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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 1999

UBC Faculty Association Launches Sessional Drive

The Faculty Association at the University of British Columbia has launched an organizing drive aimed at bringing all sessional lecturers into the association. The drive to sign up those sessionals not already in the association will bring hundreds of new members into the organization, many of whom teach just one class. Until now they have been unrepresented.

Call for Public Inquiry Endorsed

Five days after Dr. Arnold Naimark released his report for the Hospital for Sick Children CAUT received the following statement signed by the Canadian Health Coalition, National Federation of Nurses Unions, Canadian Labour Congress, National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Hospital Employees Union, Congress of Union Retirees, CAW-Canada, and the Alliance for Public Accountability.

Accounting standards won't hurt universities

I read with interest Kathryn Campbell's commentary in the November Bulletin about the detrimental effect a change in accounting standards will bring to the universities. I suspect the case has been misstated or, at least, overstated.

We Don't Need a General Tax Cut - Just a Fair System

It is almost impossible these days to pick up a newspaper or listen to a newscast without reading or hearing the corporate mantra that Canada must lower its taxes to become more competitive. Yet for all the propaganda, the claim that our taxes make us uncompetitive is just dead wrong.

Independent Inquiry Needed in Olivieri Scandal

When Dr. Nancy Olivieri defied threats of legal action by the powerful drug company Apotex and intimidation by her own hospital administration she was putting the safety of her patients first, above her own safety and her career. Professor Arthur Schafer, director of the centre for professional and applied ethics at the University of Manitoba, has called the dispute at the Hospital for Sick Children "the greatest academic scandal of our time." It involves the most fundamental issues of patient safety, research integrity, academic freedom, and public health versus private, for-profit drug ventures.

Examining Bargaining Issues

The collective bargaining sessions at the 1998 CAUT Status of Women Conference in Regina examined a range of issues including the basics of collective bargaining, a review of equity clauses in existing collective agreements, and future directions for collective bargaining.

UNESCO Declaration Puts Academic Freedom at Risk

Undermining academic freedom is consistent with the World Bank's proclaimed Reform Agenda which CAUT President Bill Graham first reported on in his coverage of the World Conference on Higher Education held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, October 5 to 9, 1998. Dr. Graham informed us then that the World Bank agenda is an outright attack on academic freedom, tenure, collegial governance, curricular control by faculty, and faculty organization and unionism. The World Bank proposes radically altering who faculty are, how they behave, the way they are organized, and the way they work and are compensated. Now, as we discover in this report new challenges surfaced at the conference which threaten to undermine the strong statements on academic freedom which were adopted in November 1997 by the UNESCO General Assembly in its "Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel."

Flaws Mar Naimark's Review of Sick Kids

In December, Dr. Arnold Naimark released his review of the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children's treatment of Dr. Nancy Olivieri - the eminent medical researcher who faced legal threats from pharmaceutical company, Apotex Inc., when her research raised questions about the safety of one of its new drugs.

Defence Fund Nears $10-Million

At fall 1998 meeting of the CAUT Defence Fund, trustees learned that the fund was at nearly the $10-million mark, and recovering from the major expenditures during the York University strike a year earlier.

Committee of Inquiry Planned in Thorpe Case

CAUT will form a committee of inquiry to investigate the treatment of Professor Michael Thorpe, formerly of Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Labour Rights in Canada Under Fire

A new report on Canada's labour rights shatters the illusion of Canada as a country with a progressive attitude to trade union rights says the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions following the publication of a report released to complement the WTO's trade policy review on Canada.

What is Happening to Our Health Care System?

This book would be frightening enough if Colleen Fuller had focused exclusively on documenting the extent to which Canadian governments are cutting public, non-profit health services while promoting both for-profit care and individual responsibility for illness. But what makes the book even more disturbing is the evidence she presents on the undermining of democracy.

Global Village or Global Pillage

A book that was ahead of its time has been brought up to date with a new preface that covers the latest developments in economic globalization including the defeat of "fast track," efforts to halt GATT and MAI, and the Asian economic crisis. In clear, accessible language, Brecher and Costello describe how people around the world have started challenging the New World Economy. From the Zapatistas to students and workers in France to the broad-based anti-NAFTA and anti-GATT coalitions, opposition to economic globalization is becoming a worldwide revolt. Global Village or Global Pillage is the best guide available to globalization and how to challenge it.

Poor Richard's Web Site

Setting up a web site doesn't have to be difficult. This book describes, in plain English, all the steps required to build a web site. While there are hundreds of books about this subject, they all focus on one small aspect of web site creation. The problem, Kent explains, is that the computer press focuses on technologies rather than on needs. Poor Richard's Web Site, on the other hand, looks at the problem from the perspective of someone needing to set up a low-cost web site in order to promote a small business, club, professional association, or personal service. The book then goes on to describe the entire process -- from deciding whether a web site is really necessary right through to designing and publishing a site that works. The book includes instruction on setting up feedback forms, online ordering, and transaction processing. It even provides advice on web site promotion. Finally, in all of this instruction the presentation remains down-to-earth and easy-to-understand, and avoids much of the jargon popular in today's computer media.

The Ups and Downs of Two Faculty Unions at One University

At the University of Ottawa, there are two faculty associations, one union for the full-time professors, and another for the part-time professors. From the perspective of a part-time professor, I will lay out the pros and cons of this union division.