Volume 34 No. 1                                    Editor: Arnd Bohm                                                   September, 2003

Welcome and Welcome Back!

Some occasions do call for the icon -- such as welcoming new faculty and instructors to Carleton and CUASA, and welcoming everyone back from summer. It's nice to see the campus filling up again.

Of course, lots of folks have already used up their brief store of restedness as they have packed and unpacked boxes in the Great Office Shuffle or have grappled with the aftershocks of BANNER installation. Then there was the power outage... And a provincial election is on the horizon...

Contract Negotiations

As you will know from the regular Bulletins sent out by the bargaining team, contract negotiations are continuing. Management filed for conciliation at the beginning of August. Your representatives to Council will be reporting back more information from the latest Council meeting. If your unit does not have a Council representative, check with the CUASA office about electing one as soon as possible!

Recap of negotiations

Main outstanding issues: $$; employer's disciplinary measures; merit scheme; professional expense reimbursement.

Complete details of CUASA's position and of the management offer are posted on the CUASA website: www.carleton.ca/cuasa.

Contact

This is your union -- we need to hear from you! Let CUASA know your views, concerns, reactions, and workplace experiences. Speak to your union representatives, talk to any member of the Steering Committee, send an e-mail to cuasa@carleton.ca.

Let us know where you are. If your e-mail has changed or if you are not getting CUASA e-mailings, let Deborah Jackson know at cuasa@carleton.ca.

We are looking into contingency plans for maintaining e-mail contact with members in the event of a strike.

Bookmark the CUASA website at www.carleton.ca/cuasa and check it regularly for updates on job-related topics like the recent changes in procedures for getting Emerita/Emeritus status. You'll also find a complete text of the current Collective Agreement, useful FAQs, and relevant links.

Editorial: Is Civility Enough?

During and after the recent blackout, government officials were quick with their predictable praise of us. We had kept calm during the outage, we yielded at intersections, we were more neighbourly than ever, we were heroes of civility. But is civility enough? There was nary a word from any government spokesperson accepting responsibility or even hinting at any apology for the catastrophic failure of an essential system.

What struck me was that this is now a common management response to crises. When plans made by managers, generally without consultation, and cause massive disruptions, whether in supplying electrical power or getting air travel passengers to their destinations or providing prompt access to medical care, we are thanked for bearing up so patiently and urged to keep smiling.

Closer to home, staff and faculty have been dealing with the implementation of BANNER and with a chaotic campaign of office moves. It is hardly a secret that BANNER is not a WINNER, certainly not when it comes to the new academic student audits. Months ago people who are now struggling to correct audits and explain them to bewildered students pointed out problems; they were ignored. The Great Office Shuffle, developed without consulting the people to be shuffled, was kept under wraps until the very last minute, lest anyone affected be able to prepare in an orderly fashion. We have been told that we are ready for the double cohort (although it seems not quite as many students might be coming to Carleton as planners had forecast). Indeed, everyone will make the best of it, even while those who made the plans continue to issue upbeat releases.

In the same vein, CUASA members have endured years of paltry salary increases. Patience was counselled while the debts arising from boondoggles caused by mismanagement were paid down. But it is hard to be endlessly patient when there is so little tangible recognition of our contributions, especially when loads and demands continue to increase. Yes, we will continue to be civil, but we also expect our voices to heard, and to be taken seriously, not least at the bargaining table.