they will agree to hear an appeal of the judge’s order.
OCUFA staff have been busy coordinating political action by member organizations in support of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and increased funding for the university sector as a whole. OCUFA members from across the North attended last Wednesday Save Our Sudbury (SOS) meeting to plan upcoming actions to amplify the SOS car rally next Sunday (details below).
If you would like to be connected to your colleagues engaging in direct political action to support LUFA, please contact the APUO.
Our allies have also been actively putting pressure on Romano and the Ford government to provide immediate funding for Laurentian University to end the insolvency proceeding. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has created a motion template for use by its affiliated Labour Councils.
Last week, the North Bay and District Labour Council issued a statement calling for immediate and long-term funding for Laurentian University in Sudbury in order to end its current insolvency filing. The North Bay Nugget has the story here: North Bay Labour Council statement
The City of Greater Sudbury passed a motion demanding that the Ontario government make funding available to stabilize Laurentian University.
All of these templates and sample motions are available in the Take Action section of the Northern Solidarity website. We encourage you to download them and organize motions at your Labour Council and city council.
Save Our Sudbury Coalition Actions
Members of the SOS coalition will be hosting a car rally in Sudbury on Sunday, March 28 at 12 noon. If you are in Sudbury, or have contacts in Sudbury, the Eventbrite link to RSVP for the event is here: SOS car rally
The Sudbury Star had very helpfully reported all the car rally details in the paper: Sudbury Star car rally
The next SOS meeting will be on Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 pm, please feel free to share the link and join if you’re free, we will be planning for the car rally and coordinating solidarity actions: https://ocufa-on-ca.zoom.us/j/88448494575?pwd=Q042Rk1FSWpBd2VXUm9wK21yajZCZz09
The Laurentian University Senate had a significant win at its meeting last Tuesday, passing a motion affirming that the Senate will engage in restructuring for academic reasons, not financial exigency, and reaffirming the bicameral nature of Laurentian University. To amplify this important message, 88% of departments passed their own motions endorsing the Senate motion.
The message was clearly received by Laurentian University President Robert Hache. In comments to the media following the meeting, Hache noted that “no one was bringing a cheque” – a direct response the pressure campaign targeting the government that OCUFA has been waging for the last seven weeks.
The Sudbury Star covered the Senate meeting extensively in this article Sudbury Star Senate article. OCUFA President Rahul Sapra is quoted on the government’s failure to step in and end the crisis with funding. OCUFA Past President Gyllian Phillips is quoted in relation to the aid the Liberal government provided to Nipissing following its education cuts.
Response to Covid-19 Funding Announcement
In one of the most shocking events of the past week, on March 19th the government announced $106.4 million in new funding for Covid-19 supports, and allocated nothing to Laurentian University. OCUFA issued an immediate press release decrying this appalling action.
The Sudbury Star carried the OCUFA release quotes from Rahul Sapra in its coverage of the funding announcement here: Covid-19 funding announcement
According to OCUFA’s calculations Laurentian University would have received $4.8 million had it received the average per student amount received by all the institutions receiving the aid.
The Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU) issued a release as well, quoting the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Faculty Association (NOSMFA) President Geoff Hudson: OPSEU Covid 19 funding release.
Social Media and Websites
It is essential that we take every opportunity to pressure Ross Romano and other key Ministers to act now; The April 30th deadline for the completion of the LU restructuring is only six weeks away. Please follow OCUFA and Save Our Sudbury on Facebook; @OCUFA and @OurSudbury on Twitter and push messages out with these hashtags: