CAUT

World Teachers’ Day: “Young Teachers -- The Future of the Profession”

(Ottawa – October 4, 2019) Tomorrow is World Teachers’ Day (WTD) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) joins with the global education community in celebrating the many accomplishments of the teaching profession, and highlighting the need to ensure the profession is attractive to and supportive of new teachers.

“The success of education at all levels rests upon the foundation of a highly qualified, talented and committed teaching corps,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “Today, particularly in Canada’s colleges and universities, the growth of precarious and insecure academic jobs is undermining the attractiveness of academic work and turning away young talent at a time where there is a pressing need for faculty renewal.”

CAUT is urging governments in Canada to make faculty renewal and decent work a core priority, and to adhere fully to the principles of fair employment embodied in both the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).

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Solidarity with the Week of Climate Action

(Ottawa – September 19, 2019) September 20 marks the beginning of the Week of Climate Action, an international grassroots movement of student activists demanding that world leaders be held accountable for and take immediate steps to combat the climate emergency facing the planet. A week of activities around the world will culminate in a Global Climate Strike on September 27. The Canadian Association of University Teachers stands in solidarity with all those taking part in the Week of Climate Action and the Global Climate Strike, and we join in demanding strong, immediate and effective action on climate change from governments in Canada and around the world.

Climate change is the crisis of our generation. CAUT encourages all its members to take part in the Week of Climate Action by joining local protests and events, supporting students who participate in the climate strike, pressing our institutions to adopt climate-friendly policies and practices, and raising awareness about the science of climate change and the role academic staff as researchers and teachers are playing in finding solutions.

Canadians want an accessible, affordable and high-quality post-secondary sector

(Ottawa – September 2, 2019) Results from a national survey* commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) indicate a large majority of Canadians value post-secondary education (PSE) and think cost should not be allowed to prevent anyone from pursuing it.

Key findings include:

  • Almost 8 in 10 Canadians agree that students have to borrow too much to pay for their PSE and the cost should never prevent anyone from pursuing an education;
  • Similarly, almost all Canadians (93%) would get a post-secondary degree if they did not have to pay tuition, confirming how much they value the education and recognize the barrier that cost creates;
  • Eight in ten say the effort and time spent getting a higher education is worthwhile, but only 65% think it is worth the cost, and only 31% definitely think so;
  • When informed that one in three PS instructors teach part-time or are on short-term contracts, over half believe this hurts the quality of education.

“The cost of PSE remains a major hurdle for students and Canadians don’t like it. But the problem is deeper than that and survey respondents recognized that fact,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “As governments have reduced funding for universities and colleges, more and more low-paid and tenuously-employed teachers have replaced full-time academics who are invested in the academic integrity of the institutions where they work. This is hurting the quality of education that students receive.”

CAUT is calling on all federal political parties to support PSE the way most Canadians want the government to support it, by:

  • Ensuring that every student who wants to go to college or university can go, regardless of their ability to pay (84%);
  • Investing more in full-time post-secondary teaching positions (85%);
  • Reducing class sizes at colleges and universities (64%);
  • Eliminating post-secondary tuition entirely (61%).

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)

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*Methodology – the survey was conducted online with 1500 Canadian residents aged 18 and over, from April 24-30. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random-sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment and region. Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Our 2019 federal election toolkit is out!

Canadians will head to the polls on October 21 and CAUT prepared tools for its member associations to be able to make a difference. CAUT’s For Our Future campaign is an issue-based and non-partisan campaign with two goals:

1. To raise awareness about the positive role the federal government could play in strengthening

the post-secondary education (PSE) system; and

2. To get out the student vote for education.

Once the Fall academic semester starts, we will have just under two months to make post-secondary education an election priority. It is essential that we hit the ground running in September.

In the kit, you will find:

  •   Key messages about the campaign;
  •   Steps to help develop your campaign;
  •   Action ideas, tips and resources for engaging members and students in the federal election, and reaching out to candidates; and

Access the kit here.

Budget 2020: Academic & research staff are ready to solve Canada’s emerging problems 

Post-secondary education changes lives and Canada for the better. Through teaching, research and service to the community, Canada’s academic staff, scientists and researchers are key partners in addressing the climate emergency and other economic and social challenges. Canadians need a strong federal partner to work with the provinces to make sure that we have a sustainable research ecosystem, and affordable education for all. 

Read our submission here.

 

Academic & research staff are ready to solve Canada’s emerging problems 

Post-secondary education changes lives and Canada for the better. Through teaching, research and service to the community, Canada’s academic staff, scientists and researchers are key partners in addressing the climate emergency and other economic and social challenges. Canadians need a strong federal partner to work with the provinces to make sure that we have a sustainable research ecosystem, and affordable education for all. 

Read our submission here.

 

Academic & research staff are ready to solve Canada’s emerging problems 

Post-secondary education changes lives and Canada for the better. Through teaching, research and service to the community, Canada’s academic staff, scientists and researchers are key partners in addressing the climate emergency and other economic and social challenges. Canadians need a strong federal partner to work with the provinces to make sure that we have a sustainable research ecosystem, and affordable education for all. 

Read our submission here.

 

CAUT welcomes settlement on equity targets for Canada Research Chairs Program

(Ottawa – July 31, 2019) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is welcoming today’s announcement that an agreement has been reached to ensure more robust equity targets, transparency, and accountability within the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program.

Today’s settlement builds upon recent government changes to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion in the CRC program, and caps a process started in 2003 by eight academics who, with the support of CAUT, filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission over the program’s failure to reflect the diversity of Canada’s university researchers.

