Notice from ANSUT: Invitation to participate in a Survey of Contract Academic Staff in Nova Scotia


We are looking for contract instructors to take part in an online survey being conducted by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) and Dr. Karen Foster, assistant professor in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University.

The survey is part of a research project looking at the occupational experiences of contract instructors (i.e., university teaching staff whose jobs are in some way not permanent) in Nova Scotia universities. It will gather data on wages, hours of work, office space, teaching loads, and other objective qualities of contract jobs. It will also ask questions about your experiences as a contract instructor, probing for information on job satisfaction, stress, overwork, work-life ‘balance’, and other measures typically considered in evaluations of job quality.

If you are currently teaching at one or more Nova Scotia universities and your job is in some way non-permanent, whether your title is “contract instructor”, “contract academic staff”, a “limited-term appointment”, “part-time faculty”, “adjunct”, “sessional”, or similar, you are likely eligible to participate. The sole criteria for eligibility is that you are not regular faculty, you are not on the tenure-track (or the newer “lecturer stream”), and your job is not permanent.

The survey consists of approximately 60 questions—some multiple-choice and some open-ended—that should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. It will be available to complete from October 13th to November 30th. If you wish to participate, please review the attached informed consent letter and click the following link, which will take you to a consent form, and—if you consent to participate—the survey:

Please note: the password to enter the survey is CAS2015

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Foster (at 902 494-6751, – email is most reliable).

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Matthew Furlong
Communications Officer, Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers


CUPE 3912
General Meeting

20 November 2015,
12 pm

Saint Mary’s University, Sobey Building 4th floor, Secunda Room

Light refreshments will be provided.
The Executive Council of CUPE 3912 invites members, both Part-time Faculty and Teaching Assistants, to volunteer for the negotiating committees for the universities that will undertake bargaining for new contracts in 2016.

Dalhousie University Ratification Vote

Dalhousie University Ratification Vote

To: Members, CUPE Local 3912 (Part-Time Faculty and Teaching Assistants at Dalhousie University with valid contract THIS TERM)

From : Steve Cloutier, President

Re: Ratification vote

The Local 3912 (Dalhousie) Bargaining Committee will be presenting the tentative agreement to the membership of the Dalhousie bargaining unit as follows:

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015

Place: Slonim Conference Room, (room 430), The Goldberg Building (Computer Science Building), University Avenue.

Time: 9 am- 4:30pm

Union Executive members will be there to give a presentation on the Agreement.

In solidarity,
Steve Cloutier, President
CUPE Local 3912

CUPE Local 3912 resolves ‘Bargaining in Bad Faith’ complaint against Dalhousie University

(Halifax) – The union representing 1,600 Part-time Academics, Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Markers and Demonstrators at Dalhousie University has resolved a Bargaining in Bad Faith complaint against their employer.

“The Parties reached a settlement on May 29th,” CUPE National Representative Marianne Welsh said. “The bad faith bargaining complaint has been withdrawn, and CUPE Local 3912 will represent Part-time Academics and Teaching Assistants at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture in Truro effective September 1st. Obviously, we are very pleased with this outcome.”

“With the Labour Board matter resolved, the Parties were able to reach a tentative agreement last week,” CUPE Local 3912 President Steve Cloutier said. “The Union will be scheduling a ratification meeting for our members in September.” CUPE 3912’s current collective agreement expired August 31, 2012.

For information:

Marianne Welsh, CUPE National Representative | 902.818.4125 (m)
Steve Cloutier, President, CUPE 3912 | 902.440.4549 (m)
David Loan, CUPE Communications | 613.301.7468 (m)

Language Instructors at SMU ratify new CUPE contracts


(Halifax) Language Instructors at The Language Centre (TLC) have ratified a new collective agreement.

CUPE National Representative Marianne Welsh says “Members of CUPE 3912 at Saint Mary’s University (TLC) have ratified a new four-year agreement. The contract runs retroactively from August 09, 2014 through to August 08, 2018.”

Says Welsh, “The agreement was concluded with the assistance of Conciliation Service and was strongly endorsed by the membership on June 22nd and ratified by the university this week.”

CUPE 3912 represents over three-thousand members in four bargaining units at three Halifax universities.

For more information:
Marianne Welsh, CUPE National Representative | 902.818.4125 (m)
Steve Cloutier, President, CUPE 3912 | 902.440.4549 (m)
David Loan, CUPE Communications | 613.301.7468 (m)

NSGEU MEDIA RELEASE: NSCAD Administrative & Custodial Workers Laid Off

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Administrative and Custodial workers at NSCAD learned this morning that they are losing their jobs, as part of the Liberal government’s mandate to balance their budget at any cost. Sixteen of these workers are members of the NSGEU: nine Custodial Workers, six Administrative Assistants and one Clerk.

