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.