Latest Labour News

McGill facing investigation over academic freedom

CAUT -

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is preparing to launch an investigation into the controversial departure of Professor Andrew Potter as Director of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of Canada.

In a letter to McGill  Principal Suzanne Fortier issued today, CAUT says recent public statements made by Ms. Fortier renew concerns about the circumstances of Professor Potter’s resignation, and the University’s obligation to protect the academic freedom of its staff.

“Principal Fortier has said that academic freedom is not a consideration in this case because Professor Potter held an administrative position with the University,” explains CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “This flies in the face of the well-established principle and practice that administrators who also serve as academic staff enjoy the full protection of academic freedom.”

In its letter, CAUT is seeking further details about the University’s role in the controversy that erupted after Professor Potter wrote an on-line article for Maclean’s Magazine in which he argued the response to a recent snow storm in Montreal was reflective of a “pathologically alienated and low-trust society” in Quebec.

“Academic freedom is central to a university’s mission in a democratic society,” Robinson wrote. “If the University did indeed cave in to external pressure and Professor Potter was pressured or coerced into resigning, this would represent one of the most significant academic freedom cases in recent decades.”

Robinson says that, subject to any further information provided by McGill University, CAUT will establish a committee of inquiry to determine if Professor Potter’s academic freedom was violated.

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For more information, please contact:

Valérie Dufour, Director of Communications, 613-293-1810 or dufour@caut.ca

McGill facing scrutiny over academic freedom concerns

CAUT -

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is concerned about the circumstances surrounding the sudden resignation of Professor Andrew Potter as Director of the Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University.

Professor Potter found himself at the centre of controversy this week after writing a blog post for Maclean’s Magazine in which he argued the response to a recent snow storm in Montreal was reflective of a “pathologically alienated and low-trust society” in Quebec.

Some media reports suggest that following pressure from high profile figures, the McGill administration forced Potter to resign as Director of the Institute.

“If it is true that the McGill administration bowed to external pressure and forced Professor Potter to step down, then this would be one of the most serious violations of academic freedom in recent years,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “Universities have an absolute obligation to protect and defend the academic freedom of their faculty from outside influences.”

Robinson notes that McGill’s policy on academic freedom explicitly states that “[t]he university and its officers have a duty to protect the academic freedom of its scholarly community, both individually and collectively, from infringement and undue external influence as well as to maintain the university’s institutional autonomy.”

CAUT is seeking clarity from the McGill administration about the events leading up to Professor Potter’s resignation.

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For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communication Officer, 613-820-2270 ext. 186 or keller@caut.ca

Budget 2017 offers mixed bag for post-secondary education and research

CAUT -

Today’s budget makes welcome commitments in a number of areas of importance to academic staff in our colleges and universities, such as increasing access to post-secondary education for Indigenous scholars, but it fails to build on the government’s initial investments in fundamental science.  

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has called for an investment of an additional $500 million over three years through Canada’s granting councils to restore basic research funding to 2007 levels when adjusted for inflation. This federal budget doesn’t include any new investment in fundamental research.

“We need transformative and sustained investments in fundamental science that lead to real advances in knowledge that contribute to our understanding of the world and a better quality of life, but this budget falls short on that promise,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson.

CAUT welcomed the new investments in support for Indigenous students and scholarship, and initiatives to help women to succeed in post-secondary education, including child care. Budget 2017 commits $90 million over two years to the Post-Secondary Support Program and $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. 

“We applaud the government for delivering on its promises to invest in the post-secondary education funding for Indigenous students and other measures. It is long overdue that the federal government begin honouring its Treaty obligations,” says Robinson.

CAUT represents over 70,000 academic staff working in more than 120 universities and colleges across Canada.

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For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communication Officer, 613-820-2270 ext. 186 or keller@caut.ca

For a full report on the Budget, click here

MAHCP President’s message on proposed government legislation: Bill 28 and 29

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

 

Dear MAHCP member,

Here is an update on the new legislation introduced yesterday should the bills be passed into law by the government. It is important for you to know that existing collective agreements are not affected by the Public Services Sustainability Act.

