Unions across the country are coming to the aid of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association – Librarians and Archivists.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers donated $1 million to the union, from CAUT’s defense fund, to ensure members would continue to receive benefits and strike pay. A rally was held on Friday outside of the Richmond Street gates at 12:15 p.m. to unveil their support of the Faculty Association.
Brian Brown, president of the defence fund, explained if the strike continued, UWOFA-LA would continue to have their support.
“We have people from Manitoba to Newfoundland supporting you,” Brown said to a crowd of approximately 130 people. Members of faculty associations at other universities also donated money to UWOFA-LA.
“I was not surprised at the amount of support,” Bryce Traister, president of UWOFA explained. He noted he felt many people could get behind the cause, as they recognized the need for strong libraries.
Christina Gehring, a masters of library and information science student, explained she was out supporting the librarians because she felt the actions of the University were disrespectful to her future degree.
“Western has a strong master’s level degree in library sciences and it’s really frustrating to see that the University will accept money from the 200 MLIS students, but they don’t respect the future work in the field,” she explained.
Traister explained there was currently no end in sight for the strike, but felt the ball was currently in the University’s court.
“We need the Board of Governors to change their position,” he said.