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News — Archives — 2009

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CAUT opposes NSERC's new grant programs read more …

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has written to the president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to express its opposition to 2 new grant programs that will support research for company-specific problems. The letter states NSERC must remain a granting council that enables peer-reviewed fundamental research. CAUT says it should have been consulted before NSERC established these programs.

Lakehead shutdown to go ahead despite faculty criticism read more …

Lakehead University will move ahead with its proposed 4-day shutdown the week before Christmas, despite strong opposition from the institution's faculty association, who say the plan violates members' collective bargaining agreement.

CAUT council condemns Ontario college management for refusing to negotiate in good faith read more …

Delegates attending the Canadian Association of University Teachers' national council last weekend passed a resolution condemning Ontario's College Compensation and Appointments Council for failing to bargain in good faith with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

U of T sessionals ratify tentative settlement read more …

Sessional instructors at the University of Toronto voted 96% in favour of ratifying the settlement.

McMaster TAs being "punished" for strike, union argues: read more …

The union representing McMaster University teaching and research assistants returning to work after a strike says the university is punishing them by reducing their first-term hours by 8%.

UWO shuttle bus service rapped read more …

The University of Western Ontario's two biggest unions are demanding administrators stop using "replacement workers" to drive students and employees to and from campus during the transit strike.

Western and the student council began running a "community van" program Monday afternoon, the first day members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 741 walked off the job.

Amalgamated Transit Union Strike read more …

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) calls for the UWO administration to cease operating the Western Community Vans (WCV) program. This program has been deemed strike-breaking activity by striking transit workers in London, ON, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 741.

Ontario college instructors consider strike action read more …

College students in Ontario could face a strike in the new year if full-time faculty choose to protest the colleges imposing a new contract rather than discussing it at the bargaining table. Ontario Colleges announced last Thursday they will exercise a new right that allows them to introduce a new contract should talks with the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union break down.

uAlberta academic staff to vote on furloughs read more …

The Association of Academic Staff at the University of Alberta has begun a referendum in which all staff are asked to back a proposal to take 6 days off without pay to help to school address a projected $59-million shortfall.

Striking McMaster TAs accept new contract read more …

Teaching and research assistants at McMaster University have gone back to work after voting 58% in favour of accepting the university's "best offer" contract.

Union membership vote for Ontario college part-timers challenged read more …

The Ontario College Compensation and Appointments Council is challenging a recent province-wide vote by part-time support staff at Ontario colleges to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The council argues the union did not get the required 35% of support staff to sign union membership cards to conduct a valid vote.

Tentative agreement at Toronto libraries read more …

The Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU) Local 4948 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the Toronto Public Library Board reached a tentative agreement averting a strike of over 2400 workers at libraries across Toronto.

McMaster teaching, research assistants go on strike read more …

Approximately 2,700 teaching and research assistants at McMaster University went on strike yesterday after rejecting a "best offer" package from the university over the weekend.

Nipissing professors approve strike mandate read more …

Last week, faculty at Nipissing University voted 95.8% in favour of a strike mandate. The university's faculty association is bargaining for an academic workload that ensures student-centred teaching and research is maintained, and a working environment conducive to recruiting and retaining qualified professors.

Union urges "greylisting" of London Met read more …

The University and College Union in the United Kingdom has issued an international call to suspend relationships with London Metropolitan University to protest the administration's plans to axe 550 jobs.

U of T sessionals in strike position November 9 read more …

Sessional instructors at the University of Toronto, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3902, Unit 3, will be in a legal strike position on Monday November 9.

The part-time lecturers and instructors, most of whom hold PhDs, teach 30 per cent of undergraduate courses at U of T.

"Not only do we carry a large part of the teaching load at the university," said Dr. Leslie Jermyn, spokesperson for the Union's bargaining team. "On average, our members earn a mere $15,000 a year."

Issues in the dispute include wages, job security, and support for scholarly activity and service.

McMaster union requests conciliator to 'set clock' on possible strike read more …

CUPE Local 3906, the union representing 2,700 teaching and research assistants at McMaster University, has requested that a "no board report" be imposed to permit a strike or lockout 17 days later.

