NATIONAL ADJUNCT DAY OF ACTION FORUM: University Life as a Contract Academic

NATIONAL ADJUNCT DAY OF ACTION FORUM: University Life as a Contract Academic
 
WHEN: Wednesday February 25
 
WHERE: Saint Mary’s University, McNally East, Room 111
 
TIME:  3 to 6 PM AFTERNOON
 
The format is for 90 minutes or so of short (10 minute) presentations, followed by a question & answer period and a discussion about the issues facing contract academics.
 
SPEAKERS: 
 
1. Phil Bennett, Adjunct Professor, Astronomy & Physics, SMU, and Vice President CUPE 3912 (Saint Mary’s)
 
2. Karen Harper, Adjunct Professor, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Biology, Dalhousie, and member, Contract Academic Staff Working Group
 
3. Marc Lamoureux, President, SMUFU
 
4. Matthew Furlong, ANSUT Communications Officer
Contract academics work in a state of precarious employment with little or no benefits, little or no control over their work environment, and little or no involvement in university governance. Contract academics work in a very different environment from that of traditional “collegiate university” of the permanent faculty.

This forum is being organized by Phil Bennett of SMU. Phil is still seeking more speakers so if anyone would like to participate please contact him at: pbennett@ap.smu.ca.    We especially want to hear your experiences and your thoughts on how things can be changed for the better.

 

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International Women’s Day

Celebrate International Women’s Day
Our Bodies, Our Territories.
The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council invites union members, social movement activists, and members of the public to celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th at 1:30 pm at Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall.
The last number of years have seen a series of anti-women actions from both the federal and provincial governments, as well a number of major news stories about sexism and sexual assault in our workplaces, communities and schools. The Labour Council is working with our allies in the women’s community to build support for real equity programmes and an end to sexism and gender-based violence. We demand action on child care, equal pay, reproductive health care, and a inquiry into the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in our country.
Labour Councils across the country will be organizing International Women’s Day events under the slogan ‘Our Bodies, Our Territories’ with actions planned in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and dozens of smaller cities around the country.
When: Sunday, March 8th at 1:30 pm
Where: Grand Parade in front of Halifax City Hall
Why: To celebrate International Women’s Day and demand action
Who: Everyone concerned about women’s equality in our society
Bring your banners and flags! :)
For more information contact:
Dawn Ferris, VP Women’s Rights at the Labour Council
dawn.ferris@dal.ca

AUFA Talks break down, Wolfville NS

Conciliation talks between the Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) and the Acadia Board of Governors broke down for a second time shortly after 7 p.m. on Friday, January 30th. Conciliator Jarrod Baboushkin has indicated that he will file his report with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education on Monday, February 2nd, triggering a 14-day waiting period before a strike or lockout could begin.

AUFA President Rachel Brickner reported that the two sides were close to a deal, with AUFA making “significant concessions” in its last offer on the number of tenure-track positions and compensation, asking for increases below the cost of living. Key components of the Board’s offer were contingent on enrolment levels and pension reform. Brickner noted that Acadia’s Pension Plan includes other employee groups, and this would hand control over AUFA’s contract to people not in the Association. “AUFA made every effort to reach a collective agreement,” Brickner said, “but in the end, we could not compromise further without jeopardizing the academic integrity of the university.”

A twelve-hour conciliation session on January 16th failed to produce an agreement, and the AUFA membership voted overwhelmingly on January 22nd to reject that offer from the Board. Brickner says that AUFA’s Negotiating Team remains ready to resume talks if the Board will improve its offer.

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National Adjunct Day, February 25th

February 25th, National Adjunct Action Day (February 23-27, National
Adjunct Action Week), is a day adjuncts* all over North America will bring
attention to the plight of part-time, contingent university instructors.
There are shared goals and concerns to be certain, but exactly how adjuncts use the day or week is to be determined by each adjunct, group, or campus.
CUPE 3912,representing part-time instructors at Dalhousie, Saint Mary
and Mount Saint Vincent universities, encourages our members to wear black armbands on February 25th.

