Canadian Association of University Teachers

The Latest

Every month we send our supporters a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on June 28, 2022. Subscribe to get the newsletter straight to your inbox.

In this issue

  • In conversation with the new CAUT President, Peter McInnis
  • First House of Commons session under new Liberal-NDP agreement concludes
  • CAUT at the House of Commons Science and Research Committee
  • 'Organizing is always the key': the AAUP's General Counsel, Risa Lieberwitz
  • The half-a-million-dollar gender pay gap for women professors

In conversation with the new CAUT President, Peter McInnis

Peter McInnis, a professor of history at St. Francis Xavier University, and the new president of CAUT, said that “our jobs are worth fighting for,” in a video message to member faculty associations shortly after being elected. He discussed the vital importance of upholding academic freedom, tenure, and other professional rights. “We are here together in the CAUT to be the national voice and we will continue to do so, and we will move forward together.”

McInnis has served on the executive as vice-president since 2019 and was the chair of the academic freedom and tenure committee in 2015-2019.  He served on the executive of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) and is a former president of the St. Francis Xavier University Association of University Teachers.


First House of Commons session under new Liberal-NDP agreement concludes

The House of Commons rose last week, concluding the first session under the negotiated Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement.  In March, news broke that the NDP agreed to support the Liberal government on confidence and supply bills until June 2023, in return for a national dental care program, passing a national Pharmacare Act and a few other commitments—including the promise of anti-scab legislation by 2023.

The Liberals then released their first budget since being elected for a third term in April. The budget largely ignored the post-secondary education sector, providing only limited investments for a few, targeted research programs.  A motion brought forward by the Bloc Quebecois calling on the government to review the Canada Research Chair program to ensure that grants are awarded based on science –and not identity criteria—was defeated.

Concerns raised by CAUT on supporting at-risk Afghan academics, teachers and trade unionists were cited in a report released by the Special Committee on Afghanistan. CAUT, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, and the Canadian Labour Congress in a joint brief recommended the “explicit inclusion” of academics, teachers, and trade unionists in Canada’s humanitarian program for vulnerable Afghans.


CAUT at the House of Commons Science and Research Committee

Increasing investments in basic research and more full-time tenure track employment at universities and colleges are both key to ensuring strong science and research in Canada.  This was the main message delivered during CAUT Executive Director David Robinson’s testimony to the House of Commons Science and Research Committee in May.

Robinson told the committee that while “quick to market applications of science are appealing in the short term, world-changing science and innovation are rarely predictable and most often emerge from longer-term and fundamental discoveries driven by scientific curiosity.”

He also noted that CAUT estimates more than one-third of academic staff are now employed on short term teaching-only contracts, leaving “their research potential largely untapped.” 

Robinson advocated for better quality data on the academic workforce to fully understand its “composition and challenges”. He proposed expanding Statistics Canada’s university and college academic staff system survey to include more data on contract academic staff, those working at colleges, and employment equity data beyond gender. He noted that expanding this survey would help both policymakers and universities better “harness the potential” of researchers.

The committee invited Robinson to testify as part of its study on how to “attract and retain top talent at Canadian universities, colleges and trade schools, and support research and innovation”.


‘Organizing is always the key’:  the AAUP’s General Counsel, Risa Lieberwitz 

Risa Lieberwitz, the General Counsel for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), spoke at the CAUT Council meeting in April about how academics are pushing back against legislative threats to academic freedom in the U.S.   A full interview with Lieberwitz is in the May-June issue of the Bulletin.


The half-a-million-dollar gender pay gap for women professors

Recent research points to the substantial, long-term impacts from the gender pay gap for faculty at Canadian universities. According to a commentary published in The Conversation earlier this month, this pay gap leads to a difference of roughly half-a-million dollars over the course of a career and retirement.  

Marcie Penner of King’s University College at Western University and Tracy Smith-Carrier at Royal Roads University note that their research focused solely on gender, given that race is not a variable provided in available Statistics Canada data. They did cite data from CAUT showing racialized professors experience a 10 per cent pay gap relative to their non-racialized peers. Racialized women professors experience even greater pay inequity.


 

Author: dossoumon
Posted: June 28, 2022, 7:31 pm

Every month we send our supporters a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on May 31, 2022. Subscribe to get the newsletter straight to your inbox.

In this issue

  • CAUT ramps up the pressure on Laurentian University
  • Acadia academic staff vote “no confidence” in university leadership
  • UPEI Faculty Association demanding ‘secure leadership’ at UPEI
  • Academic publishing, data surveillance and human rights
  • May-June issue of the Bulletin
  • Browse the 92nd CAUT Council highlights

CAUT ramps up the pressure on Laurentian University

CAUT sent a strong message to Laurentian University’s Board of Governor’s this month: fire key senior leadership—or CAUT might have to kick-start a process to censure the University.

“The academic community has no faith in the current administration,” said David Robinson, executive director of CAUT, in a recent letter to the Chair of Laurentian University’s Board of Governors.  “Senior administrators…knowingly withheld financial information from the Laurentian University Faculty Association and the public.”

Last month, the CAUT Council unanimously supported an emergency motion brought forward by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) to call for the immediate dismissal, prior to the end of Laurentian University’s financial restructuring process, of all the senior administrators at the University.

The motion followed the release of a report by the Ontario Auditor General concluding that Laurentian did not have to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Act (CCAA).

The University’s leadership could receive generous severance packages if they are still employed at the end of the CCAA process.  The faculty union notes that this is a hard pill to swallow for the nearly 200 faculty and staff who lost their jobs.

“Laurentian University deliberately sacrificed workers while protecting the financial interests of senior administrators,” said Fabrice Colin, president of the Laurentian University Faculty Association.  “They’ve made us pay the price for their bad decisions and keep blocking our ability to have open and honest conversations with our members about what is happening behind closed doors.”


Acadia academic staff vote “no confidence” in university leadership

Acadia University academic staff made their displeasure clear to University leadership this month, as tensions remain high in the wake of February's month-long strike.

