I have been teaching at a B.C. university for 19 years. It is no surprise then, that I feel that for many people a sound university education can be an important opportunity (although I also believe colleges offer a lot to people as well). I do my absolute best to offer a great education to the UNBC students I teach (and put in my 60 hours a week to do it, too).
But here's the rub: I cannot do my job without the wonderful support staff at the universities. The IT people, the facilities folk, our admin assistants, the Registrar's Office,and all the others -- if they aren't there, it is the students who lose.
This is why, after teaching my class last Thursday, I joined the CUPE members protesting their lack of a contract for the last two years and their desire for a very modest raise.
I note that the B.C. government has been generous with the nurses and their own government service sector. If the government wishes to promote the future educated workforce through supporting university and college education opportunities, I suggest they recognize the essential contributions the CUPE support staff make to that goal and facilitate the university administrations in reaching a fair and honourable settlement with some very hardworking and dedicated people.
Prof. Annie Booth