Contract teachers at uToronto approve strike mandate read more …

In a vote this week, sessional lecturers, sessional instructional assistants, writing instructors, and music instructors at the University of Toronto have voted 70% in favour of a strike mandate.

Goodyear's office threatens to withhold increased SSHRC funding, e-mail indicates read more …

According to an e-mail obtained by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the office of Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear has threatened to withhold federal budget funding for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council over its decision to fund an Israel/Palestine conference co-hosted by York and Queen's Universities.

uCalgary should have reported president's pension earlier, says Alberta auditor-general read more …

Alberta's auditor-general has ordered the University of Calgary to report on president Harvey Weingarten's pension benefits retroactively after the figures were left off the books for 6 years, starting in 2002.

Canada's "top five" universities are wrong to ask for a bigger slice of the pie read more …

There is a fundamental crisis facing all of Canada's universities and colleges today, and that crisis is chronic under-funding. Most institutions understand this, as do students and their families, but the point seems to have been lost on the presidents of the so-called "top five" (Toronto, UBC, Alberta, McGill and Montreal). Instead of demanding much-needed investment in post-secondary education and academic research as a whole, or a bigger pie, they want a bigger slice of the existing pie for themselves, at everyone else's expense.

CAUT launches inquiry into York conference read more …

CAUT has set up an inquiry into issues arising from the Israel/Palestine conference held at York University this June.

McMaster support staff could begin striking next week read more …

if sanctioned, would take place Wednesday or Thursday. Canadian Auto Workers Local 555, which represents the support staff, is recommending its members reject the offer.

OPSEU says colleges "should be ashamed" for delaying unionizing vote count read more …

A spokesperson for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says the province's colleges "should be ashamed of themselves" for delaying the count of votes by part-time and sessional instructors looking for union representation.

Fired uOttawa researcher settles with university read more …

On August 25, a University of Ottawa researcher who was terminated when the lab she worked in was shut down following the suspension (and subsequent firing) of professor Denis Rancourt settled a lawsuit against the university.

Laurentian tried to write furlough days into new contract read more …

Laurentian University Staff Union president Tracy Oost claims that Laurentian University showed a "lack of respect" during the recent negotiations, and attempted to introduce unpaid days off for union workers in the event of financial exigency.

Maclean's says "universities at war" over research issue read more …

Maclean's followed up interviews with the presidents of Canada's "Big 5" universities with reactions from the presidents of 7 small and medium-sized institutions -- uWaterloo, Lakehead, uLethbridge, UOIT, STU, SFU, and UoGuelph. Most say they don't believe the Big 5 should become more research-intensive at the expense of other schools.

uManitoba researcher sanctioned over falsified results read more …

A former researcher at the University of Manitoba has been sanctioned by the institution after an internal investigation found that he produced fake results published in the prestigious science journal Nature, which retracted the study last winter.

York asks former judge to review academic conference read more …

York University president Mamdouh Shoukri has asked former Supreme Court of Canada judge and former University of Toronto president Frank Iacobucci to review the experience with the planning, organizing, and execution of the Israel/Palestine conference held in June.

Support staff at McMaster vote to strike read more …

58% of McMaster University support workers belonging to the Canadian Auto Workers Local 555 have voted in favour of strike action if necessary. The group, which includes 2,200 employees ranging from medical secretaries to bookstore staff, have another 3 days of contract talks scheduled before becoming eligible to strike on September 1.

More uWaterloo students failing English proficiency test read more …

More and more University of Waterloo students are not passing a written English test required in their first year -- even students for whom English is their first language and who have high school grade averages in the 90s.

BC makes $16-million cut to student-aid budget read more …

The Vancouver Sun reports that the BC government has reduced its $116-million student-aid budget to $100 million as part of the province's bid to cut costs by nearly $2 billion over 3 years.

Laurentian attempting to lock out staff, says union read more …

The president of Laurentian University Staff Union claims the school intends to resolve its financial difficulties by locking out some 250 staff members, as the university requested a no board report from the Ontario government after talks between both sides broke off last week.