Members of the Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) voted 89 per cent in favour of a motion expressing "no confidence" in the senior administration's ability to continue leading the university.

AUFA members went on strike at the beginning of February and picketing ended a month later when both sides agreed to binding arbitration, which is now underway. The union is seeking to increase the number of tenure-track faculty to meet rising student enrolment, make hiring and working conditions gains for precariously employed and Indigenous faculty, and keep salary improvements in line with cost-of-living increases.


UPEI Faculty Association demanding ‘secure leadership’ at UPEI

The UPEI Faculty Association is raising concerns about the number of senior administrative positions at the university filled on a temporary basis—including the office of the president.

"It's really important to have secure leadership in there,” said Michael Arfken, president of the UPEI Faculty Association.  “And the fact that this hasn't happened, the fact that looking over the reports from the meetings of the board of governors, we don't see any movement on this since the departure of the last president is really concerning."

Former president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz resigned in December, after an allegation of harassment was filed by an employee.  The chair of the UPEI board of governors said that the university is waiting for an independent third-party review to be completed before conducting a search for a new president. The search process is underway for other positions, including associate vice-president, research, and dean of graduate studies, dean of nursing and dean of medicine, he said.

Arfken is asking to have these positions filled by fall.

"People have been occupying some of these temporary positions for one, two and in some cases three years," he said. "And because those people occupy those positions without a proper search or scrutiny and significant input from stakeholders, we think it presents a real problem for accountability and transparency for the governance structure at our university."


Academic publishing, data surveillance and human rights

Over 130 participants took part in CAUT’s panel discussion focused on academic publishing, data surveillance and human rights, held on May 17, and available online for viewing.

The panelists from Canada and the United States explored the mass aggregation and sale of user data by two major library vendors, Thomson Reuters and RELX (Elsevier), to government and law enforcement organizations including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  This information is used by immigration agents to identify people to deport from the U.S.

“Surveillance technology has proliferated without a ton of oversight, and we are at a critical precipice, where researchers and policymakers are only beginning to understand and map this new technology, and consider the implications for equity, human rights, worker rights, democracy, freedom, power, and autonomy,” said Emma Pullman, a capital stewardship officer from the BC General Employee’s Union.

“Every industry is turning to data analytics, and it is true for the information industry, it is true for publishing,” said Sarah Lamdan, a law professor at the City University of New York and a former librarian. “These companies do not call themselves publishers anymore. They call themselves data analytics companies. Our library providers and our academic publishers are fundamentally changing their business models.”

“What is really challenging is the massiveness of the issue but what is inspiring is that we are all a part of really understanding how digital surveillance is changing, how policing is changing, and we are organizing, [and] responding in that way as well,” said Cinthya Rodriguez, a national organizer with Latinx advocacy group Mijente.


May-June issue of the Bulletin

The latest issue of the Bulletin is now online, with a special feature on nursing educators, an interview with Risa Lieberwitz, the General Counsel at the American Association of University Professors, and a last message from outgoing President Brenda Austin-Smith on the mismanagement of Laurentian University.


Browse the 92nd CAUT Council highlights

On April 28 and 29, 2022, delegates to Council met in its first-ever hybrid meeting—about 100 delegates in person and 100 delegates online—to discuss priorities, elect new leadership and celebrate the collective achievements of members. Read more.

Author: gagne
Posted: May 31, 2022, 6:29 pm

(Ottawa, May 26, 2022)—The Canadian Association of University Teachers—the voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—is warning that Laurentian University’s ability to resolve its financial woes is in jeopardy if the Board of Governors does not dismiss senior administrators responsible for the debacle that led to massive lay-offs at the University, and enormous damage to staff, students and the community of Sudbury.

“The academic community has no faith in the current administration,” said David Robinson, executive director of CAUT, in a recent letter to the Chair of Laurentian University’s Board of Governors.  “Senior administrators…knowingly withheld financial information from the Laurentian University Faculty Association and the public.”

Last month, delegates to the CAUT Council unanimously supported an emergency motion brought forward by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) to call for the immediate dismissal, prior to the end of Laurentian University’s financial restructuring process, of all the senior administrators at the University.

Robinson notes that the University “deliberately ignored” the financial exigency provisions in the collective agreement with LUFA that could have resolved the situation in a cooperative and “collegial” manner.  He warned the Laurentian University’s Board of Governors that if it does not replace the administration responsible for the financial debacle, CAUT will be considering all options including censure.

Last month the Ontario Auditor General released a preliminary report concluding that the Laurentian University did not have to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Act (CCAA).  The report debunks the University’s claim that faculty salaries were in part to blame for the University’s financial woes and notes that “it was high senior administrator salaries and expenses that negatively impacted Laurentian’s financial situation”. The report also blames poor management and lack of transparency at the University.

The University’s leadership could receive generous severance packages if they are still employed at the end of the CCAA process.  The faculty union notes that this is a hard pill to swallow for the nearly 200 faculty and staff who lost their jobs.

“It is abundantly clear that Laurentian University deliberately sacrificed workers while protecting the financial interests of senior administrators,” said Fabrice Colin, president of the Laurentian University Faculty Association.  “They’ve made us pay the price for their bad decisions and keep blocking our ability to have open and honest conversations with our members about what is happening behind closed doors.”

—30—

For more information, please contact Rachel Vincent at Vincent@caut.ca or 613-276-9030.

Author: gagne
Posted: May 26, 2022, 1:39 pm

Acadia University academic staff sent a strong message to its University leadership this month. During the spring meeting of its Faculty Council, Acadia’s faculty members voted 89 per cent in favour of a motion expressing "no confidence" in the senior administration's ability to continue leading the university.

Acadia’s Faculty Council, established by the University Senate in 1992, gives Acadia’s Faculty a formal position within the structure of the University, with specific rights and duties. It meets twice a year and during this latest meeting, one of the professors moved to hold the non-confidence vote, partially on the basis of February's strike.

Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) members went on strike at the beginning of February and picketing ended a month later when both sides agreed to binding arbitration, which is now underway. The union is seeking to increase the number of tenure-track faculty to meet rising student enrolment, make hiring and working conditions gains for precariously employed and Indigenous faculty, and keep salary improvements in line with cost-of-living increases.

