Weekly Update – October 15

October 15, 2020

Weekly Update – October 15

“Doing My Best”

Today, CUASA is launching a new campaign called “Doing My Best”. The University seems intent on acting like everything is “business as usual”, but our members know that’s just not true.

We have heard countless stories from members who are struggling under the burdens of increased workloads on top of personal responsibilities. Thus far, Carleton has been unwilling to provide relief for our struggling members, except to tell them they would have to take a pay cut in order to be provided any release from their workload expectations. They continue to overlook the fact workload is assigned by the employer.

To introduce the “Doing My Best” campaign, Dawn Moore, Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies and CUASA’s Chair of Equity shares with us all a personal and unedited look into the reality of being a professor.

Click on the photo below to watch Dawn’s video.

If you want to be part of the campaign, please send videos, photos, or stories to Dawn by emailing equity@cuasa.ca. Each week, we’ll feature a different CUASA member and let them explain how they’re doing their best.

Things are not “business as usual”, and we hope the University will recognize that and work with the Association to provide better support for our members and work towards a campus-wide workload plan.

Grievance Updates

As we announced on Tuesday, following the University ceasing informal discussions on the trilogy of workload grievances, the Association has filed to escalate to the formal grievance stage. A formal grievance hearing will now be scheduled. Updates will be communicated to the membership as they become available.

We also wish to inform our members that the Association has initiated the informal grievance process following the University’s announcement that it will be changing the CDI criteria for the 2020-2021 academic year without consulting with the Union. More information on this topic can be found here.

OIRP Email on Teaching Evaluations

CUASA has heard from members that an email was sent yesterday from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning (OIRP) regarding online teaching evaluation selection for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms. We are concerned that members are being asked to decide on their Winter term courses now, particularly given that, while CUASA does have an agreement with Carleton for the Fall term, there has been no such agreement for the winter term.

We are equally concerned that this email from OIRP contains information that is contrary to the Letter of Understanding that CUASA has negotiated with Carleton. For example, the email says members have to opt-out of having evaluations administered for their courses, while the LOU says the opposite and that members who do not opt-in shall be considered to have declined to administer evaluations in electronic format.

We are currently in discussions with the University regarding this email and will pass on any updates as they become available.

CUASA Business and Events

Nominations for Steering Positions

We are still accepting nominations for the following Steering positions:

  • Communications Officer
  • 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 one CUASA member to serve on the Joint Committee on Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JCEE). Details on the mandate of this important committee can be found here. If you are interested in serving on the JCEE, please email cuasa@cuasa.ca.

We are also seeking CUASA members to serve on the Association’s internal Equity Committee. Here is a note from our Chair of Equity, Dawn Moore:

“I am convening CUASA’s Equity Committee. We have an exciting year ahead of us and a lot to get done. We need to ready ourselves to be working and teaching in an upside-down world in which discrimination and inequality are finally making headlines and we see vital debates ongoing regarding the future of Universities in a world in which racism, colonialism, gender inequality, trans and homophobia, ableism and ageism must be addressed. The Black Lives Matter Movement and COVID are showing us how gender inequality persists, poverty and racism deeply impact health, and the lives of folks with disabilities are unduly jeopardized.  In our own backyard we see our colleagues, students and friends struggling to keep working without childcare. Those in our community who are immune-compromised are experiencing extreme stress and lockdown is creating an unprecedented mental health crisis.  At the same time, we worry for our BIPOC colleagues, students, friends and loved ones in the face of relentless violence and killings. These problems are in our own house, they impact us all and we must act now to address them.

The University intends to move very quickly on devising its Equity, Inclusion and Diversity plan AND we are moving into bargaining, all under the most remarkable circumstances of our time. This is our moment to make significant equity gains, but we will have to work hard to get them and make sure they suit our community and most importantly our current and future members.

Please send an email to equity@cuasa.ca to express your interest in doing committee work. Given the context of COVID we will work together to devise work strategies that respect extenuating circumstances and people’s very real stresses around mental and physical health, as well as caregiving in the absence of safe and reliable childcare.

All emails are confidential.”

Working from Home: Virtual Health & Safety Information Series

The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) and the Workers Health & Safety Centre are offering a free virtual information series on working from home. It will take place on Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00pm. Advance registration is required, which you can do here. For more information, contact jennifer@ottawalabour.org.

2021 Achievement Award Competition

The competition for the Carleton University 2021 Achievement Awards is now open. Here are the awards available to CUASA members and the due dates for applications:

Here is some information on the support available for applications:

  • Contact the Carleton Office for Research Initiatives and Services at coris@carleton.ca or the Office of the Dean of your Faculty if you have questions about the Research Achievement Awards.
  • Contact Faculty Affairs at faculty.affairs@carleton.ca if you need assistance with Teaching Achievement Award, Professional Achievement Award applications.

More information is available in the CUASA Collective Agreement. Click here to read Article 41.

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