The employer plans to contract out the work of the Custodial staff and altogether eliminate the Administrative Assistant and Clerk positions. These job losses will lead to a less supportive environment for students, who will now have fewer supporting staff to help them when they need them.

“This government has clearly signaled to university administration that they must put their budget and bottom line before anything else. They’ve essentially handed them a baseball bat, and the administration is taking a swing at these workers,” said NSGEU President Joan Jessome.

“Eliminating and contracting out staff positions that come with decent wages and benefits isn’t good for the workers, local economy, the students, or the overall quality of education NSCAD will be able to offer in the future.”

In both the government-commissioned university consultations last fall and polling done by the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition, it was found that the public actually wants more support for students. Cutting support staff at NSCAD will do the opposite.

Administrative staff members support the students and faculty each day by arranging studio bookings, organizing purchase orders, managing the Departmental budget, booking models for drawing classes, and coordinating room bookings. They must be on-hand to help solve a variety of administrative/studio problems that students encounter throughout the day.

The affected custodial staff members have worked at the university for up to 24 years. They know the complex campus well, and understand how to work with and around the students and the art they create. An art and design university is not an environment conducive to contract custodial work with its characteristic high turnover rates.

“We call on NSCAD administration to reverse these detrimental funding cuts,” said Jessome, “The support students receive from these staff members is vital to their success and essential to a positive experience teaching or studying at NSCAD.”

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotian’s count on every day.

For more information, please contact:

Holly Fraughton, NSGEU
Communications Officer
255 John Savage Ave.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 0J3
Phone 902.424.4063 | Toll-Free 1.877.556.7438 | Fax 902.424.2111

April 24 Joint Media Release

April 24, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: Joint Statement Against Bill 100

Halifax, NS – Students, Faculty, Staff and the Labour Movement are united against Bill 100 introduced on April 22. According to Rick Clarke (President of Nova Scotia Federation of Labour), “This Bill raises serious concerns for all of us, and will be legally challenged if not changed from its present form”.

At the very least, we think that Section 8 and references to it throughout the Bill must be scrapped. Ideally, Bill 100 should be put on hold until there has been full and broad public consultation before it goes any further in the legislative process.

This Bill will infringe on the rights of students and workers and in the end, provide no new measures to present fiscal mismanagement at Nova Scotian universities. Instead, under the guise of making universities more accountable, the McNeil government is using this legislation to attack workers’ rights. In the same way that Bills 1 and Bill 37 attacked healthcare worker’s rights, Bill 100 (the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act.), introduced on April 22, will create a tool to do exactly the same thing to unionized workers throughout the University sector.

Under this Bill, if a University wants to enter into a revitalization process and if it determines it has a “significant operating deficit”, the University gets broad, sweeping powers under Section 8 with respect to workers’ rights. It can forbid the signing of any collective agreement, ban strikes, and take away the ability of unionized employees to start or continue any grievance that relates in whole or in part to the development of the revitalization plan or process.

This Act does nothing to improve accountability of university administrators, but seriously undermines the rights of students and workers. Collective bargaining plays a pivotal role in protecting academic freedoms and quality education in Nova Scotia, and it should never be at risk.

Students and workers are the whistle blowers for administrative malpractice at our universities. This Bill will muzzle internal criticism and give university administrators an easy way out if they jeopardize the fiscal health of their institutions through mismanagement.”

We called for financial oversight during the university consultation last fall to ensure that money is not diverted from universities’ core operating budget, which fund academic programs, to capital investment, administrative compensation, and other non-academic budgets. Bill 100 does not reflect this key concern. It substitutes generic accountability to the taxpayer” political advertising for educational priorities. Do we want a post-secondary education system that primarily satisfies business interests, or one that educates people?

In giving Universities these unprecedented powers with this Bill, the McNeil Liberals are once again attacking workers, while at the same time, eroding the relative autonomy of our Universities. How many court challenges and Supreme Court of Canada decisions will it take for this Government to realise that the right to strike is a Constitutional Right?

In conclusion, Section 8 and any references to it in Bill 100 must be scrapped. As the government is clearly rushing to end the Spring Sitting of the Legislature, the best immediate step to take would be to table the Bill so that there can be full and broad public consultation before it goes any further in the legislative process.