Labour Historian Craig Heron on the Cuts to LAC

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Write to Minister Moore!

From Lara Wilson, Chair, Canadian Council of Archives:

In light of Minister Moore’s comments reported by CBC Radio and Television yesterday, the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) is asking that individual archivists, archival institutions and associations, our supporters in allied professions, and Canadians who love archives to contact/write the Minister of Canadian Heritage, voicing support for reinstatement of the National Archival Development Program (NADP).
For more information on NADP and the Canadian Council of Archives history of administration of the program, go to CCA’s “Call to Action” page:
En francais: http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/f-whnew_2009.html
In English :http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/action2012.html

Please send a copy of any written communication regarding this issue to CCA Executive Director Christina Nichols: cnichols@archivescanada.ca<mailto:cnichols@archivescanada.ca>

Thank you
Lara

Lara Wilson
Chair – Canadian Council of Archives
Tel: (250) 472-4480
Fax: (250 472-5808

CCA toll free number:  1-866-254-1403
http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca

University of Toronto Faculty Association Letter to Rector Beauvais

Please see the letter sent from UTFA to Chantal Beauvais, Rector at St. Paul University. Scott Prudham, President of UTFA writes,

…I do feel obligated to remind you that academic staff – including librarians – are integral to the teaching and research missions of any university. In order to undertake their professional work in the university, and to further human understanding more broadly, academic staff require academic freedom, including the genuine security that permanent status and tenure provide. Security for academic staff in a university must be upheld and never trivialized in the face of
budgetary concerns no matter how severe those concerns may be. Moreover, in the unlikely event that terminations are the only way to address whatever fiscal problems your institution is encountering, collegial deliberations rather than unilateral decisions are warranted.

Thanks to UTFA for its support in this serious matter.

OCUFA Supports Reinstatement of Librarian, St. Paul University

Constance Adamson, President of OCUFA and Academic Librarian, sent a letter to Chantal Beauvais, Rector, St. Paul University, on behalf of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

The letter goes further than just the termination of the librarian however and mentions three further firings of staff members and the threat of professor terminations.

Letter to Rector of Saint Paul University Regarding the Termination of the Only Librarian Currently on Your Payroll

Dear Rector Beauvais,

I am shocked and disappointed by your administration’s decision to terminate Alice Constantinou. As you know, the St. Paul University library has a world reputation for its collections. There are professors and scholars who visit or choose to live in Ottawa because of access to the St. Paul library – specialists in patristics, classics and late antiquity for example. Without librarians, scholarly access to the collection will be diminished, as will the collection itself.

Five years ago, St. Paul hosted the American TheologicalLibraries Association (ATLA) conference here in Ottawa. It was only the fourth Canadian institution to do so – by this measure, St. Paul ranked in the company of Trinity College and the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. This is quite stunning for a university the size of St. Paul. This coming June, I will be attending the ATLA conference in Charlotte, N.C. where I will deliver a paper detailing how both St. Paul and University of Ottawa faculty and students collaborated in building a demand-driven collection of e-books in religious studies and theology. I will also be making a public announcement to your peer institutions and the representatives of international theological libraries that St. Paul University has terminated one of the last two librarians on the payroll although technically the other librarian is no longer on the payroll either right now as she is on parental leave. I’m fairly certain that this will make you unique among your peers.

As librarian for Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, I have worked very closely with the staff of your library to develop services and collections that support professors and programs because St. Paul’s budget had been declining and staffing had been an issue. As an example, I have, in every year since 2006, offered Masters and PhD students in the Faculty of Theology library research courses. I had also more recently extended collection development to areas that were exclusively the domain of St. Paul University such as pastoral studies, theology, religious counselling, ecumenism and so on.

In light of your decision to terminate Alice, I am putting a full stop on all support to your institution, including its professors and students, effective immediately. Should members of St. Paul contact me, I will be obligated to inform them that I will not be functioning in a way that enables you to cut your librarian staff and create a reliance on the University of Ottawa that is detrimental to the community and library at St. Paul University.

It is unfortunate that I have to withdraw my support for your community. I have received scores of thanks over the years – far more than I would have ever expected or imagined – indicating that your professors and students value my role. Each time I refuse to assist someone from St. Paul, rest assured that you will be notified and requested to reinstate Alice Constantinou.

Jennifer Dekker, Librarian

Library & Librarian Crisis at St. Paul University

Dear Colleagues,

This evening, Susan K. Roll, President of the Faculty Association of St. Paul University, regrettably informed me of the termination of the only currently working librarian employed by St. Paul University, which has a world reputation for its theological and rare books collections. There is one remaining librarian employed by St. Paul who is currently on maternity leave. 

 
This drastic move was made in the context of radical and sudden budget cuts at St. Paul which the union anticipates will bring terminations of professors. It suspects that the termination of the librarian was a test to see how the union would react to a member being fired. The librarian, Alice Constantinou, was also a member of the Faculty Association Executive.
 
The details are below. (Please note that I have edited out some of the original detail regarding discussions on whether St. Paul will continue as a catholic university.)

 

APPUSP             PASPU

L’Association des professeures et professeurs de l’Université Saint-Paul

The Professors Association of Saint Paul University

FACT SHEET    as of May 23, 2013            

On Tuesday March 26, 2013, the Saint Paul University Director of Human Resources, André Lacaille, orally informed the President of the Professors Association that the University needs to reduce its operating budget deficit by between $750,000 and one million dollars.  The way that this budget deficit would be filled would be to reduce the number of professors in Theology by as much as half, or ten professors, out of a total University corps of 60 professors.  Theology has a lower professor-to-student ratio than the other faculties, although the ratio in other faculties at Saint Paul is no higher than 1 to 11, while the provincial norm is 1 to 20.  Lacaille said that if not enough Theology professors could be found to retire early, leave voluntarily, transfer to administrative posts or lose their limited-term contracts, that the University would begin to fire tenured professors in Theology until it reached its goal of saving one million dollars.

On March 28 the President informed Lacaille that the union would defend its members.

On Wednesday April 10 the Profs Association President announced this to the members at the annual general assembly.  At that point two fulltime contract professors in faculties other than Theology had had their contracts terminated, and another prof had moved into administration.

On Wednesday May 15 Alice Constantinou, a professional librarian with a permanent appointment, and also a member of the Executive of the Profs Association, was terminated.  The stated reasons included the University’s budget deficit and the operating costs of the Library.  She was allowed to return to her office briefly to retrieve some belongings, then her key was taken from her.

At present there are no professional librarians working in the Saint Paul University Library.  There is no Chief Librarian.  The last librarian is slated to return from maternity leave in late June.

The following day, May 16, a letter from Hélène Carriere, Vice-Rector of Administration, to the University community, announced the approval by the Administrative Council of a balanced budget for which a reduction in expenses of two million dollars, not one million, was necessary.

As of May 22 the Faculty of Theology had had one professor commit to retirement, two made arrangements for retirement and return on part-time contracts, several more were working on possible transition arrangements, three staff members were terminated, and two and one-half professors transferred to a different faculty.  The administration believes that none of these significantly affects the target dollar amount.  

The Professors Association expects one or more tenured professors to be terminated in the very near future.

Susan K. Roll

President, PASPU / APPUSP

Susan requested that concerned librarians to send an Email, a letter or a phone call of protest to the Rector of Saint Paul, Mme Chantal Beauvais, at rectrice-rector@ustpaul.ca, (613) 236-1393 ext 2241.

Thanks,

Jennifer