CAUT president highlights threat posed by the casualization of academic work at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education read more …

Around the world, more and more university and college administrations are using the economic crisis as a pretext to impose hiring freezes and lay-offs, and to increase the use of part-time and fixed-term academic staff hired at low pay, with few if any benefits and no job security.

uCalgary expected to cut 200 positions read more …

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten warns of at least 200 job cuts this fall in an effort to reduce a $14.3-million shortfall. To manage the deficit, the university plans to increase enrolment and cut its 2009-10 operating budget by 3%.

University enrolment in Canada up slightly read more …

According to new Statistics Canada data, just over 1,066,000 students were enrolled in Canadian universities in the 2007-08 academic year, up 0.6% from 2006-2007. Of these students, 57.5% were women. The number of male students grew by 1.3%, compared to a 0.1% increase among women.

CUPE offers solutions to avoid job cuts at UoGuelph read more …

At its meeting Tuesday with University of Guelph administrators, the union representing sessional lecturers and teaching assistants at the institution presented 14 remedies to mitigate the negative impact on union members. CUPE Local 3913 is trying to save 130 teaching positions from being cut.

Trent releases new president's contract read more …

Following media inquiries, Trent University has posted online a copy of the employment contract with its new president, Steven Franklin. He will receive a $305,000 salary plus benefits, including a $1,200-a-month housing allowance and vehicle expenses.

Trespassing charges against fired uOttawa professor dropped read more …

A University of Ottawa spokeswoman says that trespassing charges against former physics professor Denis Rancourt have been dropped.

uCalgary to merge arts and social sciences faculties read more …

June 25th, the University of Calgary's board of governors voted in favour of unifying the faculties of humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and communications and culture into a single faculty.

70 academics reportedly arrested in Iran read more …

According to a website affiliated with defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, 70 university professors have been detained in the country in a widespread crackdown on protestors.

FNUC letter to CAUT tries to "rewrite history" read more …

In his letter to the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the First Nations University of Canada's board chair bases his request for CAUT to remove its censure of the university on the Supreme Court of Canada's rejection of an appeal regarding a case about a faculty member's academic freedom.

uOttawa tip line best left on drawing board read more …

An editorial published in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen describes the University of Ottawa's new anonymous tip line for staff to report employee misconduct as a "classic case of a solution in search of a problem." The editorial echoes CAUT's sentiment that the tip line will foster an atmosphere of distrust.

CAUT, York law faculty criticize SSHRC president for "bowing to political pressure" read more …

In separate open letters sent to Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council president Chad Gaffield, the Canadian Association of University Teachers and faculty members at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School express dismay in his response to Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear's request for the agency to review its grant for an Israel/Palestine conference taking place next week at York.

$94 million for medical research in Ontario read more …

The Ontario government announced last Thursday a $94-million investment in 31 genomics and medical research projects conducted by over 300 researchers in 7 communities across the province.

CUPE protests job cuts at McMaster graduation ceremonies read more …

CUPE Local 3906, which represents sessional instructors at McMaster University, picketed two McMaster convocation ceremonies yesterday to inform the public about layoffs as a result of the "major restructuring plans" taking place at the university.

Brandon U to leave 5% of faculty positions vacant read more …

In a bid to make over $1.2 million in cuts to balance its budget, Brandon University is leaving 5% of its professors' positions unfilled for the 2009-10 academic year.

Lakehead faculty grievance over Google e-mail dismissed read more …

An arbitrator has dismissed a grievance filed by the Lakehead University Faculty Association that argued the university had violated a collective bargaining agreement when it adopted Google's e-mail service.

OPSEU files complaint against Fanshawe read more …

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is trying to organize part-time teachers and support staff at Ontario's colleges.

uWindsor faculty, students criticize parking rate hikes read more …

In order to cope with a multimillion-dollar deficit, the University of Windsor will increase the cost of an 8-month faculty and staff parking permit by 60%, and a student permit by 30%, a move that is drawing criticism from both professors and students.