AUFA members have been without a contract since July 2021. They voted to authorize a strike last November, with 94 per cent voting in favour.

Author: gagne
Posted: May 18, 2022, 5:58 pm

On April 28 and 29, 2022, delegates to Council met in its first-ever hybrid meeting—about 100 delegates in person and 100 delegates online—to discuss priorities, elect new leadership and celebrate the collective achievements of members.

  • Strong job action celebrated by outgoing CAUT President
  • CAUT elects new leadership
  • Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act is ‘anti-worker’: new report 
  • CAUT members call for resignation of Laurentian U top officials
  • CAUT members oppose Quebec’s academic freedom bill
  • Update on post-secondary education in Quebec
  • Legislative threats to teaching about the history of race and racism in the U.S.
  • CAUT members vote no confidence in Thompson Rivers University leadership
  • Judicial review of the Honourable D.E. Spiro and academic freedom
  • CAUT will participate in UNESCO education conference
  • Award nominations


Strong job action celebrated by outgoing CAUT President

During her opening remarks, outgoing CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith paid tribute to the six faculty associations that embarked on well-organized job actions in recent months, despite strong opposition from administrations and meddling by provincial governments.

Leaders from the six associations—Acadia University Faculty Association, Concordia University Faculty Association, University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, University of Manitoba Faculty Association, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association, and the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne—shared with delegates some of the high points and challenges of the recent strikes.


CAUT elects new leadership

Delegates to CAUT’s 92nd Council elected new leadership for 2022-2023.

“We are coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever, having learned through six recent strikes the importance of solidarity,” said Peter McInnis, CAUT’s newly elected President, and a professor of history at St-Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. “Post-secondary education is worth fighting for—not only for our profession, but for the future of our country and our democracy. This a moment of opportunity, and we should embrace it.”

Robin Whitaker, an anthropology professor from Memorial University in Newfoundland, was elected Vice-President. Yalla Sangaré from Université Sainte-Anne was re-elected as Treasurer.

The full membership of the CAUT Executive Committee for 2022-2023 is now posted on the CAUT website.


Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act is ‘anti-worker’: new report

CAUT Executive Director David Robinson presented the findings of a CAUT commissioned study, Restructuring Publicly-Funded Universities:  A Report on the Laurentian Insolvency Proceeding with Issues and Options for the University Sector. He told delegates that the main takeaway from the report is that the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) is not the field on which labour can successfully fight to protect its members because the legislation is fundamentally “anti-worker”.
 
The report concludes that the CCAA largely displaces labour relations norms and processes, and therefore affords the employer a “significant” advantage and forces employees to make big concessions. The report noted that in the case of the Laurentian proceeding, the CCAA process not only worked to the advantage of the University—but also the Ontario Government.
 
A key recommendation of the report is a strengthening of the financial exigency provisions in collective agreements. Robinson notes that the Laurentian University Faculty Association had strong financial exigency provisions in its collective agreement and made repeated attempts to invoke those provisions—but “the University administration deliberately decided not to work cooperatively with the Association and instead triggered an unnecessary, inappropriate, and expensive process under the CCAA process.”

 “One way we might be able to address this is to ensure in our collective agreement create language that either party can invoke the financial exigency clause to begin the process of trying to resolve the issue in a more collaborative and cooperative way,” said Robinson.

CAUT commissioned the report, which was written by Simon Archer and Erin Sobat of Goldblatt Partners LLP and Virginia Torrie, associate professor at University of Manitoba Faculty of Law.


CAUT members call for resignation of Laurentian U top officials

Delegates unanimously supported an emergency motion brought forward by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) to call for the immediate dismissal, prior to the end of the CCAA process, of all the senior administrators identified in LUFA’s 2021 vote of no confidence in Laurentian University’s leadership.

CAUT Executive Director David Robinson noted that the recently released Auditor General of Ontario’s preliminary report concluded that the University did not have to file for creditor protection under the CCAA. “Contrary to Laurentian University misrepresentations, high faculty salaries and low course enrollments were not the primary cause of Laurentian University’s financial deterioration. It was the pursuit of poorly considered capital investments, high senior administrator salaries, and expenses that negatively impacted Laurentian’s financial situation.”

“The senior administration deliberately chose not to work cooperatively with the faculty association and staff union to address the University’s financial situation,” Robinson stated. “Senior leadership withheld important financial information, and pursued an unnecessary, inappropriate, and costly process under the CCAA.”
 
Robinson noted that as of early March2022, the University had paid out more than $24 million to external lawyers and consultants to manage the CCAA process.

Robinson acknowledged LUFA’s “extraordinary work,” during the brutal and gruelling CCAA process. “LUFA’s President and Executive Director fought as hard as they could 24/7 to save as many jobs in as many programs as possible when the odds were clearly stacked against us.”


CAUT members oppose Quebec’s academic freedom bill

Delegates unanimously backed an emergency motion brought forward by the Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université Laval to oppose the Government of Quebec’s proposed Bill 32, An Act respecting academic freedom in the university sector.
 
The proposed legislation adopts a restrictive definition of academic freedom that is not consistent with the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation Concerning Higher Education Teaching Personnel.

The motion calls upon CAUT to support the demand of the Federal Council of the Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université (FQPPU) for the Government of Quebec to review and modify the bill.

Christine Gauthier, vice-president of the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN), a federation which represents 35,000 teachers including 12,000 contract teachers in universities, highlighted the federation’s support for the position of FQPPU and CAUT. FNEEQ-CSN urges improvements to the bill so that the make up of proposed university academic freedom councils include contract teachers who are often excluded from decision-making.

The bill, if adopted, will be the first to regulate academic freedom in Canada.


Update on post-secondary education in Quebec

Jean Portugais, the president of Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université (FQPPU), a federation of the 18 unions of Quebec, presented an overview of how the COVID crisis is accelerating change at universities and impacting collective agreement negotiations.

