ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Front-line Brock University workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are urging Brock's administration to invest in their English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, as both parties head back to the bargaining table on Saturday, March 14, to avert a service disruption which could happen as early as 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
"Brock's ESL department is very important to the university, delivering popular programs that attract students from around the globe," says Dan Crow, president of CUPE 4207. "Our ESL members are highly-qualified and dedicated professionals who helped build and deliver the in-demand courses. The program attracts international students who pay high tuition fees to benefit from the skills and experience of CUPE 4207 members."
"Brock's administration seems to recognize the importance of the ESL programs and value the high revenue generated by the program," continued Crow. "We understand there are even plans to grow and invest in the ESL programs, yet the same administration is refusing to recognize the contribution of ESL instructors by refusing to offer them a fair contract that addresses our members' outstanding issues."
CUPE 4207's Unit 3 represents 60 members who are permanent and sessional ESL instructors helping international students thrive at Brock. Sessional instructors form half of the ESL instructors, and they face precarious work employment with some members working as little as two to four weeks over a semester. Job security, wages and enhancing high standards of ESL programs are the top outstanding issues.
"Other university workers at the University of Toronto and York University have been forced to walk the picket line to stand up for fair working conditions," added Crow. "We are hopeful that Brock will return to the bargaining table to seriously address the outstanding issues and avoid a service disruption at Brock."
For more information, please contact:
Dan Crow, CUPE 4207 President, 905-931-8007
Mike Stokes, CUPE National Representative, 905-641-3051
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999
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