March 2002 Dalhousie Profs on Strike Members of the Dalhousie Faculty Association went on strike March 4, saying the university left them no alternative. Andrew Wainwright, Dalhousie Faculty Association president, said "We were hoping to avoid another strike at Dalhousie. The association pursued all avenues to bargain and reach a negotiated settlement. Yet we remain seriously apart after six months of attempted negotiations and 35 meetings through the fall and early winter." Feds Affirm 'Canadian First' Hiring Policy The federal government's long-delayed white paper on innovation and skills training was released Feb. 12, but critics say it is disappointingly vague on details. International Outcry over British Columbia's Bill 28 Many international associations have writen to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell condemning the introduction of Bill 28: Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act. A sample follows. - ed. Long-Awaited Innovation Strategy Disappointingly Vague The federal government's long-delayed white paper on innovation and skills training was released Feb. 12, but critics say it is disappointingly vague on details. Dissenters Fight Spain's Reform Law Students from across Europe are being called to demonstrate against Spain's infamous new law to reform the university system, the Ley Orgánica de Universidades (LOU). When European Union education and culture ministers meet in Salamanca, Spain March 17-19, International Pupil and Student Actions will hold a parallel European Assembly of Students Against the LOU. B.C. Deregulates Tuition Fees, Scraps First-Year Grants CAUT is condemning the decision of the B.C. government to fully deregulate university and college tuition fees in the province. Newfoundland, Labrador Left Behind in Research Funding Regional universities and colleges in Canada are losing ground to other institutions because of the way federal research money is being divided across the country, a senior administrator at Memorial University of Newfoundland is charging. Incoming President Says UNB Faces Uncertain Future The newly nominated president of the University of New Brunswick says he is frustrated by the way universities in the Atlantic region are being ignored by Ottawa and the richer provinces. Supreme Court Legalizes Secondary Picketing In late January the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that secondary picketing is legal. Having concluded "there is no principled ground on which to ban secondary picketing" striking workers now have the right to set up picket lines at locations other than the premises of their employer. Waterloo Professor Wins Disability Case A retired University of Waterloo professor has won a significant victory in an arbitration ruling that the university discriminated against him on the basis of disability. FNBFA Decries Introduction of Bill 28 By now, you will have been inundated with letters decrying the introduction of Bill 28. I will not, therefore, waste the valuable time of either of us by saying the same old things in a new way. Malaspina Doubles Tuition Fees Students at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, British Columbia, are the first to learn the impact of tuition deregulation. The Malaspina administration will recommend to its board that tuition next year increase 98 per cent for first- and second-year students and 32 per cent for third- and fourth-year students. Donations Sought for Legal Fund CAUT is asking local faculty associations and members to support a historic human rights case for female academics. The case involves a group of retired female professors from the University of Toronto, including such highly renowned academics as Phyllis Grosskurth and Ursula Franklin, who launched an action against the university for monetary damages caused by systemic sex discrimination in pension benefits. Anchoring Our Evolving Libraries Michael Gorman's book begins by positing a war - a war between the traditional library and the "virtual" library, a war fueled by massive and relatively recent technological change. He asks whether libraries will be destroyed or strengthened by technological change. "Is the Virtual Library at war with the traditional library or is it possible that what we are experiencing is not a revolution and certainly not a war?" He then provides an answer, stating that "evolution, enhancement, growth and progress" are taking place. What will help ensure that evolution prevails is a set of values or fundamental anchors that provide perspective and will inform our actions and decisions. Merit Pay - A Bonus for the Employer? The notion of merit pay seems, at first glance, unassailable as a right and proper thing - a just recognition of imagination, skill and industry. This is the picture of merit systems that will make sense to many faculty, and the one which is usually pointed to by administrations seeking to justify them, usually couched in a framework of the "pursuit of excellence." But management will also be likely to see merit systems as pay-for-performance - providing a handy tool to boost productivity and penalize "poor" performance, allowing far-reaching control of the employee population and of the entire enterprise.