We encourage adjuncts to work together with other groups for maximum effect.
Support #NAWD.

National Adjunct Walkout Day
*Adjunct is the US term for parttime, contingent university
instructors.
CUPE 3912: Contact Shaun Bartone at bartones@dal.ca for assistance with organizing for National Adjunct Action Day on your campus.

Nominations for the CUPE Nova Scotia Provincial Literacy Award

CUPE Nova Scotia has announced that nominations are open for the 2015 Barbara Kowalski Annual Literacy Award.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, work with numbers, problem solve, communicate and think critically at whatever level is basic to the task at hand. Literacy empowers us to:

a) assert our rights and build our Union

b) act as full citizens and change society

c) question, evaluate, and envision

d) develop our knowledge and potential at work, at home, and in our community

What is “Clear Language”?
a) language that readers can understand

b) design that makes documents easy to read and easy to use

For more information on the CUPE Literacy Project go to http://cupe.ca/literacy

The Executive of CUPE Nova Scotia are looking for literacy champions. There are two awards: one for an individual member and one for a Local Union that has promoted workplace literacy and clear language. A literacy champion might:

a) encourage other CUPE members to learn

b) model lifelong learning by following their own learning tools

c) raise awareness on literacy and clear language within the Union and workplace

d) help build the Union through literacy and clear language

The member(s) may have participated in a literacy program or helped start one in their Local, or promoted worker education in some other way. The Local Union must have participated in a literacy program and helped build a Union-centered education program in the workplace or it may have promoted worker education in some other way. There are many ways to be literacy champions. Champions will be CUPE members in good standing.

If you are interested in applying for the Barbara Kowalski Literacy Award, please contact Renee Dankner at the CUPE 3912 office at: cupe3912@dal.ca or at (902) 494-8872. Deadline for nominations is March 15, 2015.

CUPE 3912 Christmas Social

You are cordially invited to the

CUPE 3912 Christmas Social

Free drink and refreshments for all CUPE 3912 members!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 4:30-6pm

@the University Club Pub (downstairs)

1 Alumni Crescent Halifax, NS, B3H 3J5 (902) 494-6511

AGM motion re: Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Membership for CUPE 3912

The following motion is on the CUPE 3912 AGM agenda:

“Moved that CUPE Local 3912 seek membership in the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), provided that CAUT is willing to accept the entirety of the Local’s membership as a whole, and be it further moved that CUPE Local 3912 be authorized to collect CAUT membership fees from members, upon full acceptance of CUPE Local 3912 into CAUT. CAUT membership fees will be assessed on a monthly basis for members currently employed as part-time instructors. CAUT fees for 2014 are $3.63 per member per month.” [Revised Nov. 9th]

For more information, members should visit the following links to the CAUT website of particular interest to us:

1. http://www.caut.ca/about-us

A general statement of what CAUT is and what they do.

2. http://www.caut.ca/issues-and-campaigns/fairness-for-contract-academic-staff

A summary of CAUT’s work in support of contract academic staff. This is the main driver (in my opinion) for joining. CAUT has been very pro-active in the promotion of the rights of contract academic staff (= us!). We simply need to be part of this campaign, and to do so we need to full members of CAUT. Otherwise, we are left in the awkward position of having others promoting policy about us (contract faculty) without being able to fully participate in that process. The obvious solution is to join the campaign of fairness for contract academic staff as a full member of CAUT.

3. http://www.caut.ca/about-us/caut-policy/lists/caut-policy-statements/policy-on-the-use-of-anonymous-student-questionnaires-in-the-evaluation-of-teaching

CAUT’s position on the use of student questionnaires for evaluation of teaching effectiveness. These questionnaires (Instructor Course Evaluations, or ICEs, at Saint Mary’s) are a major issue at SMU, with 3 out of the 8 grievances filed so far in 2014 being about the inappropriate use of ICEs in teaching evaluations, or the denial of re-appointments. CAUT has a lot of useful policy here and offers legal resources to support that policy.

