Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 1998

World Bank Promotes Its Agenda in Paris

The score would have read World Bank 4, UNESCO 1 if the recent World Conference on Higher Education in Paris had been a soccer match. For the powerful forces seeking to control post-secondary education, led by the World Bank and its allies, the enemy are university teachers around the world; and war has been declared. The battle cry is that higher education "must proceed to the most radical change and renewal it has ever been required to undertake." And that means radically changing the "traditional" or "classical" or "research based" university and its personnel to meet the ravenous needs of the knowledge-based global economy.

St. Thomas Faculty Settle in Conciliation

On Oct. 28, 83 per cent of the full-time faculty at St. Thomas University in Fredericton turned out to vote on a new tentative agreement between FAUST and the university. The new agreement, which expires in June 1999, was ratified by a 70 per cent vote in favour of acceptance. Highlights of the settlement include the creation of a parity committee to discuss workload issues (prevalent throughout negotiations); a wage increase of 1.7 per cent in year one and 1.5 per cent in year two; an increase of about $400 in professional development allowance; and a $125 cash payment for each full-time member of the bargaining unit.

Three-Year Agreement Reached at the University of Windsor

A three-year agreement expiring June 30, 2001 has been reached between the University of Windsor and the University of Windsor Faculty Association. Some of the highlights include a 2.5 per cent average yearly increase in each of the three years of the contract, small enhancements to the health benefits, and changes to the pension plan.

Mount Allison Faculty Association Applies for Conciliation

On Oct. 15 the Mount Allison Faculty Association Executive applied for conciliation. The collective agreement expired at the end of June and by Oct. 27 there had been thirty-one negotiating sessions. Key issues remain unresolved although the parties have managed to agree in principle on about half the articles in the collective agreement.

Strike Forestalled at BC's Colleges

An agreement reached on Oct. 23 headed off a threatened strike at BC colleges, university-colleges and institutes. About 8,000 educators -- members of the College Institute Educators' Association and the BC Government and Service Employees' Union -- had been scheduled to begin strike action at 6:00 a.m. on Oct. 23. A strike would have affected an estimated 80,000 students.

Academic Freedom Recurring Theme in Murder Mystery

Some Bulletin readers will know Iain Pears as an art historian, television consultant and journalist on both sides of the Atlantic, inveterate writer of opinion pieces for the better English weeklies and dailies, and author of a half-dozen well-received detective novels. His recent fiction includes best-selling stories of art fraud in Italy (Giotto's Hand). But in An Instance of the Fingerpost, Pears draws together the strands of his experience and knowledge, including that he has acquired from living many years in Oxford.

When Even Your Accountant Betrays You

Given the various, belittling stereotypes about accountants, it may come as quite a surprise that this stolid cadre of professionals has quietly delivered a life-threatening blow to the university community. While underfunding, academic freedom, the commoditization of teaching, and the corporatization of research have, with justification, captured many headlines, the recently issued Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) "accounting recommendations for not-for-profit organizations" have generated hardly a murmur.

Unified Research Ethics Code Forces Universal Compliance

All faculty associations need to act promptly in response to a recently adopted policy statement on research ethics issued by Canada's three granting councils. Universities have until September 1999, to bring their own ethics policies in line with the new Tri-Council position. All research conducted at the university, whether or not funded by a granting council, must comply.

Charting the Way for Research Ethics

A Simon Fraser University committee has recommended full compensation for Russel Ogden's legal expenses and lost wages in connection with his appearance before a 1994 coroner's inquiry. The committee also recommended the SFU administration offer Mr. Russel an apology. Mr. Ogden, an M.A. student at the time, had braved a contempt of court charge to protect the confidentiality of his research sources and uphold broader principles of academic freedom. The committee also recommended the administration extend legal support and protection to graduate students engaged in university approved and supervised research.

Jazairi Case Heads to Court of Appeal

Thirteen years ago Nuri Jazairi, a professor of economics at York University, was denied a promotion to full professor. Professor Jazairi believed the denial stemmed from his open support for the people of Palestine. After exhausting internal appeals at York, he filed a discrimination complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Manitoba Settles

With a strike deadline just hours away, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Sick Kids Hospital Sets Up Inquiry into Drug Study

The Hospital for Sick Children has agreed to a three-person committee of inquiry into the Dr

CAUT Working Jointly on Copyright Regulations

CAUT has joined forces with a number of associations to provide common input to the federal government on the new copyright regulations

UVic Appears Before Labour Relations Board

On Oct. 13-15 the University of Victoria Faculty Association appeared before the B.C. Labour Relations Board to present, through its lawyer, arguments on three issues: Is the faculty association a "trade union" (as defined by the B.C. Labour Relations Code)? Does a "collective agreement" exist? Has the faculty association been voluntarily recognized by the university as the exclusive bargaining agent for faculty, librarians and sessionals at UVic? Faculty association lawyer John Rogers argued that, viewed objectively under the statute, the faculty association met all the requirements of a trade union. Also, that the agreements between the association and the university met the objective test for a collective agreement. The university, which could well have simply stood back and taken no position on these issues, decided instead to oppose the faculty association's arguments before the Board. At the hearing, the university's lawyer advanced the view that the faculty association was not a trade union because: i) it had never regarded itself as one; ii) the university had never regarded it as one, and; iii) it does not meet the strict criterion of independence from employer domination that defines a trade union. In its initial statement of evidence, the university took the disturbing position that the major document that governs the careers of academics at the university, the Tenure Document, was merely a statement of policy issued by the board of governors and could be unilaterally abridged or changed by the board whenever it so desired. By implication they declared, among other things, that there is no tenure at the university. The Labour Relations Board reserved judgment.

Tracking the Feds on Education

Canada's largest coalition for public education, the Public Education Network, met in Montreal on October 26 to plan activities for 1999. At the top of its list is preparing a detailed report card on the federal government's record on educational matters.

Justifying a New Federal Post-Secondary Education Fund

"Without the federal government resuming its responsibilities, Canada's universities are in serious jeopardy," CAUT told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in a pre-budget submission on Oct. 26.

Waterloo Votes for Rand Formula

Faculty at the University of Waterloo voted by over 67 per cent to introduce a full Rand formula, for all employees represented by the faculty association (FAUW). The vote was conducted in mid-October.