The Communiqué – Volume 46, No. 10 – Feb. 2, 2024
In this Issue:
- Nominations Open: 2024 Steering Committee Elections
- Missed the GMM last Thursday, February 1?
- Reminder: Collective Bargaining Consultation, Wednesday, February 7
- Know Your Rights: Disconnecting from Work
- Get involved: Other Volunteer Opportunities at CUASA, Large and Small
- Disability Caucus and 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride Caucus Upcoming Meetings
- Updates from OCUFA and CAUT
Nominations Open: 2024 Steering Committee Elections
We are now accepting nominations for the Steering Committee for terms beginning on July 1, 2024. The Steering Committee helps to set direction for the union, and administers Association policies. This committee meets once a month during the academic year, typically on Thursday afternoons, and roles on this Committee typically include teaching releases in exchange for your service.
Nominations are now open for the following positions whose term of two years has expired (click on the position title to view the description):
- External Relations Officer
- Chair, Grievance Policy and Administration
- Instructor Representative
- Professional Librarian Representative
Nominations for President must be submitted to the CUASA Office by Thursday, March 28. Nominations for other positions must be submitted by Friday, April 26. Please send completed nomination forms to [email protected].
We are also still looking for a volunteer to serve as CUASA’s Vice President, for the term ending June 30, 2025. This is an essential role, and we would greatly appreciate having someone volunteer and help support the work of the President.
All nominations must be made using the form found here. All nomination forms must include the signatures of the nominee and two Association members as nominators.
If you have any questions about the positions or the process, please contact CUASA’s Chair, Nominations and Elections, Wasiu Raji, at [email protected].
Missed the GMM last Thursday, February 1?
Thank you to the members who attended our winter General Membership Meeting yesterday, February 1. For those who were unable to make it, we were sorry to miss you.
Yesterday’s meeting included an important update from our Chief Negotiator, Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny, on the preparations for the upcoming 2024 round of negotiations.
If you missed the GMM, but would like to see the slides from Pierre’s presentation, please contact [email protected].
Reminder: Collective Bargaining Consultation, February 7
Thanks to all of those who attended CUASA’s unit visits to connect with members and voiced your thoughts and concerns as we prepare for the 2024 round of collective bargaining. We have almost completed these visits – but in case you missed us, we want to provide one more opportunity for members to speak with our bargaining team.
As such, we’ll be hosting a final general collective bargaining consultation on Wednesday, February 7, from 2:00-3:00pm. The consultation session will happen on Zoom. Advance registration is required. Members can find the registration link in their emails (please contact [email protected] if you can’t find it).
Should you be unable to make the session next week, but still have something to share with our team, please feel free to contact CUASA Chief Negotiator Pierre Cloutier de Repentigny at [email protected].
Know Your Rights: Disconnecting from Work
Our Know Your Rights segments highlight different aspects that impact your employment at Carleton University, including highlights from the Collective Agreement in small, easy to understand bits. You can read previous Know Your Rights segments on our website.
CUASA has been hearing from some members with concerns that they feel pressured by their superiors, departmental administrators, or students to respond to emails outside of working hours. We wanted to take a moment to remind members of their rights when it comes to disconnecting from work.
Per Articles 13.2(g) and 13.4(a)(viii) of CUASA’s collective agreement, there is no expectation for faculty or instructors to respond to emails or phone calls from students between the hours of 5:00pm and 8:30am or on weekends.
While the collective agreement is only specific to contact from students, the University has adopted a Disconnecting From Work Policy in 2022, at the request of the Government of Ontario, “to ensure that, other than in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and their ‘regular work day’ … employees can ‘disconnect from work’”.
Under the policy, “’disconnecting from work’ means not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or the sending or reviewing of other work- related messages so as to be free from the performance of work outside of working hours”.
We previously brought our members’ concerns to the University at the Joint Committee for the Administration of the Agreement (JCAA), where the administration told CUASA that, while they cannot prevent someone from emailing our members outside of business hours, supervisors (i.e. Chairs/Directors/Deans) are supposed to be mindful of employees’ working hours.
To be clear, outside of exceptional circumstances, there is no expectation for CUASA members to have to respond to emails outside of working hours. Any members who feel like they are being pressured to do so should report such concerns to their Chair/Director or Dean. Please also loop us in by contacting [email protected].
Finally, we recognize that some members may have concerns that their student experience questionnaire (SEQ) scores may be impacted if they do not respond to students at all hours. We suggest that members should consider informing their students of the university policy about their availability, the importance of work-life balance, and explain that you are not available outside of regular working hours. We also suggest that you document any instance of undue pressure for future reference, and consider reaching out to CUASA’s Grievance Representatives at [email protected] for confidential advice in case of difficulty. Finally, our Collective Bargaining Committee is also aware of these concerns, and will consider them as it looks at means of addressing the use of SEQ scores in career decisions when bargaining begins later in the spring.
