December 2011 CAUT Challenges AUCC Attempt to Downsize Academic Freedom Academic freedom has come under attack from the organization of presidents of Canadian universities. In an open letter issued to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, CAUT noted the irony of the group choosing its 100th anniversary to issue a new statement on academic freedom. UK Unions Stage Biggest Walkout in Decades Two million public sector workers staged an unprecedented one-day strike in the United Kingdom to protest the government’s austerity plans and cuts to pensions. Canadians Want More Action to Improve Education Funding, Poll Finds Nearly 80 per cent of Canadians believe getting a university or college education is more important than ever, but most say it’s also getting more difficult to pursue post-secondary studies because of rising costs, a new poll has found. Brandon Academic Staff Win Long, Bitter Strıke After a strike lasting 45 days, academic staff at Brandon University won a solid settlement which members ratified. The new contract calls for salary increases, annual increments as well as improvements to professional development. 40,000 Sign Petition to Cut Tuition Fees Ontario students are pressuring the Liberal Party government to reduce tuition fees instead of its recent election commitment of a tuition reduction grant that will only cover some of the province’s student population. Anver Saloojee Wins CAUT Equity Award Ryerson Faculty Association president Anver Saloojee was presented with a national honour last month by CAUT for his efforts at making equity a central institutional value and achievement. AUNBT Alleges Interference in Union Drive The union hoping to represent administrative, professional and technical workers at the University of New Brunswick has found an ally in the academic staff association in the ongoing battle over unionization efforts. Fair Employment Week Chalks Up 10 Years of Advocacy Fair Employment Week was created a decade ago by a group of individuals and organizations to shine a spotlight on the poor pay and working conditions of contract academic staff. Retooling the Humanities In the past 30 years, the state has tried to reinvent the university as an economic driver and R&D hub. Earlier visions were aimed at increasing cultural capital for student and nation alike. Now a degree is seen as a guarantee of increased lifetime income. Advancing Equity by Recognizing Diversity The goal of CAUT’s equity work is to achieve inclusiveness, not only with regard to social and economic justice for members of marginalized groups but also to ensure their full participation in the academy.