The Communiqué: Volume 46, No. 1 – Sep. 1, 2023


In this Issue:

  • Back to our roots: Reintroducing the CAUSA Communiqué
  • Labour Day Message and Office Closure
  • Carleton agrees to stop listing class locations publicly
  • Meet Your New Officers: Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny, Chair, Collective Bargaining
  • Know Your Rights – Follow Up on Course Design and Academic Freedom
  • Survey request: Help us improve the Annual Report on Teaching Effectiveness (ARTE)
  • Get involved: Volunteer with CUASA
  • Caucus Groups
  • Academic Community Updates
  • Labour Day March & Picnic
  • CUASA at Capital Pride



Back to our roots: Reintroducing the CAUSA Communiqué

As some members may know, CUASA began as the Carleton College Academic Staff Association with its first meeting on November 18, 1952, and later certified as the first academic staff union in Ontario on June 18, 1975.

Even prior to certification, CUASA issued newsletters to provide updates to our members on the work of the Association and issues that may be relevant to their careers at Carleton. The CUASA website has a collection of CUASA newsletters going back to October 1970.

These newsletters have had various titles attributed to them since they began, such as just “Newsletter” or “News from CUASA”, and they always had a Volume and Issue number starting with Volume 1 in 1970. Beginning in September 1991, these newsletters were rebranded as the “CUASA Communiqué”, and continued under that name until March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

With the onset of the pandemic, CUASA paused our usual newsletters and began issuing more frequent “CUASA Updates” as the COVID-19 situation developed. Those updates gradually became less frequent, but we continued to call them the “CUASA Update”.

Today, we’re going back to our roots and are proud to reintroduce “The CUASA Communiqué”. The last time the Communiqué had a volume and issue number attributed to it was Volume 45, No. 10 in February 2017. So today, we begin with Volume 46, No. 1.



Labour Day Message and Office Closure

Please note the virtual CUASA Office will be closed for the Labour Day weekend as of 12:00pm today, and will reopen on Tuesday, September 5, at 9:00am.

This Labour Day, CUASA wants to thank all the workers that helps to make the Carleton community what it is. From our members, to all the Carleton staff, union staff, and student workers, we support you. We are all reliant on each other and we recognize and support your efforts to create a better, more equitable campus community for everyone.

In solidarity,
The CUASA Team



Carleton agrees to stop listing class locations publicly

As we first reported in Update on July 28, CUASA and CUPE 4600 issued a joint letter to Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon in response to the hateful stabbing at the University of Waterloo that resulted in the attack of Professor Katy Fulfer and two of her students respectfully demanding that Carleton take action and implement safeguards to protect the university community.

President Bacon replied on July 28, with assurances that the University was taking the situation seriously, but with no specific actions noted. CUASA and CUPE 4600 sent a follow-up letter to President Bacon on August 22, again respectfully demanding that locations of classes not be published for the general public, and that no employee teaching on subjects of oppression be required to teach in a room with one exit.

This past Monday, August 28, CUASA received a reply from Deputy Provost Catherine Khordoc, letting us know that the University was taking concrete actions to address some of the safety concerns raised, including new protocols that have been implemented regarding the information that is provided on the Carleton website. The classrooms where courses are being held is no longer posted publicly.

Further, Campus Safety Services (CSS), in collaboration with the Office of Risk Management (ORM), are offering safety assessments of classrooms or departments. Should anyone wish to request a safety assessment of their classroom or department, please contact Community Safety Co-ordinator Brittany Basten at [email protected]. To read about additional safety programs and resources, please go to:

We are grateful to the University for taking these initial steps, and trust that it will continue to work towards a safe and inclusive campus for all.



Meet Your New Officers: Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny, Chair, Collective Bargaining

Over the summer, we have been introducing the new members of CUASA’s Steering Committee, who started their mandate on July 1, 2023. In this update, we’d like to introduce Pierre, who is our new Chair, Collective Bargaining and Chief Negotiator.

Photo credit: Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny

Pierre (any pronouns) is a queer, disabled, non-binary, white settler Assistant Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies. Their research focuses on two broad areas—environmental law, particularly the marine environment, and trans justice—and their intersection manifested by the concept of queer ecology. Pierre is currently working on a project on the re-emergence of CHamoru (the Indigenous People of Guam) environmental law/governance and enhancing CHamoru self-determination. They are also working on a project seeking to uncovering the meaning of “trans justice” for the Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming community. Finally, they are studying what queer theory can teach us about human-animal relations. Before joining academia, Pierre was a practicing lawyer, and they remain a member of the Law Society of Ontario. They look forward to bringing their skills in action to improve the working conditions of Carleton’s faculty (professors and instructors) and librarians.



Know Your Rights – Follow Up on Course Design and Academic Freedom

Know Your Rights segments highlight different aspects that impact your employment at Carleton University, including highlights from the Collective Agreement in small, easy to understand bits.

In our previous Know Your Rights segment, we stated that faculty and instructors have the freedom to determine what topics they choose to teach in a course. Although Article 4(b) does grant the freedom to choose the topics to teach within a given course, that is within the limits of 15.2 (b) which states that “It is the responsibility of faculty employees to teach the course content as defined in the current calendar.”

