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CAUT Bulletin Archives

June 2011

Maureen Shaw Recognized for Advocacy

Sarah Shorten Award winner Maureen Shaw was honoured during a ceremony at CAUT Council May 5 in Ottawa.
Sarah Shorten Award winner Maureen Shaw was honoured during a ceremony at CAUT Council May 5 in Ottawa.
Maureen Shaw, a vice-president of the Kwantlen Faculty Association and former president of BC’s Federation of Post-secondary Educators (FPSE), was presented with CAUT’s Sarah Shorten Award in May for her many contributions to the advancement of women in post-secondary education.

Shaw, who is retiring after a 35-year career as an educator and union activist, is well known for her work on equity and women’s rights, and for her leadership role in the legal challenge of legislation introduced by the BC government in 2002 that removed restrictions in class sizes from faculty collective agreements. The BC Supreme Court eventually ruled in labour’s favour.

Cindy Oliver, president of FPSE, who was also one of Shaw’s many nominators, lauded her work to advance conditions for women in the profession.

“Maureen’s capacity to advance on many fronts simultaneously, while remaining an engaged academic and educator, is a talent that has been integral to the work she has done in her profession, her institution, her sector and her community,” Oliver said.

It’s a testament to Shaw’s leadership in advocacy efforts to ensure fairness and equity that “faculty agreements in BC have language and provisions that address key issues like employment security, regularization, maternity leave and extended health benefits,” Oliver added.

“Maureen was pivotal in securing those gains and achieving a higher level of equality for women within our associations and throughout our province.”

In addition to her many other roles, Shaw was elected the first president of the National Union of CAUT and served in that capacity from 2002 to 2008.

CAUT’s special recognition award, given to an individual who volunteers their time and energy in advancing the rights of women within the post-secondary sector, was established in 1990 in honour of Sarah Shorten, who served as vice-president of CAUT before becoming president in 1983.