Union urging Province to consult with health and safety committees before allowing post-secondary students to return to campus

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June 10, 2020 at 10:43 pm


Some post-secondary students could be back in classrooms as early as July.

A new program announced by Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, includes the framework for Ontario’s postsecondary institutions to allow some students to return to campus as early as July 2.

While the faculties of Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are doing everything they can to ensure they can continue to provide quality education for their students, they believe health and safety must be the top priority.

Many faculty believe it is not yet safe for students and staff to return to campus.

“Faculty want nothing more than to return to the classroom and again be able to engage with students on campus,” Rahul Sapra, president of Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), said in a news release.

“However, faculties are legitimately concerned that Ontario’s universities may not be ready to reopen in a way that adequately protects the safety of students, faculty, and staff,” he continued.

Additionally, OCUFA is calling on the Province to consult with university and college Joint Health and Safety Committees, faculty associations, and student unions regarding the safeguards that will need to be in place for institutions to safely reopen.

“Refusing to consult with Joint Health and Safety Committees and campus unions, ignoring their recommendations, or cutting corners in the rush to reopen would not just be reckless, it would needlessly jeopardize the health and safety of faculty members, students, and staff,” Sapra said.

“As universities start to plan for the Fall term, it is imperative that faculty associations are consulted in a meaningful way. Administrators must stop using the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to cut faculty and other campus workers out of these important discussions,” he added.

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