This spring, the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) has been working hard with community and labour partners in North Bay to put precarious work on the political agenda. On April 14, NUFA co-hosted a Precarious Labour Forum with the North Bay and District Labour Council that brought together many different unions, worker groups and student groups.
Five panelists, including Mark Crane and Rhiannon Don who are contract faculty members at Nipissing University, spoke about the challenges of precarious work and the need for solidarity within and across unions. The conversation was informative and wide-ranging, including cuts to nursing at the hospital, political mobilization of youth, and layoffs at the university. The evening concluded with the creation of an activist and advocacy group – “North Bay Together” – and sharing ideas for participating in the “Fight for $15 and Fairness” minimum wage campaign.
“I hope that we can keep this conversation going,” said Gyllie Phillips, past-President of NUFA, “and especially work on making tangible demonstrations of solidarity with the precarious workers in North Bay, to show our support as workers and as fellow citizens of North Bay.” And, the work has continued. On June 23, the group hosted a second forum to prepare North Bay workers to participate in the ongoing review of employment and labour law.