Weekly Update – October 23

October 23, 2020

Weekly Update – October 23

CBC COVID-19 Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered our personal and professional lives, and the CUASA Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) wishes to seek additional input from the membership.

Today, the CBC is launching a new survey to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on CUASA members and to determine priorities for bargaining. The survey will run until Sunday, November 15.

Members can find the link to the survey in their email. Please note that this survey is meant only for CUASA bargaining unit members. We kindly ask that you please not share the link to the survey.

This survey follows the one that ran from January 30 to March 31, 2020. Members can find a link to the report on that survey in their email. Please do not share the link to this report.

Note: if you can’t find the link to the report or the survey in your email, please contact cuasa@cuasa.ca.

“Doing My Best”

Last week, we introduced the new “Doing My Best” campaign.

This week, Stacy Douglas, Associate Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies, shares her story:

“My partner and I have been taking care of my three-year-old daughter at home since the pandemic started. Although we love spending extra time with her, sharing childcare at home means, in addition to constant social reproduction, we’ve been doing wage work on evenings and weekends for the past six months. Like many others, during this time, we’ve also undergone some big familial events, including my mom and sister-in-law’s diagnosis with breast cancer, and a series of treatments for myself after benign tumours were found at the base of my spine.

We sent our daughter back to daycare in September but after 4 weeks, a case of COVID shut down the entire centre. October was spent juggling childcare and full time work again. One of the hardest things about taking care of small children during the pandemic is having no one to play with, no drop-ins to turn up to, and constantly telling your child to “keep their distance” from other human beings.

Most days, I just live minute to minute so as to keep the existentially crushing anxiety of how much work has slipped through the cracks at bay. My partner is an untenured academic and so feels the weight of the work in much more strenuous ways than I. Still, I am lucky to have someone to co-parent with, and to be relatively healthy and housed, as I #domybest.”

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.

CUASA Business and Events

New Instructor Representative

We would like to welcome Marylynn Steckley, Instructor III in Global and International Studies, who is joining the CUASA Steering Committee as the Instructor Representative.

Nominations for Steering Positions

We are still accepting nominations for the following Steering positions:

  • Communications Officer
  • Chair, Nominations and Elections
  • Chair, Internal Affairs

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. Please send an email to equity@cuasa.ca if you are interested.

Labour Community Updates

Solidarity with PSUO-SSUO

CUASA stands in solidarity with the 1,300 members of PSUO-SSUO (OSSTF District 35), representing Support Staff at the University of Ottawa, who have been on strike since 12:01am on Monday, October 19. We call on the University of Ottawa to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal with PSUO-SSUO.

CUASA members wishing to express solidarity are asked to email University of Ottawa President Jacques Frémont (president@uOttawa.ca). You can also express solidarity on Twitter using #FairDealNow4PSUO.

If you have the time and opportunity, you could perhaps visit the picket line after 4:00pm Monday to Friday. Strict health and safety guidelines are always in place such as social distancing and wearing masks. If you’re in the area at a different time, or are unable to join the picket line, we encourage you to wave or honk your car’s horn and show solidarity.

Click here to read the letter sent to President Frémont from the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition.

Academic Community Updates

Invitation to participate in OCUFA survey on impacts of COVID-19

OCUFA is currently undertaking a survey of faculty members, academic librarians, and other academic professionals at Ontario’s universities regarding the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their work, including teaching, research, relationships with students, and other key areas of responsibility.

Findings from the survey will be used to inform policies and practices that can ameliorate any adverse impacts of operational or administrative changes arising from COVID-19 to help universities, faculty, staff, and students adjust to a post-pandemic environment. The aggregated survey results will play a vital role in supporting political and public advocacy work on behalf of faculty, academic librarians, and other academic professionals at your institution and across Ontario.

Your feedback regarding your personal work-related experiences during the pandemic is enormously valuable and will be used to identify strategies that can optimize the ability of faculty, staff, and students to flourish within circumstances that constitute a “new normal.” The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and the privacy and confidentiality of your responses are completely assured.

Please click on the link below to begin:


Jenny Ahn hired as next OCUFA Executive Director

Jenny Ahn will be the next Executive Director of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. Ahn has worked with civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the labour movement across Canada and internationally. She joins OCUFA after having spent over two decades in leadership roles with Unifor and its predecessor, the Canadian Autoworkers Workers union. Click here to read more.

Government must change course on decision to give university status to Canada Christian College

Following the alarming news that the Ontario government is trying to discreetly pass legislation that will give the Canada Christian College and several other private institutions university status and the ability to award degrees, OCUFA sent the following letter to Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano raising concerns about the legislation and urging the government to change course.

Report sheds new light on harmful impacts of student questionnaire feedback

In 2018, OCUFA supported a study of the implications of open-ended student comments in these questionnaires and how they might affect faculty mental health, wellbeing, professional self-esteem, and pedagogical practise. Also supported by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), the results have been published in a new report. Click here to read more.

CAUT will seek to intervene in Supreme Court decision to hear copyright appeals

Following the announcement by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) to hear appeals in protracted copyright litigation between York University and collective licencing agency Access Copyright, CAUT will seek to intervene to voice concerns of post-secondary teachers, researchers and students. Click here to read more.

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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