The Communiqué: Volume 46, No. 6 – Nov. 17, 2023


In this Issue:

  • CUASA 2023 Bargaining Themes Survey, extended to Monday, November 20
  • Meet Your Collective Bargaining Committee Members
  • Get involved: Volunteer with CUASA
  • CUASA Disability Caucus and CUASA 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride Caucus Upcoming Meetings
  • Giving Tuesday is November 28
  • Updates from OCUFA and CAUT



CUASA 2023 Bargaining Themes Survey, extended to Monday, November 20

Thank you to the over 500 members who responded to our 2023 Bargaining Themes survey! Over half of CUASA’s membership provided input, making for the best response rate to one of our pre-bargaining surveys in recent history.

We heard from some members who were unable to complete the survey before the deadline that they would like to contribute, so we have extended the deadline to 4:30pm on Monday, November 20.

Members who not completed the survey and still wish to do so can find the link in their emails, or by contacting [email protected].

Your input is important and will guide us in our plans for bargaining.

There are 17 bargaining questions and 8 demographic questions in this survey. It should take you between 5 and 20 minutes to respond, depending on the length of your answers.



Meet Your Collective Bargaining Committee Members

The CUASA Collective Bargaining Committee is hard at work ahead of the expiration of the collective agreement on April 30, 2024. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing you to the volunteers serving on the CBC who are dedicating their time in support of CUASA members as we prepare for the upcoming round of negotiations. In this issue, we’d like you to meet Elena Zabolotnii:


Photo credit: Elena Zabolotnii


Elena Zabolotnii is an assistant professor of civil and geotechnical engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Before pursuing her graduate studies in Geotech, Elena was an engineering practitioner of civil, geotechnical and transportation engineering. She worked as a consultant, with operators and government agencies. She obtained her PhD from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Elena is a dedicated educator who has been involved in improving teaching at Carleton University through a variety of initiatives, including the development of an Indigenous Learning Bundle for civil and environmental engineers (a collaboration with the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies), the inclusion of experiential learning into her classes, and the development of new experiential learning courses.



Get involved: Volunteer with CUASA

The Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. If you’d like to contribute to CUASA’s work, 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 a volunteer to serve as CUASA’s Vice President.

… 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 during the academic year.

… 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 academic year.

For more information, or to volunteer for any of these positions, please contact the CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Wasiu Raji, at [email protected].



Disability Caucus and 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride Caucus Upcoming 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, organize, 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.



Giving Tuesday is November 28

Save the date – Giving Tuesday is coming on November 28. The University has announced that this year, all gifts made through Future Funder between midnight and 11:59 PM (EST) will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

As always, CUASA will be making its annual donation to the Scholars at Risk fund, and we encourage our members to consider doing the same. You can learn more about the Scholars at Risk program here.

Please also consider giving to one the four CUASA funded scholarships for students:

  • CUASA Scholarship
  • CUASA Bill Jones Award
  • CUASA Bursary
  • CUASA Business Agent’s Bursary



Updates from OCUFA and CAUT

OCUFA’s position on yesterday’s Ontario Blue-Ribbon panel “Report to Support Financial Sustainability of Postsecondary Education System”

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) says the government’s Blue-Ribbon Panel’s recommendations fall far short of what is required to even adequately fund Ontario’s world-class public universities.

“How can we continue to aim for world-class excellence when we are dead last in Canada in per capita student funding?” said Nigmendra Narain, President of OCUFA. “Even if fully implemented, the panel’s recommendations would still leave Ontario’s public universities with the lowest provincial funding and the near-highest tuition for students in the country, so they would not put universities and colleges on viable, much less sustainable, footing.”

In reviewing the panel’s report, OCUFA has found that, even with the proposed 10% increase in public postsecondary funding this year, Ontario’s universities would remain the lowest per-student funded institutions in the entire country. The panel has also recommended much more modest increases in subsequent years, but even if the province were to maintain an annual 10% increase, OCUFA estimates it would take 10 years just to reach the Canadian average. Indeed, universities will continue to get less but still expected to do more.

Read the full statement from OCUFA.


CAUT November Advocate

Every month CAUT issues a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on November 06, 2023.

In this issue:

  • Lessons in solidarity at the Contract Academic Staff Conference
  • CAUT calls for Ontario Minister to apologize for comments in the legislature
  • Academic freedom in times of conflict
  • CAUT condemns detention of Iranian teacher unionists
  • CAUT appears before Parliament on faculty pay gaps
  • NUFSA reaches tentative deal
  • Call on Brescia and Western to respect collegial governance
  • Quebec tuition hike for out-of-province students


Organizing for Climate Action: CAUT Virtual School Opened to all CUASA members – December 4-8

CAUT provides virtual workshops to assist associations in building active and knowledgeable memberships. From December 4 to 8, CAUT will be offering an Organizing for Climate Action course.

Climate change is the pressing challenge of our generation. Academic associations can play a leading role in organizing their members to help our universities and colleges reduce their environmental impacts. In this course, participants will explore how their association can organize their membership through climate change campaigns and as part of the collective bargaining process.

If you are interested in participating, please contact [email protected] by November 27.

To read earlier CAUT materials on climate action, see the brochure “Confronting Climate Change on Campus”.


© 2023 Carleton University Academic Staff Association

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