At McGill University, for example, professors with the Faculty of Law initiated a unionization drive – a first in McGill history – because requests for accommodation of academic staff who are at risk were ignored by the administration. FQPPU and CAUT are supporting the unionization effort.

Portugais also highlighted that many university administrations intend to continue with distance learning after the pandemic.  He warns that this will have an impact on intellectual property rights of academic staff and workload.

FQPPU recently released a report on systemic racism which has become a political “livewire” as the Premier of the province refuses to recognize the concept of systemic racism in Quebec.


Legislative threats to teaching about the history of race and racism in the U.S.


Risa L. Lieberwitz, General Counsel of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), spoke to delegates about the current rash of state-level legislative efforts restricting the scope of teaching about sexism and racism.

Lieberwitz notes that these legislative restrictions violate academic freedom by censoring faculty, threatening their livelihoods, and creating a chilling effect on teaching, research, and public speech. In Iowa, for example, the State University warned professors to avoid assigning mandatory readings or course sessions on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Lieberwitz said that CRT, which originated in law schools and in legal analysis, has been used as a convenient target by right-wing legislators to target those teaching about systemic racism in the U.S., as well as progressive forces, such as labour unions and social movements for equality.

She noted that legislative attacks on education are often described as “educational gag orders” because they are “nothing less than state mandated indoctrination” to stifle and censor teaching about race and racism. Educational gag orders often extend to teaching about other systemic issues such as gender-based inequalities, sexual orientation, or gender identity issues.

Lieberwitz emphasized that the response to these legislative threats must be collective. “We must use multiple tactics to prevent proposed legislation from passing and to challenge enacted legislation,” said Lieberwitz.

The AAUP has formed alliances with other organizations and filed amicus curiae briefs as the legislation is challenged.


CAUT members vote no confidence in Thompson Rivers University leadership

Delegates voted in favour of a non-confidence vote in Thompson Rivers University President Brett Fairbairn and Board of Governors Chair Marilyn McLean because of their refusal to put senior administrators on leave who are being investigated over allegations of racism, misogyny, sexism, and sexual harassment. At least 13 current and former employees have filed complaints alleging that the two senior university officials had fostered a toxic workplace. More than 80 per cent of the TRUFA – Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association supported a motion of non-confidence in the administration this past February.


Judicial review of the Honourable D.E. Spiro and academic freedom

On April 25, 2022, CAUT intervened in the appeal of a Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) decision not to establish a Committee of Inquiry regarding Justice Spiro’s alleged interference in the appointment of Dr. Valentina Azarova as Director of the International Human Rights Program of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. CAUT Executive Director David Robinson said that CAUT’s central argument is that the CJC did not pay enough attention to the harms caused to academic freedom and institutional autonomy by Justice Spiro’s actions.


CAUT will participate in UNESCO education conference

CAUT will be joining government representatives, student groups, and other academic staff organizations in the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference (WHEC2022), which will take place from May 18 to 20, 2022.  CAUT’s participation is key to ensuring that statements such as the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel remain strong instruments with global influence.

The conference will bring together member states, employers, unions, and civil society groups to discuss key trends and challenges and identify new initiatives for UNESCO.  In recent years, CAUT and Education International, the global federation of teacher unions, have pressed UNESCO to respond to the growth of precarious employment within the sector.


Award nominations

Congratulations to Dr. Sheila Embleton, Chief Steward for the York University Faculty Association, for being recommended for the Bernice Schrank Award. For the Equity Award, the Council supported Dr. Diane Piccitto, Associate Professor in the English Department at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) and president of the MSVU faculty association. Both awards will be presented at the November 2022 Council meeting.

Author: gagne
Posted: May 6, 2022, 1:13 pm

The Canadian Association of University Teachers—the national voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—elected new leadership at its 92nd Council meeting, a hybrid in-person and online meeting held in Ottawa last week.

“We are coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever, having learned through six recent strikes the importance of solidarity,” said Peter McInnis, CAUT’s newly elected President, and a professor of history at St-Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.  “Post-secondary education is worth fighting for—not only for our profession, but for the future of our country and our democracy.  This a moment of opportunity, and we should embrace it.”

Robin Whitaker, an anthropology professor from Memorial University in Newfoundland, was elected Vice-President.  Yalla Sangaré from Université Sainte-Anne was re-elected as Treasurer.

The full membership of the CAUT Executive Committee for 2022-2023 is as follows:

President: Peter McInnis – St-Francis Xavier University (St. Francis Xavier University Association of University Teachers, StFXAUT)

Vice-President:  Robin Whitaker – Memorial University (Memorial University Faculty Association, MUNFA)

Treasurer:  Yalla Sangaré – Université Sainte-Anne (Association des professeurs et bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne, APPBUSA) 

Past President: Brenda Austin-Smith – University of Manitoba (University of Manitoba Faculty Association, UMFA)

Chair, Collective Bargaining & Organizing Committee: Larry Savage, Brock University (Brock University Faculty Association, BUFA)

Co-Chairs, Equity Committee:   Marvin Claybourn, University of St. Thomas, Faculty Association of the University of St. Thomas, FAUST) and Susan Spronk, University of Ottawa (Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa, APUO)

Chair, Academic Freedom & Tenure: Alison Hearn, University of Western Ontario (University of Western Ontario Faculty Association, UWOFA)

Chair, Contract Academic Staff Committee: Nick Papatheodorakos, Concordia University, Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association, CUPFA)

Chair, Librarians’ and Archivists’ Committee: Kate Cushon, University of Regina (University of Regina Faculty Association, URFA) 

Representative-at-large, Aboriginal: Priscilla Settee, University of Saskatchewan (University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association, USFA) 

Representative-at-large, Francophone : Patrick Noël, Université de Saint-Boniface (Association des professeures et professeurs de l'Université de Saint-Boniface, APPUSB) 

Representative-at-large, Quebec : Chantale Jeanrie, Université Laval (Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l'Université Laval, SPUL) 

Representative-at-large, General:

Executive Director (ex-officio): David Robinson

—30—

For more information, please contact Mafoya Dossoumon, Communications Officer, dossoumon@caut.ca.

