Weekly Update – June 12

June 12, 2020

Weekly Update – June 12

Reopening of Ontario Postsecondary Institutions

This week, Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano announced a new program that provides a framework for Ontario’s postsecondary institutions to allow some students to return to campus on July 2.

OCUFA issued a statement, saying “University faculty are committed to doing everything they can to maintain educational quality and continuity in these challenging times, but health and safety must continue to be the priority. Faculty are concerned that Ontario’s universities may not be ready to safely reopen.”

CUASA shares these concerns expressed by OCUFA. We asked the University if Carleton anticipated any changes based on the Minister’s announcement. Deputy Provost Lorraine Dyke told us that, while Carleton has not yet received any information from the Ministry regarding the details of this program, the administration does not anticipate any change to the plans for the fall term at this time.

You can read OCUFA’s full statement here.

Court strikes down Manitoba’s wage freeze bill

A Manitoba judge has thrown out controversial legislation that sought to freeze the wages of more than 100,000 public sector workers. The judge slammed the government’s approach as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read the full news story here.

CUASA will look closely at this ruling and its potential implications for our challenge against the Ontario government’s Bill 124. You can find more details on our challenge here.

Grievance Updates

As we previously announced, CUASA filed a trilogy of workload grievances under COVID-19, related to teaching, research, and service. We met with the University administration this week for the initial informal hearing. The University now has 25 working days to satisfactorily respond to the Association’s concerns and work with the Association towards an amicable resolution. The Association has proposed a variety of solutions to allow individual customization of workloads, provide more resources and tools to chairs and directors to do so, as well as meet its obligations under the Human Rights Code. The Association has strongly recommended against taking a firm, “cookie cutter” approach to workload at a time when our members were already experiencing work overloads as they pivot to longer-term academic planning strategies due to the pandemic. More updates will be provided as the discussion unfolds.

CUASA Business and Events

Adjournment of the AGM

The last remaining agenda item for the April General Meeting was a motion for the approval of a budget for 2020-2021. Now that this budget motion has been carried, the AGM is adjourned as per the last agenda note: “Adjournment: the AGM will officially adjourn when all formal motions arising from the AGM and the budget process are concluded and the results are announced.” Our thanks to all CUASA members who participated so diligently in the AGM and budget approval process.

Nominations for Steering Positions

We are still accepting nominations for the following Steering positions:

  • External Relations Officer
  • Communications Officer
  • Chair, Equity
  • Chair, Nominations and Elections
  • Chair, Internal Affairs
  • Instructor Representative

Information on the nominations process can be found on our How to Volunteer page. The work of the Association continues, despite the current environment we find ourselves in. 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.

Call for Volunteers

We are seeking volunteers to represent CUASA on the Carleton University Pension Committee (please see Terms of Reference for Pension Committee Appointees). If you’re interested in one of these positions, please contact cuasa@cuasa.ca.

Academic Community at Large

OCUFA’s statement on anti-Black racism protests

OCUFA has issued a statement on anti-Black racism protests, saying, “Universities and university faculty are not immune from systemic racism and universities often play a role in perpetuating and consolidating systems of exclusion. OCUFA recognizes that Ontario’s universities are colonial projects, deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, and we are committed to the work of building universities free of anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression.” Read the full statement here.

CAUT calls on the federal government to extend emergency wage subsidy support to universities and colleges

In recommendations presented to the federal government, CAUT is calling on Ottawa to allow universities and colleges to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Read the full announcement here.

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