February 1999 Mount Allison Faculty Association on Strike Members of the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) went on strike Jan. 21, for the second time since 1992. The two-week strike in 1992 was about faculty wanting to protect sabbaticals, avoiding a salary cut, and opposing mandatory retirement. Part-time Sessionals Vote to Join Faculty Association at UBC It's been a long time coming. But all sessional lecturers are now officially members of the UBC Faculty Association. The change in status resulted from balloting by those sessional lecturers teaching less than half time. The vote, tallied on Feb. 9, was 91% in favour. CAUT Brokers Settlement in Olivieri Case In the early morning of Jan. 26, CAUT brokered a settlement between Dr. Nancy Olivieri and the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) in Toronto. The settlement vindicates Olivieri and reinstates her as head of the haemoglobinopathy program at the HSC and Toronto Hospital. UCCB hiring policy not limited to deans I was pleased to see that the December CAUT Bulletin gave coverage to the University College of Cape Breton's bizarre practice of requiring deans to provide the University President Jacquelyn Scott with undated letters of resignation as a condition of employment. Power to the Provinces? It's all eerily familiar. The secret negotiations, the public saber-rattling, and the endless trial balloons -- federal and provincial negotiations over the structure of the Canadian Confederation have once again grabbed headlines. And in the process, a once obscure term - the "social union" - has emerged. Bavarian Battle over Academic Freedom Draws to a Close The story of UBC professor Patricia Marchak and her dispute with German educational authorities is now in its final chapter. The dispute began when Professor Marchak, while at the University of Augsburg as a visiting scholar, refused to sign a declaration of non-membership in some 47 proscribed political and religious organizations. Although the Bavarian government shows no sign of rescinding the declaration, opponents of this outrageous infringement on academic freedom can take some satisfaction in the fact that the University of Augsburg's administration and the Bavarian government are blaming each other for the difficulties encountered by Professor Marchak. According to the university administration, it had to comply with a state law mandating that all professors sign the declaration. The Bavarian government, in contrast, claims that Professor Marchak, as a visiting scholar, was exempt from the requirement and that the administration erred in presenting the document to her in the first place. Y2K Tax Relief There are a number of incentives currently available to Canadian taxpayers concerning Y2K computer problems. They include the following: (1) There is a 100 per cent deduction on computer hardware and software purchased by small, unincorporated businesses between January 1998 and June 1999 which address Y2K problems. (2) This deduction includes replacement of computer chips, but is not applicable to upgrades. (3) To be eligible for such incentives, taxpayers must elect to use the accelerated capital cost allowance (cca) deduction for the cost of any Y2K solutions. To make this election, the taxpayer must attach to his/her return a letter which describes the purchased property, its cost and date of acquisition. This document also should provide a description of the equipment replaced. CAUT Condemns Iran's Raid on Bahá'í University CAUT President Bill Graham condemned the attempt by the Government of Iran to shut down the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education -- the only postsecondary institution in Iran open to members of the Bahá'í faith. Working for More Women in Science Concerned with the continuing under-representation of women in science, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council struck a Task Force on Women in Science in Engineering, chaired by Dr. Monique Frize, in 1994. Their report, released in 1996, made a series of recommendations which were reported on in the June 1997 edition of the Bulletin. CAUT's Status of Women Committee held a seminar discussion at its 1998 Regina conference to review how the recommendations were being carried out and what remained to be done to assure equity for women in Canadian science. CAUT Joins in Unveiling Alternative Federal Budget It's a crisis CAUT has witnessed firsthand. Across the country, Canada's post-secondary education system is struggling. Deep cuts in federal transfer payments and provincial cutbacks have resulted in average tuition fee hikes of 55 per cent since 1994. Underfunding has also led to cuts in college and university faculty, a reduction in course offerings, less public funds devoted to research, and fewer resources for libraries and laboratories. A Sampler of Changes in Canada's Income Tax Law The federal budget of 1998 effected several changes in income tax law. The following budget sampler highlights certain changes that academics as individuals, employees, parents, consultants and retirees might review before submitting their 1998 income tax returns. Honourary Life Member Percy Smith Passes Away CAUT honourary life member J Mount Allison Faculty Walk the Line Mount Allison University has seen three strikes in the seven and a half years since Ian Newbould was named president and the praise and adulation heaped on him by Board Chair James Keith can't cover up that dismal record.