 

 

Author: gagne
Posted: May 3, 2022, 3:49 pm

On this National Day of Mourning, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) remembers workers who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness while on the job.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great disruption to health and safety in the workplace. The toll on workers who provide frontline or essential services, many of whom work in precarious conditions, has been immense.

On this solemn day, CAUT renews its commitment to hold employers and governments accountable for ensuring better, safer, and healthier working conditions for all.

There were 925 workplace fatalities recorded nationally by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada in 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available. One workplace fatality is one too many.

This year, CAUT joins Canada’s labour movement, workers, and their families to call for the International Labour Organization to adopt occupational health and safety (OSH) as a fundamental right at work.

Strong OSH regulation, and enforcement, with the meaningful participation of workers is crucial in safeguarding a safe and healthy workplace.

The National Day of Mourning, held April 28 every year, was initiated by unions almost four decades ago and officially recognized by the federal government in 1991.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 28, 2022, 11:48 am

Every month we send our supporters a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on April 26, 2022. Subscribe to get the newsletter straight to your inbox.

In this issue

  • Seven-week strike comes to an end at Sainte-Anne
  • CAUT calls for resignation of Laurentian U top officials
  • Federal budget 2022: no major education spending
  • Quebec Academic Freedom Bill: More clarity needed, says CAUT
  • Proposed federal bill offers sorely needed support for PSE
  • Stay tuned for CAUT Council meeting updates

Seven-week strike comes to an end at Sainte-Anne



Photo credit: Clint Bruce/APPBUSA

Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne have ended their seven-week strike after agreeing to resolve remaining issues through binding arbitration.

The academic staff association is pleased with the outcome but is frustrated that it took so long to reach an agreement to go to arbitration. University officials were initially resisting allowing an independent arbitrator to help resolve outstanding issues, including the role of academic staff in decision-making about educational matters.

Members of the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) walked off the job on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.  This was the first ever strike at Sainte-Anne, and the longest academic union strike in Nova Scotia’s history.

The province stepped in to appoint an Ontario mediator, Michelle Flaherty, to help resolve the strike at Nova Scotia’s only French-language post-secondary institution.  The mediation enabled APPBUSA to make some headway on issues that the University administration had been initially refusing to discuss.


CAUT: Laurentian U top officials should resign

Immediately following the release of the Auditor General of Ontario’s report on Laurentian University, CAUT called for the immediate resignation of Laurentian University President Robert Haché and all senior administrators.
  
“Today’s report is a damning indictment of Laurentian University’s administration,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The report shows that the administration intentionally delayed the disclosure of important financial information to the faculty association and ignored collective agreement provisions that would have avoided the costly legal proceedings over the past year.”

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s report concludes that the University did not have to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). Her investigation lays the blame for Laurentian’s financial woes on the Administration’s “poorly considered capital investments”, poor financial management, weak governance oversight, and rising senior administration costs—not academic staff salary costs.

“It is absolutely scandalous that the University leadership used money intended for employee health benefits and academic research for its capital projects and other purposes,” Robinson noted. “It then diverted more than $24 million to high-priced consultants and lawyers handling the unnecessary insolvency proceedings, while at the same time demanding staff lay-offs and program cuts.”

Robinson says the only path forward for the University to reclaim trust is for President Haché and other senior leaders to immediately step down.

“After reading today’s report, no one can reasonably have any confidence in Laurentian’s leadership. Students, staff, faculty, and the broader community deserve better. If President Haché and others refuse to do the right thing and step down, the Board should fire them immediately.


Federal budget 2022: no major education spending

Earlier this month, the federal government released its 2022 budget.  While CAUT welcomed historic investments in public health services championed by the  labour movement —including pharmacare—it gave failing marks to the budget for not delivering major new spending on post-secondary education.

In a press release, CAUT noted that the budget did little to ensure equitable and affordable access to university and college education and contribute to creating quality jobs in post-secondary education over the long run.

“We are slowly coming out of a global pandemic that has exhausted our staff and faculty in the post-secondary education system—and further depleted the already over-stretched capacity of universities and colleges to do research as well as educate and train nurses and other frontline workers,” says CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith. “How do we now also contribute to ensuring that we have the right people trained to deliver new federally-funded programs?”

CAUT welcomed the government’s research investments inthe Tri-Council agencies in the Canada Excellence Research chairs program. However, in line with the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review, CAUT is calling for renewed investments in investigator-led research.


Quebec Academic Freedom Bill: More clarity needed

CAUT is calling on  the Quebec government to amend its proposed bill on academic freedom to ensure academic staff retain already existing legal rights.

CAUT Executive Director David Robinson says the legislation needs to adopt a broader interpretation of academic freedom as encompassing the right of academic staff to teach, to research, to participate in and criticize the governance of their institutions, and to engage in public debate and criticism without institutional censorship.

The proposed legislation, if amended, might help extend legal protections to those, such as academic administrators, who are not covered by academic freedom language in collective agreements, but it should not contradict or conflict with the legal rights and enforcement tools available in labour law.

“For academic staff, the strongest protection for academic freedom in Quebec and the rest of Canada has been through labour law,” says Robinson. “The legislation should not jeopardize that legal foundation.”


Federal bill offers sorely needed support for PSE

CAUT applauds a private members’ bill introduced in Parliament last month that would see the federal government provide the support needed for high-quality accessible public post-secondary education and research.

“The funding shortfall for post-secondary education is devastating to students and communities,” said CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith.  “The federal government simply can't abandon students and their families any longer.”

The bill tabled by NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton-Strathcona) sets out how the federal government would transfer funding for post-secondary education to the provinces in the same way it provides healthcare funding through the Canada Health Transfer. The bill stipulates that federal funding would be used to support non-profit public institutions. The bill would also regulate the overuse of precarious workers by universities and colleges.

The Private Members' Bill will need government support for it to be debated in the House of Commons this parliamentary session. Click here to show your support for this debate.


