Photo credit - Creative Commons: Antoinette Spencer
As a college counsellor and faculty member, I stand with the rest of my teaching faculty because I hear their frustations. On and off the picket lines, I have had the opportunity to talk to numerous teaching faculty who in addition to teaching also help to improve the learning environment for students in various ways. We have worked together on many different platforms, whether it’s in a classroom, while making student referrals to our services or while sitting on different committees together. Teaching faculty also reach out to us when they are concerned about students well-being which can range from a student having a difficult time transitioning to post-secondary, not being able to concentrate and complete their coursework because of other psycho-social or mental health factors, a potential learning disability or a student in crisis reaching out which can have many different presentations. Thus, it takes a respectful college community and the ’entire college community’ to provide quality education and remove learning barriers for students. I and my counselling colleagues cannot do this alone.
"The pure lack of respect in the
collective bargaining process is
not part of my professional ethics"
I only became aware of the amount of precarious work our college system has created and the disparity of the increase of administrators vs. full-time faculty staff complement in recent months. I am deeply troubled by the erosion of the campus community spirit and know this is necessary when any change is to happen whether it be bettering education or campus mental health. As a lifelong learner, I’m disappointed by the rhetoric and would like to see the same critical thinking and creativity skills we ask of our students to be enshrined in the academic freedom language of our future collective agreement. Therefore, I am very disheartened that the bargaining process has not been a respectful one. It is at this point that I must highlight that as a regulated health professional I uphold a standard of ethics. Two ethical standards that apply especially during this very disturbing state of recent events include justice and support for colleagues. As per my regulatory body it states:
Justice: To strive to support justice and fairness in my professional and personal dealings, and stand against oppression and discrimination.
Support for Colleagues: To respect colleagues, co-workers, students, and members of other disciplines; to work collaboratively; and to inspire others to excellence.
It is for this reason that I vote “NO” and stand with my college faculty!