MUNFA extends its solidarity to academic staff associations and the wider union movement in Alberta, a province currently facing concerted assaults by United Conservative Party on both public post-secondary education and organized labour.
We are deeply alarmed by UCP attempts to transform post-secondary institutions into servants of private industry through a combination of funding cuts, institutional restructuring, performance-based funding and the purging of governing boards. These tactics are compounded by attempts to legislate limits on the political activities of organized labour in the form both of job action and public communication. The UCP is even targeting charitable donations by unions.
Anti-democratic and anti-union on its face, if enacted, the new legislation may well be ruled unconstitutional. But it has the potential to do real harm in the interim, not least by diverting political resources, energy and attention. As workers in the same sector, and as members of the wider union movement, we owe our Alberta colleagues solidarity. Beyond that, we must be alert to the likelihood that these retrogressive ideas and tactics will not stop at the Alberta border. For our own future too, we must send a strong message that we will not stand by as fundamental institutions and values are attacked.