Stay tuned for CAUT Council meeting updates


Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, 2022, from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm (Eastern time). 
The Council meeting will be held both in-person and online. Any questions about the meeting should be directed to Marcel Roy, CAUT Meeting and Event Planner, at roy@caut.ca.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 26, 2022, 7:14 pm

Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne have ended their seven-week strike earlier after agreeing to resolve remaining issues through binding arbitration.

The academic staff association is pleased with the outcome but is frustrated that it took so long to reach an agreement to go to arbitration. University officials were initially resisting allowing an independent arbitrator to help resolve outstanding issues, including the role of academic staff in decision-making about educational matters.

Members of the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) walked off the job on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.  This was the first ever strike at Sainte-Anne, and the longest academic union strike in Nova Scotia’s history.

APPBUSA members were seeking better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff in Anglophone institutions across the province, and protections for collegial governance– a core principle of quality, public post-secondary education in Canada.

Late last week, the province stepped in to appoint an Ontario mediator, Michelle Flaherty, to help resolve the strike at Nova Scotia’s only French-language post-secondary institution.  The mediation enabled APPBUSA to make some headway on issues that the University administration had been initially refusing to discuss.

Support from other academic staff associations was high. CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and members of the CAUT Defence Fund joined the picket lines to show solidarity with APPBUSA members.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 22, 2022, 6:41 pm

(Ottawa, April 13, 2022)—In the wake of today’s release of the Auditor General of Ontario’s report on Laurentian University, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)—the voice of academic and professional staff at 125 universities and colleges across Canada—is calling for the immediate resignation of Laurentian University President Robert Haché and all senior administrators.   

“Today’s report is a damning indictment of Laurentian University’s administration,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The report shows that the administration intentionally delayed the disclosure of important financial information to the faculty association and ignored collective agreement provisions that would have avoided the costly legal proceedings over the past year.”

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s report concludes that the University did not have to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA)—and should have instead relied upon financial exigency provisions in the collective agreement with the faculty association and the “normal broader public sector precedent by making comprehensive and clear efforts to seek financial assistance” from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

The Auditor General’s investigation lays the blame for Laurentian’s financial woes on the Administration’s “poorly considered capital investments”, poor financial management, weak governance oversight, and rising senior administration costs—not academic staff salary costs.

“It is absolutely scandalous that the University leadership used money intended for employee health benefits and academic research for its capital projects and other purposes,” Robinson notes. “It then diverted more than $24 million to high-priced consultants and lawyers handling the unnecessary insolvency proceedings, while at the same time demanding staff lay-offs and program cuts,” Robinson notes.

Robinson says the only path forward for the University to reclaim trust is for President Haché and other senior leaders to immediately step down.

“After reading today’s report, no one can reasonably have any confidence in Laurentian’s leadership. Students, staff, faculty, and the broader community deserve better.”

Laurentian University declared insolvency February 1, 2021.  On December 8, the Ontario Legislature's Standing Committee on Public Accounts voted to issue a speaker’s warrant compelling University President Robert Haché and Board Chair Mr. Claude Lacroix to release financial documents required by the province’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk by February 1, 2022. 

—30—

 

For more information, please contact Rachel Vincent: 613-276-9030 or vincent@caut.ca

Author: dossoumon
Posted: April 13, 2022, 9:31 pm

An arbitration award has granted members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) a combined 6.75% salary increase over three years.

The news comes almost exactly a month after a provincial court ordered the government of Manitoba to pay UMFA nearly $20M in damages for interfering with talks in 2016 and violating the association’s charter rights.

As part of the resolution of last fall’s strike, UMFA and the University agreed to refer compensation issues to binding arbitration. The arbitration award will see UMFA members receiving increases of 2.25% per year over three years, starting with the 2021-22 academic year.

Noting that the University chose to compress the fall term so that faculty were required to make up for teaching that had not occurred during the strike, the arbitrator ordered that academic staff will also be paid for teaching assignments for the duration of last fall’s 35-day strike. In addition, members were awarded receive lump sum payments for research and service.

Orvie Dingwall, UMFA president, welcomed the arbitrator's decision.

"After six years of Conservative government interference and having our salaries essentially frozen, we needed significant improvements to our compensation in order to remain competitive with Canada's research universities," she said in a media release.

"This ruling helps ensure that we are able to retain the top professors, instructors, and librarians who provide quality public education to students in Manitoba."

Author: gagne
Posted: April 13, 2022, 7:52 pm

The 2022 federal budget—while strong on delivering essential programs that will benefit precarious workers, students and others—gets failing marks for doing little to ensure equitable and affordable access to university and college education and contribute to creating quality jobs in post-secondary education over the long run.

CAUT welcomes historic investments in public health services championed by organized labour--including dental and pharmacare. But CAUT warns that the absence of a significant investment in post-secondary education is short-sighted and may limit the government’s long-term capacity to deliver on ambitious new commitments.

“We are slowly coming out of a global pandemic that has exhausted our staff and faculty in the post-secondary education system—and further depleted the already over-stretched capacity of universities and colleges to do research as well as educate and train nurses and other frontline workers,” says CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith. “How do we now also contribute to ensuring that we have the right people trained to deliver new federally-funded programs?”

CAUT and its 125 member organizations across the country have been raising the red flag about the impact of chronic underfunding of post-secondary education combined with rising tuition costs and a skyrocketing cost of living.

“One-in-three academic staff in Canada are working contract-to-contract, some earning less than a living wage—and racialized, Aboriginal and women post-secondary teachers are less likely to have full-time, full-year employment,” says Austin-Smith. “Meanwhile, almost half of all students graduate with student loan debt. Reduced access to post-secondary education perpetuates systemic racism and inequities in our country – and leaves many Canadians falling farther behind.”

“The federal government has a critical role to play in ensuring that everyone from coast-to-coast-to-coast can afford to access post-secondary education and workers in the sector earn decent salaries,” says Austin-Smith.

CAUT welcomed the government’s allocation of targeted research investments through the Tri-Council agencies in the Canada Excellence Research chairs program. However, in line with the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review, renewed investments in investigator-led research are required. 