This limitation impacts some courses more than others, depending on how descriptive the course calendar is. For example, in ECON 1001: Introduction to Microeconomics, the course description reads “An introduction to the major tools and policy problems of microeconomics. Economic analysis is applied to a variety of contemporary issues such as taxation, pollution, wage determination, poverty, market power, and international trade.” In this instance, specific subtopics are named, which would define to some degree the topics which must be included in the course. In other courses, such as ECON 5880: Data Science Analytics, the course description merely reads “Topics may vary from year to year and are announced in advance of the registration period.” Similarly, ECON 5607: Topics in Monetary Economics, the course description reads “Coverage of one or more areas of current research on the frontiers of monetary economics.” Although these are just some examples from within the Economics unit, there are many such examples of varying degrees of descriptiveness across campus in the course calendar.

If you have any questions or concerns about course design and academic freedom, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected] for more information.



Survey request: Help us improve the Annual Report on Teaching Effectiveness – Deadline: September 13

The Joint Subcommittee on Teaching Evaluations (JSTE) team, made up of members from the University administration and CUASA representatives, developed the Annual Review on Teaching Effectiveness (ARTE). The ARTE gives you a voice in your own teaching evaluation process and we would like to know how to improve this new tool. Please fill out this brief confidential survey:

You can review the ARTE here:

Information shared in the survey is confidential and will only be shared with the JSTE team. For more information contact the JSTE team at: [email protected].

The deadline is Wednesday, September 13.

We thank you for your participation!



Get involved: Volunteer with CUASA

Fall is right around the corner, and there’s still time to think about your service commitments for next year. If you’d like to contribute to CUASA’s work in the coming year, here are some ways you can help:

… join CUASA’s leadership with a role on the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee helps to set direction for the union, and administers Association policies. This committee meets once a month during the academic year, and roles on Steering typically include teaching releases in exchange for your service. We’re still looking for volunteers to serve as CUASA’s Vice President and Chair, Nominations and Elections.

… serve as a member of Anti-Racism Working Group

This Working Group is open to any CUASA member interested in addressing the issue of racism at Carleton. It usually meets once a month for one hour during the academic year.

… serve as a member of the Equity Committee

This Committee, which works in tandem with the Anti-Racism Working Group, typically meets once a month for one hour and addresses a broad scope of equity-related topics within CUASA and at Carleton.

… volunteer as a member of CUASA’s Investigatory Council

This Council works to address allegations of harassment between members. All members are trained on how to process complaints, investigate complaints, maintain confidentiality, and ensure procedural fairness during the investigatory and appeals processes. The Council meets as needed.

… join the new Mobilization Committee

This new Committee, approved by Council in May, is responsible for member mobilization and possible strike preparation as CUASA enters negotiations for a new collective agreement next spring 2024. The committee will likely meet once a month during the upcoming academic year.

… join the Joint Health and Safety Committee

This Committee meets four times a year to discuss topics of health and safety. It is made up of employer and worker representative from different areas of the Carleton community. CUASA members with knowledge of environmental and/or chemical hazards are especially encouraged to volunteer.

… join the Joint Subcommittee on Teaching Evaluations

This Committee meets twice monthly for one hour each. The first meeting is for CUASA committee members to discuss amongst themselves the topics we would like to prioritize, and the second meeting is with the administration to bring forward those issues. Topics discussed include the newly introduced Annual Report on Teaching Effectiveness (ARTE) and the Student Evaluation Questionnaires (SEQs).

For more information, or to volunteer for any of these positions, please contact the CUASA Office at [email protected].



Disability Caucus and 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride Caucus Meetings

Over the last year members have expressed interest in forming various caucus groups at CUASA. So far, we have had requests for a 2SLBGTQIA+ Pride Caucus and a Disability Caucus. If you are interested in participating in either caucus group, please contact Equity Officer Max López at [email protected] for more details. These caucus groups are intended to be a way for people from equity-seeking groups to find community connections, socialize, support one another, and share ideas with each other and with CUASA. These groups typically meet once or twice a term, with the potential to meet more frequently if the members would prefer.



Academic Community Updates

A Labour Day Interview with OCUFA President Nigmendra Narain

OCUFA’s new President Nigmendra Narain, a Lecturer in Political Science at Western University, started his two-year term in July 2023. In recognition of Labour Day, he talks about the labour issues faculty and academic librarians face today, and how we can work collaboratively to improve working conditions for all workers across our campuses and our province.

Read the interview here.


CAUT August Advocate

Every month CAUT issues a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. In the August issue:

  • Lakehead academic staff demand collegial governance
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine academic staff unanimously support strike
  • CAUT calls for $400-million investment in science and research
  • CAUT supports Hassan Diab petition
  • Rebecca Givan to keynote the Contract Academic Staff Conference



Labour Day March & Picnic: Monday, September 4

The Ottawa & District Labour Council is excited to announce its annual Labour Day March and Picnic being held on Monday, September 4, 2023.

The day starts with a march which will depart from City Hall (Lisgar Street side), leaving at 12:00pm, and will finish with a picnic at McNabb Park (Bronson and Gladstone). The day is filled with fun activities, and everything is free, including a moon bounce, live music, pony rides, face painting, a wading pool with lifeguards, and a barbecue.

Come join us – look for the CUASA flags!




CUASA at Capital Pride

CUASA was proud to join our fellow workers with the Ottawa and District Labour Council in the Capital Pride Parade this past Sunday, August 27. Here are a couple photos from the day:


The Ottawa and District Labour Council contingent at the Capital Pride Parade on August 27, 2023.
Photo credit: Dominique Marshall


CUASA President Dominique Marshall, left, and Chair of Equity Stêfy McKnight, right,
marching in the Capital Pride Parade on August 27, 2023.
Photo credit: Stêfy McKnight


© 2023 Carleton University Academic Staff Association

Recent Posts