Original articles by Citizens' Press

Below, you will find original articles from the Citizens’ Press.

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The right-wing are being forced to eat their own cuts

Prior to the pandemic, many unions and labour activists were in the thick of pushing back against right-wing governments. In Ontario, the PC government under Doug Ford spent its first two years in office slashing health care and education, imposing public-sector wage constraints, and implementing a radical transformation of public services in Ontario. In Alberta, Jason Kenney was still in early days of pursuing a similar program. Then comes a pandemic, and Canada's right-wing has changed their tune.


COVID-19 union response brief and discussion points

While some people are convinced that COVID-19 does not affect them, it is important to remember that everyone has a role to play to limit contagion. COVID-19 has the potential to directly affect the ability of the union to operate effectively, and to advance the interest of our members. This note outlines analysis and recommendations for union leadership on orientation to building a response to COVID-19 within the union.


Unions, democracy, and labour reform for building worker power

When we are debating how best to build worker power through their unions it is usually in the context of winning demands at the bargaining table. But, under advanced capitalism, union power is mostly measured in terms of how badly we are losing. This is not useful as a metric for discussion of labour law reforms attempting to impose balance in labour relations between unions and capital. If we think of unions as structures of democracy, then we can shift the narrative around power simply to refer to winning or losing the battle for our own democracy. And, democracy, unlike worker power at the bargaining table, is entirely in the hands of workers. Socialists should focus on building democracy in discussion on labour reform. Then, no matter what we are able to win in terms of power at the union's bargaining table or reforms that raise standards for workers outside unions, we are helping to build the socialism we want.


Union dues and the struggle for democracy

To avoid the need to rebuild our democratic organizations – and thus waste valuable time – we must defend our current institutions of democracy. We must defend them even though they can, from time to time, be lead by flawed individuals – we are human, after all. It is not the people we defend as leadership can and will be replaced, but the institution. This defense is part of the historical fight for our right to practice and perfect our own democracy. (Photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash)


Technological change and automation in the workplace

Working people have been dealing with changes in the application of technology in their workplaces since the beginning of capitalism. The recent interest in the subject has largely been driven by the tech industry's promises of automated production and job-destroying robots, which will still somehow deliver a type of techno-Utopia. It is time for workers to take back the discussion and drive an agenda for the future based on clear analysis and the broader community's interests. In this full-length article, we revisit some of the issues and concepts around automation and its affects on workers.


Story of an Occupation

On October 16, there were 11 of us to walk up to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s constituency office in Etobicoke. Since his arrival to power 17 months ago, two workers have lost their lives in the same commercial bakery located a mere six minute drive from Ford’s office.


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Ontario faculty, staff, and students oppose Ford government’s 'performance' funding for postsecondary institutions | OUCC

The proposed market-based performance funding model will tie 60 per cent (over $3 billion dollars) of postsecondary funding to each institution’s ‘performance’ against a set of arbitrary and flawed metrics. This dramatic shift follows years of stagnant public funding for postsecondary education in Ontario, and is only the latest in a series of attacks on the foundations of postsecondary education in the province, including cuts of over $400 million to college and university budgets, cuts of almost $700 million to student financial assistance, and cuts to the democratically determined student fees that allow students’ unions to advocate on behalf of, and provide vital support to their members.

OCUFA estimates Ford’s 'performance' funding could cut university budgets by over $500 million dollars | OCUFA

Toronto, Sep. 4, 2019 – Ontario faculty are warning that the Ford government’s so called ‘performance’ funding model for postsecondary education is reckless, ineffective, and dangerous. The new funding model will link 60 per cent of government funding for universities ($2.2 billion dollars) to an arbitrary set of metrics chosen with no consultation. These metrics will not actually measure “performance” but are likely to be used as an excuse to cut university budgets. Across Ontario, OCUFA estimates that this new funding model could mean cuts of over $500 million dollars that will substantially undermine our postsecondary institutions’ academic missions and mandates.

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