CAUT says what is urgently needed is a national post-secondary education strategy with the provinces and territories that includes a minimum of $3 billion in direct federal funding. CAUT points to the federal government’s recent success in establishing the early childhood education and mental health transfers, both of which serve as models for improving federal government funding for the PSE sector in the future. The impending review of the Canada Social Transfer (CST) is also an opportunity to examine the federal government’s support for the PSE sector.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 8, 2022, 1:55 pm

Yesterday the federal government released Budget 2022. Despite welcome commitments to expanded public health services, including dental care, pharmacare and mental health care, investments in public post-secondary education were notably absent.

Find more information here on key announcements in Budget 2022 of interest to CAUT members.

What you will not find is strong federal leadership to address the impacts of chronic underfunding of post-secondary education.

We urgently need a national post-secondary education strategy with the provinces and territories that includes a minimum of $3 billion in direct federal funding. Recent successes establishing childcare and mental health transfers serve as models for how the federal government can play a crucial role in our sector in the future.

Call for this kind of federal leadership on post-secondary education through the Education for All coalition here.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 8, 2022, 1:04 pm

(Ottawa – April 7, 2022) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is welcoming parts of the Quebec government’s proposed bill on academic freedom, but says important clarifications and amendments are needed to ensure academic staff retain already existing legal rights.

CAUT Executive Director David Robinson says it is encouraging that the legislation has adopted a broad and liberal interpretation of academic freedom as encompassing the right of academic staff to teach, to research, to participate in and criticize the governance of their institutions, and to engage in public debate and criticism without institutional censorship.

“This comprehensive understanding of academic freedom is already recognized in legally binding collective agreements negotiated between academic staff associations and university administrations,” Robinson notes. “For almost all academic staff in Quebec, academic freedom is legally codified in and enforced through collective agreements. When disputes arise, they can be adjudicated through the mandatory labour arbitration process, which provides for an expert and independent dispute forum with legally binding decisions.”

Robinson says the proposed legislation might help extend legal protections to those, such as academic administrators, who are not covered by academic freedom language in collective agreements, but it should not contradict or conflict with the legal rights and enforcement tools available in labour law.

“Access to an independent adjudication process, as provided by Quebec’s labour law, is absolutely essential. The legislation’s requirement that universities create a council to hear academic freedom cases raises questions about the independence of those bodies if they are constituted by university administrations, as well as jurisdictional issues with the province’s mandatory labour arbitration process.”

“For academic staff, the strongest protection for academic freedom in Quebec and the rest of Canada has been through labour law,” says Robinson. “The legislation should not jeopardize that legal foundation.”

CAUT encourages the government of Quebec to work with the province’s academic staff associations to refine and clarify the legislation.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 7, 2022, 1:51 pm

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is calling on the Administration of the Université Sainte-Anne to end the ongoing labour dispute by entering binding arbitration with the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA).

“It’s irresponsible of the University to sacrifice the ability of students to finish their term,” said CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith. “The University has refused throughout the negotiations to engage in serious discussions and is now trying to dictate rather than negotiate a new collective agreement in good faith.”

Austin-Smith added that is particularly troubling that the University refuses to allow an independent arbitrator to help resolve issues related to collegial governance, a principle that is foundational to all universities in Canada.

“Academic staff must be involved in decision-making about educational matters. This is the practice and norm at every university in Canada. Academic staff must be given the responsibility for academic matters because their judgment is central to ensuring the right educational decisions are taken,” said Austin-Smith.

Austin-Smith notes that by refusing to allow an arbitrator to resolve the impasse, the University is prolonging the job action into the last two weeks of the winter semester.

Members of the Association des Professeurs, Professeures et Bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) went on strike on March 3 to fight for better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff across the province, and a healthier working relationship between academic staff and the administration. APPBUSA began its first ever strike on March 3, after eight months of bargaining, with 93% of members voting in favour of strike action.

Author: gagne
Posted: April 1, 2022, 5:58 pm

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is welcoming a private members’ bill introduced in Parliament today that would see the federal government provide the support needed for high-quality accessible public post-secondary education and research.

“The funding shortfall for post-secondary education is devastating to students and communities,” said CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith.  “The federal government simply can't abandon students and their families any longer.”

“As we move into a post-pandemic world and all of its complexities, we rely on universities and colleges—and those who work within them – to deliver the innovation, education and research our society and economy needs to face today’s challenges.”

The bill tabled by NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton-Strathcona) sets out how the federal government would transfer funding for post-secondary education to the provinces in the same way it provides healthcare funding through the Canada Health Transfer. The bill stipulates that federal funds would be used to support non-profit public institutions. The bill would also regulate the overuse of precarious workers by universities and colleges.

For scheduling reasons, the Private Members' Bill will need government support for it to be debated in the House of Commons this parliamentary session. Click here to show your support for this debate.

Author: gagne
Posted: March 24, 2022, 5:16 pm

The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) announced on March 21 that members have ratified a new collective agreement, ending a five-week strike.

ULFA entered discussions with the University of Lethbridge board of governor’s negotiators last week, for the first time since the strike and lock-out that started on February 10.  It was ULFA’s first-ever job action.

“It is an agreement that we can be proud of,” said Dan O’Donnell, president of ULFA. “It is not what we would want to see in terms of finances because of extreme meddling on the part of the provincial government but is now in line with others in the sector.  Importantly, we’ve made major gains in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion.”
 
In ratifying the agreement, ULFA members expressed frustration with provincial interference in the negotiations.

“I voted yes to the #ULFA deal but I did it with a heavy heart,” said one member on Twitter over the weekend. “The job action built a lot of solidarity b/c interference from UCP [the provincial government] was absolutely the breaking point for many of us.”

Author: gagne
Posted: March 23, 2022, 6:06 pm

Every month we send our supporters a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on March 23, 2022. Subscribe to get the newsletter straight to your inbox.