We would not be the first CUPE local to join CAUT. CUPE Local 3902 (U. Toronto), and CUPE Local 3906 (McMaster) are also CAUT members. CUPE 3912 would be the third CUPE local to join.

Upcoming CUPE NS Scholarship Opportunity

CUPE Nova Scotia Higgins Insurance Scholarship

CUPE Nova Scotia Higgins Insurance Scholarships are awarded by CUPE Nova Scotia. Two scholarships valued at $1000.00 each are available annually.

Individuals planning enrollment at an accredited post-secondary institution in the 2015-2016 academic year may make application. The successful applicant will be required to provide proof of registration.

Eligibility:

1. Union members in good standing with a local union affiliated to CUPE Nova Scotia; and,
2. Sons, daughters, or legal wards of a member in good standing of a local union affiliated to CUPE Nova Scotia.

Basis of awards shall be the applicant’s financial need and current and ongoing volunteerism/social activism in his/her community.

Application must be complete and on the prescribed form and must be received by the CUPE Nova Scotia Scholarship Committee not later than May 15th. Supporting documents must be provided with the form in order for the application to be considered.

All inquires may be directed to Dianne Frittenburg: fritt@bellaliant.net

Please click here for the full application and instructions.

CUPE 3912 General Meeting Notice

CUPE 3912 GENERAL MEETING

Date: November 14
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Dalhousie Student Union Building, 2nd floor Council Chambers

Come out and support your union. Become informed of issues affecting YOUR paycheque, and get involved!

Better working conditions! More job security!

In solidarity,

Shiva Nourpanah,
Communications Officer
CUPE Local 3912

“Seeing the invisible academic”:  Fair Employment Week forum on contract academic staff to be held Oct. 29

Halifax, Oct. 21, 2014 – The growing use of limited term and part‐time university professors and instructors ‐‐ and the precarious employment situation they face in Canadian and Nova Scotia universities ‐‐ will be the subject of a forum which will take place at Dalhousie University on Wednesday, October 29. The event, entitled “Seeing the invisible academic”, is being held in recognition of Fair Employment Week, proclaimed by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) to raise awareness about the overuse and exploitation of contract academic staff.  The Halifax event is co‐sponsored by CAUT, the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA), the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) and CUPE 3912.  

Contract academic staff go by a lot of different names:  limited term, sessional, part‐time, adjunct, contingent. They are often described as “invisible academics” because they have no job security, their contribution to their universities often goes unrecognized, and the students they teach are frequently unaware of their employment status. It is estimated that one out of every three university teachers across Canada is working on a limited
term, part‐time or per‐course contract.

The forum will feature a panel of contract academics from Dalhousie and other Halifax universities, as well as CAUT Past President Wayne Peters, who will provide an overview of the situation across Canada. Karen Foster, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dalhousie whose research focuses on precarious employment and the future of work, will also be a member of the panel.  It will be moderated by Catrina Brown, President of the DFA.

When: Wednesday, October 29, 7 p.m.‐9:30 p.m.
Where: Room 303, Student Union Building
6136 University Ave, Halifax  
This event is free and open to the public and the media.  Refreshments will be served following the discussion.   

For more information, contact:    
Donna Balkan, Communications Officer
Dalhousie Faculty Association
902‐494‐3722 or 902‐266‐5429 (cell)   
Email: communications@dfa.ns.ca  
For more information on Fair Employment Week (Oct. 27‐31), go to www.fairemploymentweek.ca.

Dalhousie Faculty Association
6280 South Street, Halifax, N.S. Canada B3H 1T8
Phone (902) 494-3722
Fax (902) 494-6740
Email dfa@dfa.ns.ca
Website http://www.dfa.ns.ca

FEW-HalifaxEvent-Poster