The Communiqué – October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018

Editor: Vandna Bhatia (Political Science)

In this issue:


General Membership Meeting

Wednesday October 3, 2018 – 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Residence Commons 214

Members are invited to CUASA’s Fall Term GMM. You will have a chance to meet new staff and officers, and receive updates on CUASA’s work. This GMM will also include a special session to discuss the Government of Ontario’s Campus Free Speech policy, to get your views and insights on how CUASA and the University can respond.

Would you like information on the Ford government’s directive to Ontario universities to craft, implement, and enforce new Free Speech Policies by January 2019? Would you like to discuss its implications with colleagues? Then come to the GMM on Wednesday where we have dedicated time to take up this important issue. You can read our one page backgrounder here.

Council Meeting Recap – September 19, 2018

The first CUASA Council meeting of the academic year began with a report from the President, Root Gorelick (Biology), and other Officers of the Association (whom you can meet here!).

  • Martha Attridge Bufton (Library), one of CUASA’s two Pension Committee appointees, provided a status update on the Carleton University Pension Plan. CUASA, along with other campus unions, will be participating in the Joint Pension Review Committee (JPRC) to consider improvements to the governance and decision-making around the pension plan.
  • Council approved an annual research grant ($2500) for up to two visiting scholars who are sponsored through Carleton’s Scholars At Risk program.
  • CUASA’s Chair of the Collective Bargaining Committee, Chantal Dion (French), reported on actions after the Collective Agreement was signed on June 17, 2018. The Committee is moving ahead on newly negotiated items, including forming joint committees with the University on Digital Learning and the Instructor rank. CUASA and Carleton are in the process of selecting an expert to conduct a study of the gender pay gap. The parties also discussed CUASA’s participation at the Joint Pension Review Committee. The University and CUASA are moving on the issue of Teaching Evaluations, and looking at alternative tools to pilot in the new year.
  • The new Chair of the Internal Affairs Committee, Brenda Vellino (English), will be working with Councillors to conduct a member engagement survey for CUASA – we look forward to your input! We are also hoping to host some Lunch and Learn sessions this year, so please contact Brenda if you have ideas for a hot topic!
  • The official signing of the collective agreement is scheduled tentatively for October 31.

Computer Funds for Faculty

Computer purchase funds are included in the new Collective Agreement, under Article 6.3(e), for newly hired CUASA members, beginning July 1, 2018. Each CUASA employee is entitled to $1,500 for the purchase of a laptop or desktop computer of their choice – over and above research start-up funds. Existing employees are entitled to be reimbursed $1,500 every four years for the cost of a replacement laptop or desktop for computers that are at least four years old. The $1,500 will be distributed on a cycle beginning in January 2019, with one-quarter of employees being reimbursed per year. Deans will make reimbursement decisions in consultation with Chairs/Directors.

We have heard from some newly hired members that they are having difficulty accessing these computer funds. Please contact CUASA’s Director/Senior Grievance & Arbitration Officer, Christal Côté if you have concerns or any questions.

Faculty Senate Representatives Lunch

As a new initiative this academic year, CUASA will hold monthly lunch meetings for CUASA members of the University Senate. These lunches will give Senators and CUASA officers an opportunity to meet and discuss issues and concerns of faculty members relating to Senate business.

Volunteers Please

CUASA has openings for a number of critical positions on Council, Steering, as well a number of other key committees. Our Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. The Collective Agreement recognizes CUASA work as Service in members’ annual reviews. We having openings for the following:

In the News

Ryerson Arbitration Decision Regarding Use of Student Evaluations of Teaching

An arbitration award between the Ryerson Faculty Association and Ryerson University has established an important precedent for faculty associations, and lends support to the concerns long raised by CUASA about the use of student evaluations of teaching for evaluating teaching effectiveness. CUASA and the University will be piloting an improved student evaluation instrument for full professors in the winter term that addresses some of these concerns. A summary of the Ryerson decision can be found at the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) blog, and the full decision is here: Ryerson University v Ryerson Faculty Association, 2018 CanLII 58446 (ON LA).

Ontario Government’s Campus Free Speech Policy

On August 30, 2018, the Ford government announced that each university and college in Ontario must develop a ‘Campus Free Speech Policy’, along with compliance and reporting mechanisms for the policy, or risk reductions in their operating funds. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has described the government’s directive as “unprecedented interference with institutional autonomy” that may ultimately “have the effect of actually curtailing free expression on campus.” Read the full statement here.

CUASA members are encouraged to attend the upcoming GMM on October 3 to discuss this decision of the government, identify your concerns, and discuss how the Association and University can respond.

Coming Events – Mark Your Calendars!

  • General Membership Meeting, October 3, 3-5pm, Residence Commons 214
  • Instructors’ Town Hall Meeting, October 10, 3:30-5pm, Residence Commons 214
  • CUASA Council Meeting, October 17, 1-3pm, 4351 Herzberg Building
  • CUASA Council Meeting, November 21, 1-3pm, 4351 Herzberg Building
  • In the new year, keep a look out for CUASA’s Tenure and Promotion Workshops
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