In this issue

  • ULFA ratifies new agreement, ending historic strike
  • Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne on strike
  • Chief negotiators share best practices
  • Urgent Appeal: Solidarity with Ukraine
  • Upcoming Events

ULFA ratifies new agreement, ending historic strike

The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) announced on March 21 that members have ratified a new collective agreement, ending a five-week strike.

ULFA entered discussions with the University of Lethbridge board of governor’s negotiators last week, for the first time since the strike and lock-out that started on February 10.  It was ULFA’s first-ever job action.

“It is an agreement that we can be proud of,” said Dan O’Donnell, president of ULFA. “It is not what we would want to see in terms of finances because of extreme meddling on the part of the provincial government but is now in line with others in the sector.  Importantly, we’ve made major gains in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion.”
 
In ratifying the agreement, ULFA members expressed frustration with provincial interference in the negotiations.

“I voted yes to the #ULFA deal but I did it with a heavy heart,” said one member on Twitter over the weekend. “The job action built a lot of solidarity b/c interference from UCP [the provincial government] was absolutely the breaking point for many of us.”


Academic staff at Université Sainte-Anne on strike

Supporters of the Association des professeurs, professeures et bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) rallied at the University’s Halifax campus earlier this month to call for the administration to return to the bargaining table.

Faculty and librarians at Université Sainte-Anne—the only French-speaking university in Nova Scotia—are fighting for better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff across the province, and a healthier working relationship between academic staff and the administration.

APPBUSA began its first ever strike on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.

In a statement, APPBUSA expressed disappointment and frustration at the administration’s refusal to consider its proposals and negotiate an end to the labour dispute.

CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and members of the CAUT Defence Fund members joined the picket lines to show solidarity and support the striking academic staff.

CAUT is asking members to send letters to Université Sainte-Anne’s president and senior leadership through its online campaign – Stand with Striking Academic Staff at Université Sainte-Anne.


Chief negotiators share best practices

Last Friday over 55 negotiators from member associations across the country met online for CAUT's Forum for Chief Negotiators.  In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they discussed building resiliency in associations and collective agreements.

Participants heard from colleagues on strategies used for bargaining during the pandemic, and shared ideas and best practices on topics including strengthening health and safety rights, protecting collegial decision-making, strike preparation in a pandemic and bargaining to address workload.


Urgent Appeal: Solidarity with Ukraine

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has joined Education International in standing in solidarity with students, teachers, academics, and the people of Ukraine to condemn Russia’s horrific invasion. CAUT is urging the Canadian government and the international community to step up efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence, and to increase the pressure on the Russian government to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

Education International is working closely with its Ukrainian member organizations, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) and the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU). Trade unions in neighbouring countries are also supporting the growing number of Ukrainian refugees, providing food and water provisions, medical supplies and hygiene items.

CAUT member associations who wish to assist TUESWU and VPONU members who are in still in Ukraine or those forced to flee can send contributions to Education International's TUESWU and VPONU Solidarity Fund to the following account:
 
Education International
ING Bank
24, Avenue Marnix
1000 Brussels 
Belgium
Account number: 310-1006170-75 
IBAN code: BE05 3101 0061 7075
Swift code: BBRUBEBB
With the following label: TUESWU and VPONU

The CAUT Executive Committee has committed an initial $5,000 to the fund and strongly encourages members to also support this important work.


Upcoming Events

CAUT Council meeting in April

The CAUT Council meeting will take place Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, 2022, from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm (Eastern time). The Council meeting will be held both in-person and online.

Any questions about the meeting should be directed to Marcel Roy, CAUT Meeting and Event Planner, at roy@caut.ca.
 

Author: gagne
Posted: March 23, 2022, 5:52 pm

Supporters of the Association des professeurs, professeures et bibliothécaires de l’Université Sainte-Anne (APPBUSA) converged on the University’s Halifax campus last Friday to call for the administration to return to the bargaining table.

Faculty and librarians at Université Sainte-Anne—the only French-speaking university in Nova Scotia—are fighting for better working conditions, pay equity with academic staff across the province, and a healthier working relationship between academic staff and the administration.

APPBUSA began its first ever strike in the university’s 130-year history on March 3, after eight months of bargaining.

In a statement released early last week, APPBUSA expressed disappointment and frustration at the administration’s refusal to consider its proposals and negotiate an end to the labour dispute.

“Of what use is it to proclaim and claim that at Sainte-Anne we are a family,” the statement reads, “if so many members of this family – professors, students, support staff – are systematically excluded from major decision-making affecting us all?”

CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith and members of the CAUT Defence Fund members joined the picket lines to show solidarity and support the striking academic staff.

“The students are caught in the middle,” said  Austin-Smith. “Good, quality working conditions mean good, quality learning conditions, so all of this affects the students.”

CAUT is asking members to send letters to Université Sainte-Anne’s president and senior leadership through its online campaign – Stand with Striking Academic Staff at Université Sainte-Anne.

APPBUSA members voted last month to authorize a strike, with more than 90 per cent voting in favour.

The strike at Université Sainte-Anne started just after job action at Acadia University ended when both sides agreed to binding arbitration.

Author: gagne
Posted: March 14, 2022, 7:49 pm

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association (TRUFA) passed a motion of non-confidence in the University leadership on February 11 over the mishandling of complaints made against two senior administrators.

More than 80 per cent of the TRUFA members who voted said they had no confidence in the leadership of university president Brett Fairbairn and Board of Governors chair Marilyn McLean.

The vote followed allegations of sexual harassment, anti-Indigenous racism, and discrimination allegations against the Vice-President of Finance and Administration, Matt Milovick, and the former Assistant Vice-President of People and Culture Larry Phillips.

At least 13 current and former university employees have filed complaints accusing the two of having fostered a toxic workplace.

TRUFA, the university’s students’ union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) have all called for the two senior leaders to be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“This is standard practice in such situations to ensure the integrity and impartiality of the investigation,” stated David Robinson, CAUT Executive Director in a letter to board chair McLean last December.

At the time of the non-confidence vote this February, Milovick was still actively working, while Phillips was no longer with the institution.

Author: gagne
Posted: March 10, 2022, 1:11 pm