My Apprenticeship Six Months as President of Nova Scotia’s Newest Union of Educators! Elaine MacLean StFX Association of University Teachers (StFXAUT) December 12, 2006
Academic Trade Unionism • American Association of University Teachers (1915) – academic freedom • British Association of University Professors (1919) – collective bargaining nationally • CAUT - Canadian Association of University Teachers (1951) – reverse decline in economic & social status • StFXAUT StFX Association of University Teachers (1957) – similar to CAUT
StFXAUT – StFX Association of University Teachers • 1957-1987 – Faculty (FT) • 1987-2005 – Faculty & Librarians (FT) • February 2005 – Certified under NSTUA to include Faculty, Librarians, Lab Instructors, Clinical Associates, Coady & Extension academic staff (FT & PT) • December 2006 – First Collective Agreement
StFXAUT -Mandate • to promote the welfare of the University and its academic staff; to achieve this purpose, it may cooperate and affiliate with other bodies, in particular with regional, national, and international associations of university teachers and research workers, and of universities and colleges. • to represent all employees who are eligible for full membership in the Association in all matters of employer-employee relations including salaries and working conditions.
Membership & Executive • 376 Members (~261 faculty members) • 9 Member Executive • 8 Committees (S&B, Handbook, Social, Communications, Status of Women, Nominations, Negotiating, etc.) • Administrative assistant (9hr/wk)
My History @ StFXAUT • 1994 : Hired as a librarian at StFX • 1995-1997 : Handbook Committee • 1997-1999 : Executive - Secretary • 2001-2003 : Chair, Status of Women • 2005-2006 : VP (half year only) • May 2006 : President (2nd woman/1st librarian)
StFXAUT Dues • Mil rate – .5 ($5 per $1000) • Dues to CAUT (Canada-wide) • Dues to ANSUT (NS-wide) • Defense Fund ($5/mo/member) • Honorariums and/or course relief for president, chief negotiator, etc.
CAUT (Canadian Association for University Teachers) • Est. 1951 • national voice for academic staff • Representing 55,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and other academic staff • 63 member associations
CAUT – Academic Freedom • Right to teach, learn, study and publish - free of orthodoxy or threat of reprisal and discrimination • Right to criticize the university • Right to participate in its governance
CAUT (cont.) • active in the public interest to improve the quality and accessibility of PSE in Canada • presses for public funding and policies to ensure our institutions are accessible • advances equity and human rights • fights for fair working conditions, compensation and benefits that foster quality teaching and innovative research • works for collegial institutional governance that is publicly accountable and gives the academic community its proper voice
CAUT - Services • Education & Training • Research & Publications • Collective Bargaining/Legal Services
Nova Scotia Association of University Teachers (ANSUT) • Established in 1997 • Membership is academic staff associations of all universities and degree-granting institutions in Nova Scotia, except Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. • Primary mandate is lobbying
ANSUT (cont.) • Lobbying issues • Student debt and student aid • Tuition fees in NS • Faculty recruitment • Access to university for those receiving income assistance (often single mothers)
Certification Challenges @ ~ 50yrs • Vocal minority in lead up to vote, came close to a vote of non-confidence in the executive • Much debate re the membership of the bargaining unit • Challenge from administration – question was not clear • 2 votes – first ballots were destroyed • Very long process April 2004 – Feb. 2005 • 60% + vote in favour of certification
Negotiating Committee (18 months) • 3 Members of the Union • Peggy Gallant, Human Kinetics • Ken MacAulay, Business • Colleen Cameron, Coady and Clinical Associate
Collective Agreement – Ratification • Ratified last week – Tuesday, Dec. 5th • Total votes cast: 233 (62% of the bargaining unit) • Votes in favour: 217 • Votes against: 16 • Of those who voted, % in favour of accepting the tentative agreement: 93%
What did we get? • Language for our new members – lab instructors, clinical associates, Coady & Extension academic staff • Salary grids for new members • Academic freedom clause for all new members • Teaching workload reduction for faculty • Parity for 2011 (MSVU, Acadia, MtA, UPEI) • Grievance Policy • Intellectual Property
Next Steps… • Appoint 2 members to a joint committee for the administration of the agreement • Appoint a grievance officer • Constitutional review • MOU re Employment Equity • Find ways to include our newest members in the association (40%)
Parliament Hill Lobby Day – Nov ‘06 • Annual Event prior to Council • CAUT makes appointments with MP’s and senators from NS (bio’s) • Met with MP Cuzner, Senator Cowan, Senator Moore
Talking Points for Lobby Day - Use Fact Sheets • University & College Revenues • Tuition Fees • Tuition & Income • Labour Market Trends • Operating Grants • Academic staff
Priority for Lobby Day • Describe what is happening at our institution with concrete examples, like fewer course offerings, antiquated equipment, larger classes • Describe the impact of public funding cuts in general (fact sheets) • Describe what the government can do
Lobby Day Debriefing & Follow Up • Submitted our lobby report indicating: • Did the politician seem supportive? • How would you characterize this politician vis-à-vis your message? • What specific issues generated the most discussion? • What issues did politician raise with you? • Did they make any specific commitments to PSE? • Worthwhile to follow up with this politician?
My challenges… • Collective vs individual representation • Balancing big picture vs local situation • Inclusiveness – the silent minority (40%) • Transitioning from a faculty association to an association of academic staff
All this being said… …and to ensure that you do not come away from this presentation with the mistaken impression that academic trade unionism is A HOT TOPIC on the StFX campus, I aim for complete disclosure and tell you that THE hot topic at the StFX campus is…..
the end…. http://eroundlake.com/blog/archive/2006_04_01_archive.html