Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 1999

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.

In the last three years there have been five strikes by academic staff at Canadian universities - an increase from the one per year average in the 20 years since the Defence Fund was established. The most recent was in early November at Brandon University. That strike lasted only a few days because of the firm resolve of the faculty association.

Just the day before the Brandon University strike, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association reached a new collective agreement only hours before a strike deadline. In both instances, the faculty associations had the firm backing of the Defence Fund whose trustees had approved strike pay, benefit continuation and a large line of credit.

"The Trustees are confident the Defence Fund's financial support played an important role in assuring the resolve of academic staff members as they faced the prospect of being forced onto picket lines," noted CAUT Defence Fund Chair, Bob Rosebrugh.

The newest association to become a member of the Defence Fund is the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. Members of UWOFA voted nearly 90 per cent in favour of joining the Defence Fund at a meeting held in mid-September. There are now close to 12,000 unionized Canadian academic staff in Defence Fund member associations.