Get involved: Other Volunteer Opportunities at CUASA, Large and Small
The Association is as strong as its membership, so we count on the time, ideas and commitment of members to achieve and update CUASA’s goals. If you’d like to contribute to CUASA’s work and positions, here are some ways you can help:
… help us prepare for the 2024 round by joining the Collective Bargaining Committee
The collective agreement will expire on April 30, 2024, and our Collective Bargaining Committee is hard at work preparing for the 2024 round of negotiations. We’re looking for some new members to help us prepare. The committee usually meets once a month, but may have additional meetings as we get closer to the spring.
… 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.
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
CUASA’s 2SLBGTQIA+ Pride Caucus and Disability Caucus are now meeting regularly, and we are happy to welcome new members. 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.
Updates from OCUFA and CAUT
OCUFA offers a blueprint for revitalizing public universities
Earlier this week, OCUFA has recommended four solutions for investing in Ontario’s publicly funded university system in its pre-budget submission, Empowering Tomorrow: The OCUFA Blueprint for Revitalizing Ontario’s Public Universities.
In the submission, OCUFA outlined the problems created by provincial underfunding and offered its solutions for a thriving postsecondary sector:
- RECOMMENDATION ONE: OCUFA calls for compounding annual total provincial university funding increases of 11.75 per cent for a period of five years to reach the national average.
- RECOMMENDATION TWO: Instead of increasing domestic tuition, OCUFA echoes the call of student groups for government to enhance the student assistance budget and convert loans into grants.
- RECOMMENDATION THREE: OCUFA calls for a review of Ontario’s provincial funding formula, including the corridor model, with an embedded goal of supporting domestic enrolment growth.
- RECOMMENDATION FOUR: OCUFA calls for reversing the planned implementation of the performance-based funding scheme.
“For too long, faculty, staff, and students at Ontario universities have been forced to do much more with much less due to this underfunding,” said Nigmendra Narain, OCUFA President. “Our budget recommendations will ensure that our world-class publicly funded universities not just survive in the future but continue to thrive.”
OCUFA statements on international student cap
OCUFA has issued two statements regarding the federal government’s announcement of a cap on international students.
In the first, OCUFA called on the provincial government to step up their investment in postsecondary education following the announcement capping the number of approved international student visas.
“For too long, the Ontario government has cut off revenue streams and allowed bad actors in the postsecondary system to unfairly treat international students like ATMs,” said Nigmendra Narain, OCUFA President. “To address these bad actors and support our world-class education system, the way forward is for the provincial government to adequately fund our public system.”
In the second, OCUFA said the Minister of Colleges and Universities’ response to a two-year proposed cap on international student visas won’t solve the real problems plaguing the province’s universities.
“The government’s proposals for oversight of our postsecondary institutions miss the mark and focus on a manufactured crisis,” said Nigmendra Narain, OCUFA President. “Ontario needs international students, but universities need more funding from the government to provide the support that international—and domestic—students need to succeed inside and outside the classroom. The Ministry has not provided any tools to do this with these proposals.”
Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association prepares to strike
The Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association (MSVUFA) has set a strike deadline of February 10, 2024, unless a new contract is reached for nearly 160 full-time faculty, librarians, and lab instructors. The union has been working without a Collective Agreement since June of last year.
In a press release, MSVUFA president Dr. Susan Brigham said, “the collective bargaining process has been frustrating and disappointing as the Board of Governors has been dragging its feet.”
CAUT calls for B.C. minister’s resignation over political interference
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is joining the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of British Columbia (FPSE-BC) in calling on B.C.’s Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to resign following revelations she interfered in an internal personnel matter at Langara College.
On January 25, Minister Selina Robinson used her X account, formerly known as Twitter, to call for the termination of Dr. Natalie Knight, even though an investigation cleared the professor of any wrongdoing.
Dr. Knight was fired from the college within 24 hours of the minister’s posting.
CAUT January Advocate
Every month CAUT issues a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. In the January issue:
- Federal research security announcement
- International student cap: CAUT urges overhaul of strategy
- CAUT Francophones’ Conference
- CAUT committees call for nominations
- CAUT award nominations due February 1
- J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship for Doctoral Studies
Application Portal open for 2023-2024 OCUFA Awards of Distinction
OCUFA is now accepting nominations and applications for the 2023-2024 OCUFA Awards of Distinction.
Nomination and application deadline: March 8, 2024
The following awards are open for nominations:
- Nominate someone for the Equity and Social Justice Award
- Nominate someone for the OCUFA Service Award
- Nominate someone for the Lorimer Collective Bargaining Award
- Nominate someone for a Teaching and Academic Librarianship Award
The following fellowships are open for applications:
- Henry Mandelbaum Graduate Fellowships (Master’s and Doctoral)
- Mark Rosenfeld Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism
Read more about the purpose and guidelines for the OCUFA Awards of Distinction and past winners.
The Communiqué is published by the Carleton University Academic Staff Association. Past issues are archived on our website at CUASA.ca. The Communiqué publishes CUASA-related news and information for our members.
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