For our members who are part of central table agreements (which expire March 31, 2018), the general increase due on April 1, 2017, will be honoured. The same is true for the Standardization Fund and the Recruitment and Retention Fund. Some members have asked about items like pre-retirement leave, etc. All aspects of our collective agreements remain in full force and effect and cannot be altered except at the bargaining table.

The same is true for our members who are covered by what are known as non-central agreements. Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre, Jocelyn House, Dynacare each have agreements that expire in 2018. Manitoba Clinic and Society for Manitobans with Disabilities have agreements in place until 2019. All terms and conditions, including general increases and yearly step increments will be honoured. Brandon Clinic and Winnipeg Clinic have agreements that are in the process of being renegotiated and those members will be made aware of any impact as we learn more at the bargaining table.

MAHCP remains opposed to any legislation that takes away our members rights to free and fair collective bargaining by dictating in advance the terms of any agreement.

What we know about Bill 28 and 29

The Pallister government tabled seven new pieces of legislation yesterday including Bill 28: The Public Services Sustainability Act and Bill 29: The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act.

According to a government press release, Bill 28 would:

  • establish a rolling four-year sustainability period, beginning at the expiration of existing collective agreements, which establishes a framework for future increases to public sector compensation levels and fee payments for physicians that would set out limits on increases as follows:
    • in the first two years of the sustainability period, unionized and non-unionized public sector employees receive no pay increase;
    • in the third year, a maximum increase of 0.75 percent; and
    • in the fourth year, a maximum increase of 1.0 percent.
  • encourage employers and unions to jointly find ongoing cost savings which can be returned to Manitoba citizens

As for Bill 29, this same government press release states that this proposed legislation would include:

  • appointing a commissioner to oversee bargaining unit restructuring;
  • designating employers organizations to enable the streamlining of bargaining units within each region and in particular, within the Winnipeg health region, which currently has 113 bargaining units;
  • reducing the number of bargaining units from 182 to less than 50 and set out relevant factors to be considered – beginning with operational efficiency and the promotion of health-care delivery – to ensure employees are grouped within the appropriate bargaining unit;
  • enabling employees to choose which bargaining agent will represent them by requiring fair and democratic representation votes to be held where there is more than one union eligible;
  • defining the appropriate bargaining units for each region and each provincewide health employer; nurses, physicians, medical residents, physician assistants and clinical assistants, professional/technical/paramedical employees, facility support employees and community support employees; and
  • setting out a process for concluding a revised collective agreement

The Pallister government tabled these two bills on March 20 with the goal of having them proclaimed into law by the end of the current session, likely to end by June. If you have feedback on these two bills, we encourage you to contact your MLA and let him/her know your thoughts. You can search for your MLA here: http://www.electionsmanitoba.ca/en/Voting/MLA

Our goal

We certainly have more questions on these bills that we will put to government to get the answers and keep our membership informed.

It is our goal – your MAHCP president, staff and executive – amidst this ever-changing political landscape in Manitoba, to ensure that our members can continue to deliver quality health care to all Manitobans by protecting your rights, your collective agreements, and the services you provide.

In Solidarity,

Bob Moroz, MAHCP President

Joint statement from labour leaders on Bill 28: The Public Services Sustainability Act

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

 

MAHCP members, below is a link to the statement from labour leaders on the introduction of Bill 28. This bill was tabled by the Tory government today at the Manitoba Legislature; in attendance was President Bob Moroz and fellow labour leaders.

President Moroz would like all of you, each and every one of our members, to know that our goal is to make sure your rights are protected and the services we provide are protected.

Bill 28:  Public Services Sustainability Act

Invitation: Columbia Employee Store: March 27 - April 16, 2017

University of Western Ontario Staff Association -

You Are Invited to the Columbia Employee Store for Shopping

When: March 27 - April 16, 2017

Where:
Columbia Sportswear Employee Store
1425 Max Brose Dr.
London Ontario, N6N 0A2

When:
Mon-Fri: 10a – 7p
Sat: 10a – 6p
Sun: 11a – 5p

What: UWOSA card/Western 1 card and A piece of personal photo ID and the invitation. The invitation can be found in the Member Area section of our website, www.uwosa.ca under "Membership, Discounts and Volunteer Opportunities".