“Canada’s research community owes much to the eight women who came forward 15 years ago to challenge systemic bias in the CRC program and who persevered in holding the program to account,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “Over the past four years, the government has ushered in several initiatives aimed at increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion within the research and university sectors, and today’s settlement helps to further advance that work.”

The new agreement establishes a ten-year framework for the CRC program to reflect the diversity of the Canadian population, setting institutional targets for the representation of women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples. Additionally, the under-representation of members of the LGBTQ+ community will be addressed for the first time.

“This is an important step towards ensuring that the Canadian research field both reflects Canada’s rich diversity and benefits from the talent and perspectives of those who were previously denied a seat at the table,” says the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Marie-Claude Landry.

Consistent with other recent changes, today’s announced settlement enhances accountability mechanisms for institutions that fail to consistently meet targets.

“The changes being made to the CRC program recognize that under-representation arises not from a lack of qualified candidates but from discriminatory and exclusionary principles or practices in society and in academia itself,” says Robinson. “By addressing these barriers we can better encourage excellence, innovation, and fairness in the research environment.”

The women academics who initially challenged the CRC program before the Canadian Human Rights Commission with the legal representation of CAUT are: Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Louise Forsyth, Glenis Joyce, Audrey Kobayashi, Shree Mulay, Susan Prentice, and the late Wendy Robbins and Michèle Ollivier.

Media Contact: Valérie Dufour, Director of Communications, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-293-1810 (cell); dufour@caut.ca

Backgrounder statements by some of the complainants:

“I am thrilled that this settlement addresses all the gaps in the 2006 settlement”

- Shree Mulay

“Too often, equity and diversity initiatives have been restricted to availability in a currently discriminatory pipeline. Under this new agreement, the Canada Research Chairs Program will move quickly towards reflecting the full and actual diversity of Canada. This is a path-changing understanding, for universities and other Canadian institutions.”

- Susan Prentice

“This exciting agreement will change for the better what we know or think we know about ourselves, the natural world and the people in our world. It will throw doors open to everyone and welcome ways of seeing/thinking/being that have not yet found their place in schools, colleges and universities.”

- Louise Forsyth

“When the agreement is in full force, the representation of the groups named will reflect their representation within the Canadian population – not just their representation in universities.  This is a significant expansion of the concept of equality and something that has the power to effect significant change, especially if it is expanded to other groups and applied more widely in public institutions in the future."   

- Marjorie Griffin Cohen

New polling shows Canadians believe in post-secondary education, and so should our federal political parties

 (Ottawa – July 23, 2019) Canadians believe post-secondary education (PSE) has a positive impact on themselves and the country as a whole, is more relevant today in our rapidly changing world, and makes us stronger in the face of new challenges, according to a new national survey conducted by Abacus Data for the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).

With provincial and territorial ministers of education in Victoria July 24-25 for the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) meeting, the survey results are timely and of key relevance to their discussions on crucial PSE issues.

Findings include:

  • A large majority (78%) of those surveyed view universities and colleges as having positive impacts on the direction of the country;
  • Most Canadians believe PSE is more relevant than ever, with 70% agreeing that “it has never been more important to get a post-secondary education given the changes in the economy and society”;
  • When told that Canada has the highest rate of residents with a post-secondary degree among comparable countries, two thirds (65%) of respondents feel it makes Canada a better place to live, a view that’s held across demographic, regional, and socio-economic groups. A majority of all political party supporters feel this way as well;
  • 93% of Canadians would get a PSE if there were no tuition, indicating cost is a factor for lifelong learning.

“The survey also showed that Canadians are concerned about many issues such as climate change, our aging population, and growing economic and social inequality,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “In that context, Canadians clearly see the value of PSE in preparing students for the modern economy, training the next generation of problem solvers, conducing research, and introducing students to a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives.”

CAUT is calling on all federal political parties to support PSE the way most Canadians want the government to support it, by:

  • Ensuring that every student who wants to go to college or university can go, regardless of their ability to pay (84%);
  • Investing more in full-time post-secondary teaching positions (85%);
  • Reducing class sizes at colleges and universities (64%);
  • Eliminating post-secondary tuition entirely (61%).

“Post-secondary education makes Canada more united, stronger, and positioned to tackle the challenges we will face today and in the future,” Robinson says. “The federal government should support the sector and help make it stronger across the country.”

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)

*Methodology – the survey was conducted online with 1500 Canadian residents aged 18 and over, from April 24-30. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random-sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment and region. Totals may not add up due to rounding.

CAUT condemns dismissals at Maritime College of Forest Technology

(Ottawa – July 5, 2019) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is raising concerns about academic freedom at the Maritime College of Forest Technology in New Brunswick following the recent dismissal of two teachers.

Wildlife biologist Rod Cumberland was fired from his teaching post on June 20. On July 3, Gerald Redmond, the former director of the school who was still teaching there, publicly stated that the College’s dismissal of Mr. Cumberland was likely in retaliation for his outspoken criticism of the herbicide glyphosate. Mr. Redmond also said he “felt pressure from the board of governors in several instances, to try to sanction Rod for his outspokenness on the glyphosate herbicide.”  The next day, the College informed Mr. Redmond that his services were no longer needed.

CAUT says that the academic freedom of both teachers has been violated, and that they have been denied due process in the manner in which they were dismissed. These incidents will be referred to the CAUT Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, which will take further actions if the situation is not satisfactorily resolved.

 Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)