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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2004

Acadia Wins Strike

Faculty members at Acadia University won substantial gains through their 14-day strike which ended on March 8, after reaching a tentative agreement on the preceding weekend. The contract was ratified on March 10 with more than 90 per cent voting in favour.

Kwantlen Calls Off Class Expansion

The Kwantlen University College administration has backed away from its threat to override its collective agreement with the College Institute Educators' Association of B.C. Using the controversial provincial legislation, the Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act, Kwantlen announced in January it would unilaterally increase class sizes.

Tentative Contract at Mt. St. Vincent

Faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University reached a tentative agreement with the university March 4, following two days in conciliation.

Queen's Adjuncts Sign First Contract

Adjunct academic staff employed at Queen's University have ratified their first collective agreement. The three-year deal was concluded after six months of negotiations.

Bishop's Faculty on Strike Path

The Association of Professors of Bishop's University set a strike deadline for 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 15, after 10 months of negotiations for its full-time and part-time bargaining units. In February, members of both units voted more than 86 per cent in favour of authorizing a strike if necessary.

Faculty Say in Governance

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education focused on the "unusual governance system" in place at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, the responsibility for decision-making on all matters academic and non-academic falls to administrators and faculty. All 3,000 members of the governing body of the university, the Regent House, have the right to vote on every major issue and to set policy and make decisions on the strategic direction for the university. It is a faculty-led democracy that has been in place since 1209. As is often the case with a true democracy, it can be messy, inefficient and time-consuming when every member can exercise their rights of voice and vote.

Always the Bridesmaids

We've heard much about the increasing reliance upon definite-term contract faculty by universities and the resulting separation of teaching and research functions. Also emerging as a result of this separation is the use of contract, non-tenure-track employees to fill undergraduate administrative positions deemed unattractive to senior faculty members.

High Court Appeal Needed to Protect EI Benefits

The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled Jan. 27, 2004 that maternity and parental leave provisions fall within the jurisdiction of provincial governments and exceed the exclusive federal jurisdiction over employment insurance. On Feb. 23, after intensive lobbying by labour and women's organizations, the federal government filed an appeal of the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. That appeal was strongly opposed by Quebec organizations, and just as strongly supported by those from the rest of Canada.

PEI Faculty Ratify First Contract

Members of the University of Prince Edward Island Faculty Association voted Feb. 13 to ratify their first collective agreement with the university, which was reached after more than two years of bargaining.

CAUT Asks Senate to Delay Passage of C-7

On March 4, 2004, CAUT president Victor Catano and executive director James Turk wrote on behalf of CAUT to the Canadian Senate raising concern over Bill C-7: The Public Safety Act. Alarmed at measures contained in the legislation, CAUT is asking the Senate to delay the passage of this bill.

Your Taxes - Highlights of 2003 Changes

There were some important income tax changes proposed in the Feb. 18, 2003 federal budget. Among the more significant tax measures affecting individuals for the 2003 filing season were the following:

Government and Politics in Africa

This new updated edition provides comprehensive coverage of Africa's contemporary politics and is set in a clear historical context, with a wealth of illustrative material and broad-ranging examples. Issues discussed in the book include the state in relation to the market economy, women, AIDS and the policies of multinational pharmaceutical companies, the politics of patronage and corruption, international aid and the slow provision of debt relief. Increased coverage is given to both North and South Africa, and key issues such as elections and land in Zimbabwe and genocide in Rwanda are fully ventilated. Each chapter has been revised to take account of recent developments and recent research, with a new chapter on 'Political Liberalisation and Economic Reform,' which analyses Africa's democratic prospects.

Rolling On: The Story of the Amazing Gary McPherson

Gary McPherson contracted life-threatening polio during the epidemic of 1955 which left him a quadriplegic. He retains just enough coarse movement in his left hand to click a mouse and enough strength in his left leg to push his wheelchair backwards a few feet. Gary cannot feed himself or comb his hair. Yet his achievements are amazing. He is a husband and father, has coached championship sporting teams, is past chair of the Alberta Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and is currently both a lecturer in the School of Business at the University of Alberta and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

Grad Students Lead Fight to Unionize in the U.S.

Faculty unionization in the United States and Canada started in much the same way in the 1960s and 70s, but the American version ran into a legal roadblock in 1980 when the Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote in Yeshiva that faculty were part of management and thus could not unionize. This judgment applied only to private universities such as Harvard and Yale, but governors and legislatures across the land took heart from this and passed legislation to prohibit or limit collective bargaining in the public sector. A handful of states such as New York and California resisted, but the results have been clear. While most faculty in Canada are unionized, most in the U.S. are not.

No Sweat a Success with Ethical Purchasing

In the late 1990s the anti-sweatshop movement broke out into a mass movement on college campuses across the United States. Linked to labour, consumer, faith-based and other groups, the movement, now with more than 200 campus chapters, is the most significant student mobilization since the Vietnam War. There is also a growing No Sweat movement on Canadian campuses and significant mobilizations in Australia and much of Europe. Through sit-ins, rallies, teach-ins, anti-sweat fashion shows, hunger strikes, occupations, political theatre and other forms of education, publicity and protest, students have been demanding the adoption of ethical buying policies.