If you do not have a UWOSA card, please send an email to info@uwosa.ca with your campus address. After verification, we will send to your card to you.

MAHCP President’s statement on Provincial Legislation affecting labour

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

 

Dear MAHCP member,

Brian Pallister has his mind made up. Instead of coming to the bargaining table and negotiating, he’s going to use his majority in the legislature to get his way.

In the election, Brian Pallister promised to protect public services and the workers who deliver them. But as Premier, he has mused openly about legislating wage settlements, making changes to pensions and forcing workers to take unpaid time off.

And without any explanation, Premier Pallister has said that he will reduce the number of Collective Agreements in the health care sector.

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the Pallister government tabled two acts: the Public Services Sustainability Act and the Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act. More details on these two pieces of legislation are expected on Monday, March 20, 2017.

Health care unions, including MAHCP, and the Manitoba Federation of Labour have been meeting with government representatives as a part of a Health Care Working Group.

Throughout these meetings, our focus has been on ensuring the best possible care for Manitobans and respect for the demanding work of health care professionals like you.

As a united group of health care sector unions, we have taken the position that the decisions that members have already made about their union membership should be respected – government should not force new representation votes.

Your union remains committed to working with the government to find better ways to deliver health care services for families, but representation votes will only disrupt an already strained system.

We will keep pressing the government to finally come to the table and answer the many questions that workers and your union have. And we’ll keep fighting for you, so you can focus on what you do to make the lives of Manitobans better.

 

In solidarity,

 

Bob Moroz

Deal reached in Moncton

CAUT -

The Association des bibliothécaires, professeures et professeurs de l’Université de Moncton (ABPPUM) has reached an important milestone towards equity. Yesterday, the negotiating team reached a tentative agreement with their employer that will give their members salaries equivalent to those received by their colleagues working at anglophone universities in New Brunswick.

Members of ABPPUM will vote on the agreement on Monday.

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Deal reached in Moncton

CAUT -

(Ottawa— 10 March, 2017) The Association des bibliothécaires, professeures et professeurs de l’Université de Moncton (ABPPUM) has reached an important milestone towards equity. Yesterday, the negotiating team reached a tentative agreement with their employer that will give their members salaries equivalent to those received by their colleagues working at anglophone universities in New Brunswick.

Members of ABPPUM will vote on the agreement on Monday.

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UWOSA Members: Union Savings Contest

University of Western Ontario Staff Association -

UWOSA is a member of Union Savings.

Our members can receive discounts on the following:

* Insurance (Accident, Critical Illness, Guaranteed Issue, Home, Auto, Travel, and Term Life)
* Credit Card
* Mortgages
* RESP for Education
* Car Rentals
* Real Estate
* Movers
* Hotels

Union Savings is Canada's only not-for-profit, union run members' benefit program that uses economies of scale to negotiate discounts on a variety of services for union members. By working with more than a million union members across Canada, they continuously work to find new ways to save members money.

As a UWOSA member, registration is free by visiting www.unionsavings.ca or call 1-800-418-2990.

From March 1 - October 31, 2017, Union Savings is giving away cash and prizes to Union Members across Canada. For more information, visit www.winwithunionsavings.ca for more information.

UFCW Statement on International Women’s Day

UFCW Press Releases -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, the largest private sector union in the nation, released the following statement about International Women’s Day.

“Today we recognize the incredible contributions of hard-working women to our country. Women make up a majority of our union family, so we understand firsthand the incredible good that comes to workplaces when they have the ability to earn the same success as their male co-workers.

“We’re proud to be actively negotiating union contracts across America that bring equal pay for equal work, paid family leave and fair scheduling to UFCW members. We believe these benefits make life better for hard-working families and should be standard in every place of work. They’re also a key reason why the gender wage gap is significantly smaller in union workplaces. We invite anyone who shares our belief in equality to join our union family.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

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