Weekly Update – April 8, 2022
April 8, 2022
Weekly Update – April 8, 2022
CUASA Office Closure and Pause on Update
Please note the virtual CUASA Office will be closed for Good Friday, April 15. Limited staff services will be provided on Easter Monday, April 18, with full service resuming on Tuesday, April 19.
Accordingly, there will be no Weekly Update next Friday, April 15. Updates will resume on Friday, April 22. Should there be any urgent topics that arise, we will share those as needed.
However, members are encouraged to watch for the second official notice of the constitutional referendum and upcoming information sessions early next week.
CUASA calls on Carleton to keep mask requirements and to resume case reporting
In light of recent reports of rising wastewater levels of the coronavirus, and increased numbers of hospitalizations, outbreaks, and test positivity, CUASA is extremely concerned with Carleton University’s plan to drop vaccine and mask requirements on May 1, 2022.
The university has said that, while individuals will no longer be required to wear a mask on campus after May 1, it does recommend doing so when indoors and when physical distancing can’t be maintained. However, the Association feels this is simply not enough, particularly in light of recent reports from members that they have been told they are not allowed to ask students to wear masks in their classrooms or when attending office hours.
CUASA is equally concerned that the University recently stopped reporting the number of active cases on campus and removed all of the previous data from its case counts webpage. This is particularly alarming given that the March statistics reported by Carleton showed a steep rise in cases, as reported this week by the Ottawa Citizen.
CUASA President Angelo Mingarelli was interviewed by the Citizen and had this to say:
“There should be complete disclosure, they should be transparent. They should be accountable to the community as a whole. It looks bad when the number of cases goes up, right? … Of course it looks bad, and students don’t want to come back on campus. If you stop reporting, it looks better. Students don’t know. But we want to know.”
This week, President Mingarelli wrote to Deputy Provost, Catherine Khordoc, asking the University to keep mask requirements and to resume the reporting of cases on campus. This move would not be without precedent in the province, as Brock University recently announced it will be keeping its mask mandates in place beyond the end of the current term.
While CUASA sincerely hopes that the University will do what is best for the health and safety of all members of the Carleton and wider communities, the Association also asks its members to continue masking on campus, regardless of what the University’s official policy is. It is the right thing to do to protect yourself, your families and friends, and the community around you.
This pandemic is far from over, and we should not be acting like it is, particularly when all evidence points to an increased spread of the virus.
CUASA statement on threats to academics
CUASA strongly condemns hate groups of all kinds and extends its solidarity to those who receive threats in response to their work speaking out against violent rhetoric and extremist ideologies. Specifically, CUASA acknowledges the uprise in Hindu nationalism and Hindutva ideology which impacts Muslims, Dalits, and other minority groups. We support the academic freedom of all our members to speak out against this and other forms of violent, racial, radical, and religious nationalism running rampant within the fabric of our society. We stand against all forms of hate and bigotry.
Annual Tenure/Confirmation and Promotion Workshops
Each spring CUASA presents Tenure/Confirmation and Promotion workshops, which cover the process for applying for tenure/confirmation and/or promotion, the preparation of dossiers, and the appeals process in the event of a denial.
The dates and times for this year’s workshops are as follows:
- Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
- Promotion to Full Professor
- Librarian Confirmation and Promotion
- Instructor Confirmation and Promotion
All workshops will be held virtually on Zoom. Click on the dates above to register for the workshop you would like to attend.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Last week, the first of two official notices was given that a vote will be held on a series of proposed amendments to the CUASA Constitution. As required by Article XIV, these amendments were endorsed by 15 members of the Association and subsequently passed by a majority of CUASA Council at its meeting of March 24, 2022.
A document outlining the process, including the vote questions, text of the proposed amendments and their rationale, can be found here.
We will be holding two information sessions on Thursday, April 14, from 1:00-3:00pm, and Wednesday, April 20, from 10:00am-12:00pm (Zoom details to follow).
The vote will be administered electronically from Wednesday, April 27, at 12:00pm to Friday, April 29, at 12:00pm.
Note: Only members who have joined the Association are eligible to vote. Membership in the bargaining unit is not the same as membership in the Association. If you haven’t filled out your membership card yet, or aren’t sure if you’ve filled one out before, you can do so using the form found here.
The CUASA Office must have received your membership application by 4:30pm on Monday, April 25, 2022, for you to be eligible to participate in the vote.
Nominations for Steering Positions
We are accepting nominations for the following Steering Committee positions for terms beginning on July 1, 2022 (click on the position title to view the description):
- External Relations Officer
- Chair, Grievance Policy and Administration
- Instructor Representative
- Librarian Representative
Information on the nominations process can be found on our How to Volunteer page. Remember that our Association is only as strong as its membership, so we count on the time and commitment of our members to achieve our goals. Some of these positions come with a course release subject to the availability of funds (please ask if interested).
If you have any questions about the positions or the process, please contact CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Marylynn Steckley, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Community Updates
French language programs at Laurentian should be restored following report exposing failures by university and Ford government
With the French Language Services Commissioner’s revelations that the Laurentian University administration and Ford government failed in their responsibilities to safeguard the interests of the province’s French speakers, OCUFA is calling for the 28 French language programs cut by the university to be restored.
“This report demonstrates serious failures on the part of the Laurentian University administration and Ford government to protect French language rights in Ontario,” said Sue Wurtele, OCUFA President. “Instead of following proper process and considering how these cuts would damage the educational options available to the Franco-Ontarian population, the university and government ignored their responsibilities and facilitated the collapse of French language programming at Laurentian.”
To read OCUFA’s full statement, click here.
Quebec Academic Freedom Bill: More clarity needed, says CAUT
CAUT is welcoming parts of the Quebec government’s proposed bill on academic freedom, but says important clarifications and amendments are needed to ensure academic staff retain already existing legal rights.
CAUT Executive Director David Robinson says it is encouraging that the legislation has adopted a broad and liberal interpretation of academic freedom as encompassing the right of academic staff to teach, to research, to participate in and criticize the governance of their institutions, and to engage in public debate and criticism without institutional censorship.
To read CAUT’s full statement, click here.
BUDGET 2022: Failing marks for no new investments in post-secondary education
The 2022 federal budget—while strong on delivering essential programs that will benefit precarious workers, students and others—gets failing marks for doing little to ensure equitable and affordable access to university and college education and contribute to creating quality jobs in post-secondary education over the long run.
CAUT welcomes historic investments in public health services championed by organized labour—including dental and pharmacare. But CAUT warns that the absence of a significant investment in post-secondary education is short-sighted and may limit the government’s long-term capacity to deliver on ambitious new commitments.
To read CAUT’s full statement, click here.