McGill to end fiscal year with $13-million deficit read more …

McGill University expects to finish the fiscal year with a $13-million shortfall. In order to operate on a balanced budget by May 2011, the university will implement cost-saving measures such as a 6-month freeze on wage and salary increases, a 3% salary reduction for senior administrators, and a 10% cut in pay for professors on sabbatical.

Social scientists told research funds will flow again read more …

Speaking at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Carleton University, Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear called on researchers to bring him their ideas for next year's investments.

$1 billion for Ontario campus infrastructure read more …

The federal and Ontario governments announced the first round of infrastructure investments totalling more than $1 billion under Ottawa's $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program for 28 projects at colleges and universities across the province.

uSask develops plan to reduce operating budget read more …

In order for the University of Saskatchewan to cut its operating budget by $10 million over the next 2 years, nearly all academic and administrative units will see a reduction in their budget allocations.

Lakehead could face potential $50-million deficit read more …

Lakehead University president Fred Gilbert says that unless the university implements some changes, it could face a possible deficit ranging between $35 million and $50 million in about 5 years.

Supreme Court ruling favours FNUC in academic freedom case read more …

The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the University of Regina Faculty Association's appeal of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal's overturning of a previous ruling that found the First Nations University of Canada had violated the academic freedom of professor Blair Stonechild.

Who are the highest-paid university faculty in Canada? read more …

According to a preliminary report from Statistics Canada, that would be full professors from the University of British Columbia, who earned an average $154,346 in 2008-09.

CAUT decries Lakehead pre-Christmas shutdown read more …

"Outraged" over news that Lakehead University is shutting down the institution for 4 days in December because of fiscal challenges, delegates at last month's Canadian Association of University Teachers Council meeting voted to condemn the decision, which CAUT says threatens the integrity of collective bargaining.

$6-million deficit at uSask read more …

The University of Saskatchewan's 2009-10 budget includes a $6-million operating deficit, which administrators hope to reduce to $1 million before the end of this month. Starting next year, uSask will need to redirect at least $10 million annually towards rebuilding the school's devalued investments, endowments, and pension fund.

King's applies for corporate status read more …

King's University College, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, is seeking corporate status as separately incorporated entity. As such, the institution's incorporated name will now include the University of Western Ontario.

Queen's faculty association say layoffs are already happening read more …

In response to Queen's University principal Tom Williams' warning that layoffs will be inevitable beginning next year should there be no plan to reduce salary costs, the university's faculty association says job cuts are happening right now.

SFU introduces FD grade read more …

As part of new changes to toughen its policies on academic dishonesty and student misconduct, Simon Fraser University has introduced a new letter grade called FD, meaning failed for academic dishonesty.

CUPE worries McMaster will trim use of sessional instructors read more …

A dearth of fall and winter postings for sessional instructors at McMaster University has left the union representing those instructors wondering if the university plans to make cuts to its traditional sessional contingent.

Steelworkers set up shop in Kingston to recruit Queen's staff read more …

The United Steelworkers Union has set up an office in downtown Kingston as part of its mission to organize the 1,800 non-unionized general staff at Queen's University.

UQAM faculty strike over read more …

Classes resumed at the Université du Québec à Montréal yesterday as 91% of professors who had been on strike since March 16 voted in favour of a new deal on Friday. The new contract includes an 11% pay hike over 4 years, and UQAM will hire 145 professors over 5 years.

Lakehead faculty protest pre-Christmas shutdown read more …

The Lakehead University Faculty Association plans to fight a 4-day shutdown just before this Christmas, which will mean a loss of pay for most university employees, because the move would violate the collective agreement the association has with Lakehead.

CAUT says Canada should not emulate Bologna Process read more …

Should the Bologna Process, under which European governments strive to harmonize their college and university systems, succeed in making the continent a more attractive education destination, Canada risks losing potential international students.

UWO senate to address budget woes read more …

The stage could be set today for layoffs, tuition hikes and cuts to student scholarships at a cash-strapped University of Western Ontario.

uToronto reviews investment plan after $1-billion loss read more …

In light of the $1.3-billion loss in the University of Toronto's endowment and pension funds, the institution is obligated "to ask some hard questions about broader structures and strategies for managing our investments".

