October 2015 Casualization of the academic workforce has costs In the ongoing massification of post-secondary education, university and college administrators are increasingly turning to temporary or contract academic staff to teach and work in their institutions’ lecture halls, labs and libraries. Q&A Forum When concerns are raised about asbestos in an office building, the first thing is to report the concerns to your academic staff association, your joint health and safety committee (JHSC) representatives, and to your chair or dean. Decent work is a universal value Making less than a living wage. Not knowing where you will be employed in a month’s time, no matter how well you do your job. Lacking an effective voice in how your workplace is run. Putting in long hours of unpaid work for your employer, before even receiving a contract. These are some of the daily realities faced by thousands of contract academic staff across Canada, and hundreds of thousands more around the world. Profile of an invisible academic Shaun Bartone has a passion for the pursuit of knowledge and wants future generations to be just as enthusiastic. It’s not unusual for someone in his position who has devoted a career to research and teaching in higher education. Casualization is becoming a global trend in higher education Canada is not the only country where universities are increasingly relying on contract academics for “near-voluntary” part-time work. It’s the new norm of how most universities across European countries and as far away as New Zealand and Australia operate. Losing the war on data Five years after the Conservatives axed the long-form census, researchers are noticing that important statistical data is being lost and it is hindering their ability to do research. Expert calls on universities & colleges to support national child care plan Child care has become a key issue in the 2015 federal election and one of Canada’s leading child care experts says universities and colleges have a stake in a national child care plan. Japan orders downsizing of humanities & social sciences courses Japan’s state-run universities have been ordered by the government to review their faculties and graduate schools and develop reform plans for humanities and social sciences courses. The directive from the education ministry instructs that the universities take “active steps to abolish organisations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs.” Tuition fees on the rise The latest Statistics Canada numbers on tuition fees shows students are paying 3.2 per cent more on average for post-secondary education in 2015–2016. According to a recent public opinion survey, Canadians rank tuition fee reductions as the top priority for government investment in education. CAUT releases data for librarians CAUT has compiled data from its Librarian Salary and Academic Status Survey and released the results to its member associations. Data from the survey provides critical support for negotiating teams bargaining new collective agreements. Collective agreement at Laval transforms the way service is recognized Academic staff at Laval University have ensured closer attention is paid to their share of service work during tenure and promotion appraisals. UBC launches academic freedom investigation The University of British Columbia administration has launched a fact-finding investigation into whether professor Jennifer Berdahl’s academic freedom was violated. Petition calls for transparency in Brock presidential search Brock University Faculty Association has launched an online petition in support of an open search process for the university’s next president. C-51 is just the beginning An interim report on security threats facing Canada released earlier this year by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence proposes a series of controversial anti-terrorism measures that could have serious implications for academic staff.