Friday, July 5, 2019

MCFT instructors need to organize

The recent firing of two instructors at the Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT) underscores the need for employees to organize.
Both Rod Cumberland, a full-time instructor, and Gerald Redmond, a former director of MCFT and a part-time instructor, were let go. News reports have speculated that Cumberland was let go because of his opposition to the use of glyphosate in the forestry industry.
Click here to read the CBC story
The MCFT states the reasons for Cumberland’s dismissal are, as per a letter sent to him, “he prevented students from attending his class because they were late, insisted that they remove their hats in class, and made disparaging remarks in the community about the college, its director and some fellow instructors.”
Redmond was let go the day after he spoke out against Cumberland’s firing claiming the MCFT likely did it because of Cumerbland’s outspokenness regarding glyphosate.
The New Brunswick Union believes all institutes of higher learning are places for the free flow of ideas and should allow for a differing points of view. We sincerely hope the MCFT isn’t being pressured by those in the forestry industry to shut down a dissenting voice.
The NBU represents instructors in both the French and English provincial community college system. Every day they challenge their students to think independently, work hard and become the next generation of leaders in our province.
The NBU vehemently defends their rights. We also make sure the employer follows the collective agreement agreed to by both parties which covers various issues including layoffs.
The recent actions at MCFT, we believe, demonstrates why instructors at the college need to organize in order to protect themselves and their jobs. We encourage them to reach out to discuss joining the NBU so they will have someone standing up for them and defending their rights in the workplace.