UNB implements wage freeze, hiring cap read more …

In an effort to trim its operating budget, the University of New Brunswick will freeze the salaries of the university president, vice-presidents, and deans, as well as those of non-unionized staff from 2009 to 2011.

U of W seeks employee concessions read more …

The University of Winnipeg is asking its employees for millions of dollars in voluntary concessions to make up a budget shortfall.

York University ratifies new collective agreement read more …

CUPE 3903, the union that represents 3400 contract professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and research assistants at York University, has ratified a new collective agreement.

Ontario freshmen less mature, Wikipedia-reliant read more …

According to a new survey from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, 55% of professors and librarians in the province believe first-year students are less prepared for university education than students were just 3 years ago.

$1-billion investment loss at uToronto read more …

The University of Toronto reported Tuesday that it lost $1.3 billion on its investments last year.

UoGuelph cuts women's studies, organic agriculture programs read more …

On Monday, the senate board of undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph made the decision to eliminate the university's women's studies program and organic agriculture major due to low enrolment.

$84-million deficit projected at uAlberta read more …

The University of Alberta is expected to post an $84-million budget shortfall, mostly due to the economic downturn's impact on the school's investments.

$600 million for PSE in Manitoba budget read more …

In its latest budget, announced Wednesday, the Manitoba government outlines $609 million in PSE spending. The province will increase base operating grants and strategic program investments by 6% for universities and colleges, less than the 10% some institutions had sought.

CUPE claims pressure from UoGuelph to reopen contracts read more …

CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan says that in order to address financial challenges at the University of Guelph, school administrators have told union leaders to open up collective agreements or face the university shutting down in 2010.

UQAM professors protest salaries read more …

Last Thursday, hundreds of Université du Québec à Montréal professors, support staff, and students held a rally and march in downtown Montreal demanding faculty wage hikes of 11% over 3 years to be more in line with salaries offered at other Quebec universities.

UWO urged to defer capital projects before considering layoffs read more …

At a town hall-style meeting on Tuesday, over 500 University of Western Ontario employees and students took aim at administration and its plan to address a shortfall predicted to hit $41 million by 2011.

York president on the future of the university read more …

In his address to the university senate last Thursday, York University President Mamdouh Shoukri stated that before the school can realize its potential, threats holding the institution back must be addressed.

Financial challenges at Queen's signal faculty, budget cuts read more …

In his Principal's Report to the Community last Thursday, Queen's University principal Tom Williams announced that since April 30, the school's endowments have dropped $139 million in value. There will be a 15% budget cut across all academic and administrative units at Queen's over the next 3 years.

$8-million budget shortfall at Trent signals hiring, salary freeze read more …

In order to address a projected $7.8-million budget shortfall, Trent University has announced an immediate salary freeze for all senior and middle management within the extended management group going into the next fiscal year.

McGill, UBC, uToronto among Canada's Best Diversity Employers read more …

McGill University, and the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia were among 35 workplaces chosen as Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2009.

Strike at York University read more …

CUPE 3903's executive committee and bargaining team are pleased to announce that after nine months of negotiations--and the longest university strike in the history of English-speaking Canada--the union has reached a mediated settlement with York University.

Golden handshakes at "cash-strapped" Montreal universities read more …

The Montreal Gazette observes "astonishing" payouts and severance packages at supposedly "cash-strapped" Quebec universities, and blames a "corporate sector business model."

McGuinty blames York U. for lack of settlement read more …

School president rejects Ontario Premier's request to resume talks as government prepares to pass legislation ending 12-week strike

Layoffs Not on the Horizon for Most Firms read more …

Despite the current uncertainty, a majority of Canadian employers are avoiding layoffs wherever possible, according to a recent survey.

Ontario university applications reach record levels read more …

Ontario high school students applied to university in record numbers this year.

2008 Workshop on Ageism read more …

The Equity Committee of UWOFA and the Office of the Provost are co-hosting a half-day workshop on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 on "Ageism in Academia."

uCalgary endowment fund read more …

uCalgary endowment fund takes $78-million hit

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