A Reader from Durham College writes…

Negotiations are won by getting and using bargaining power.  You must be able to exert pressure on the other side.  At this point in time, Management’s bargaining team and the College Presidents have NOTHING to lose, strike or no strike.  Therefore, to develop bargaining power we have to make them vulnerable.  How(?)…by embarrassing them and the McGuinty government responsible for the financial abuses that are perpetrated, in every College by the Presidents and their complicit, puppet Boards of Governors.  Any 2’nd year accounting student could easily identify the self-serving greed of the Colleges’ administrations.  The obscene pay increases of Presidents, Vice-Presidents and other administrators are publicized.
Administration empire-building is the the path to personal gain. To get an additional $20,000 in salary, an administrator probably spends $300,000 in unnecessary additional staff.
The Prime Minister earns less than many Ontario college presidents.  Are these guys (and ladies) elite academic leaders? Give me a break!
So how do / why can they do it?  It is obvious that the Ministry is responsible for the fact that College Presidents have carte blanche to stuff their own pay envelopes first and then cut back on, that which they consider to be waste…the teaching payroll.

I suggest…(1) We publicly accept the 1.75% increase and take salary off the table.  (2) Demand NO other material changes to the (expired) contract. (3)Hire a financial analyst and a public relations consultant to clarify what this is dispute is really about…unfetterred greed on the part of “tin-pot” dictatorial college presidents and complete abandonment by the Government of its fiduciary responsibilty.

Your points are well taken, although we might not prioritize similar issues.  I’m more concerned with how much my colleague (who is a single mother of two) is making than how much the president of the college is making, and I’m not sure that money taken from the latter will mean more money for the former.  I’m more concerned with my ability to fulfill my role as professor than with the Government’s diligence in its role as fiscal overseer.

I do agree with you, though,  that salary is a distraction from the real issues,  and I’d probably be satisfied with the college’s 2%/year offer, given a two-year contract (not four, as the colleges seem to want) on the condition that we made non-monetary gains, regarding workload and our professional relationships.  Note though, that your own suggestions would leave us without academic freedom or any modicum of real power over our own classes, for several more years.  Personally, I’d like to see those things in our next contract.

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