Keep Education Public Week Events

Workshop: “Student-to-faculty ratios: More than just bums in seats”

Similar to a cheap airline, it sometimes seems like the university administration does not care about the quality of the ride or the destination, only the number of seats sold. This workshop invites students and faculty to participate in this interactive, bilingual workshop about the problems with rising student-to-faculty
ratios. Event sponsored by GSAED, CUPE 2626 and APUO.

Where: DMS 12110
When: Monday, February 24th, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Workshop: “Perish Citation Counts, Publish What Matters”

by Professor André Vellino (School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa)
This workshop aims to explain what scholarly performance metrics such as h-Index really measure, why they need to be interpreted with caution, and their alternatives. Lunch will be provided. Event sponsored by APUO.

Where: DMS 12110
When: Tuesday, February 25th, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.



Panel: “Public Education for the Public Good” and Social

Anaïs Elboujaini: Graduate Student Rep on the uOttawa Board of Governors Vanessa Hunt: Deputy Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students Erika Shaker: Director Education Project, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Panel guests will present on the need to fight neo-liberal attacks on the fundamental direction of public education and research. A social will take place after the panel. Event sponsored by GSAED and APTPUO.

Where: Cafe Nostalgica
When: Thursday, February 27th, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Film Screening: Carré rouge sur fond noir This event will be exclusively in French.

This film takes us into the heart of the 2012 student crisis to experience from the inside one of the most important social movements in Quebec history. Event sponsored by GSAED and SFUO.

Where: Grad House (GSD 307)
When: Friday, February 28th, 5:30pm

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.

Save the Date: Joel Westheimer on Austerity and CAUT Grievance Handling Workshop

APUO is pleased to announce several events in April.

On April 11th from 1:00 – 2:00, Joel Westheimer will give a talk on the corporatization of education. Joel is a very engaging speaker, and members will benefit from his analysis of the political and social environment of postsecondary education. Joel’s talk is a reprise of a presentation he gave at OCUFA’s Education in an Age of Austerity Conference (January 2013). It was so well received that he’s been asked to give it twice since. Here’s the description:

The corporate university ascendant?

This session will explore how the financial crisis of 2008 and the following emphasis on public austerity may be hastening the evolution of the university into a new, labour market-oriented corporate model. The session will also ask if we are witnessing the decline of the university as a centre of critical thought and human development.

Following Joel’s talk, APUO has invited the Canadian Association of University Teachers to present a Grievance Handling Workshop to all interested APUO, CUASA (Carleton), and APSPU (St. Paul) members. The workshop looks at the employer’s responsibilities in the workplace and how conflicts can be resolved through grievance.

The workshop demystifies the grievance process and underscores that grievances are ways of clarifying workplace issues. This takes the enormous negative baggage out of the grievance process and views it as one way of potentially solving conflict.

The grievance handling workshop begins at 2:30 on April 11th and runs until 4:30. There will be a cocktail hour immediately following the first day of the grievance workshop, which continues on April 12th from 9:00 – 5:00.

Location for all events: DSM 12102.

L’APUO a le plaisir d’annoncer plusieurs évènements prévus pour avril.

Le 11 avril à 13h, Joel Westheimer fera une présentation au sujet de la corporatisation des institutions éducatives. Joel est un présentateur dynamique et les membres apprendront beaucoup de son analyse politique et sociale du système éducatif postsecondaire.

Joel nous offre une reprise de la présentation qu’il a donnée dans le cadre d’une conférence de l’UAPUO (l’Union des Associations des Professeurs des Universités de l’Ontario) « Age of Austerity » qui s’est tenue en janvier dernier. Voici une description du sujet de sa présentation :

The corporate university ascendant?

This session will explore how the financial crisis of 2008 and the following emphasis on public austerity may be hastening the evolution of the university into a new, labour market-oriented corporate model. The session will also ask if we are witnessing the decline of the university as a centre of critical thought and human development.

 À la suite de la présentation du Professeur Westheimer, l’APUO a invité l’ACPPU (l’Association canadienne des Professeurs et Professeures d’Université) à offrir un atelier portant sur les griefs en milieu de travail à tous les membres de l’APUO, de CUASA (Carleton) et de l’APSPU (Université St Paul). L’atelier portera sur les responsabilités de l’employeur en milieu de travail et comment les conflits peuvent être résolus au moyen de grief.

L’atelier fera la lumière sur le processus de grief et mettra l’emphase sur l’utilité des griefs comme moyens pour clarifier les défis qui peuvent survenir dans le milieu de travail. Cette approche élimine le bagage négatif associé au processus de grief et le positionne comme un mécanisme de résolution de conflit.

Cet atelier débutera à 14h 30 le 11 avril et sera d’une durée de deux heures. Les participants seront conviés à un cinq à sept immédiatement après l’atelier qui continuera le 12 avril de 9 h à 17 h.

Tous les évènements auront lieu dans la pièce 12102 DMS.

“Our universities have become factories” (UK Telegraph)

By By Gordon Campbell, Council for the Defence of British Universities

“For many years I have worked at one of the 40 or so universities that describe themselves as a top-20 university. And when I entered the profession, universities – though largely independent of government – were part of the education sector.

We are now, in the eyes of government, nationalised businesses that exist to serve the economy. The Universities Minister now reports to the Business Secretary, not his counterpart in the Department for Education.

In that time, life has changed utterly for academics and students alike. The value of teaching has been downgraded without mercy, because it attracts no differential funding. When I arrived at my university, we taught our undergraduates in groups of two; the numbers have gradually increased, and now we teach them in groups of 13. This is an efficiency gain.”

Read full story.

Fair Employment Week – October 22 to 26, 2012

From the CAUT website:

The overuse and exploitation of contract academic staff is one of the biggest challenges facing the academic profession. That’s why CAUT has joined with a coalition of organizations, unions and activists across the US, Canada and Mexico to organize Fair Employment Week. The goals of the Week are:

  • to raise contingent academic labour issues nationally and locally in media and policy circles, and
  • to stimulate organizing and support local collective bargaining initiatives.

FEW is a highly decentralized and flexible campaign. The uniting theme of fairness for contract academic staff is sufficiently general to allow academic staff associations to focus on the issue or issues most relevant to them, and to hold events appropriate to their situation. In previous years, the campaign has had a positive impact on negotiations. It has also helped increase contract academic staff involvement in faculty associations.

Visit the CAUT site regularly for ideas, information and materials. You can also check out the website for the US campaign (known as Campus Equity Week) at

Questions about the campaign, or interested in getting involved? Contact Robert Johnson or (613) 820-2270 ext 193.

Be mindful also of the temporary staff at our own university and specifically in the library. There have been several instances in the past months of contracts that are specifically in contravention of our Collective Agreement. APUO members have a responsibility to ensure that our colleagues, whether or not they are APUO members, are treated fairly. It is also important to consider how we are affected by the use of temporary labour.


StatsCan discontinues survey of full-time PSE teaching staff

News Date:  May 7, 2012

Statistics Canada released Thursday its final issue of “Salaries and Salary Scales of Full-time Teaching Staff at Canadian Universities,” as the agency has discontinued its Full-time University and College Academic Staff System. “This is very disturbing news,” writes University Affairs blogger Léo Charbonneau, as the survey tracked much more data than just professor salaries. Among the information collected, he notes, were gender, age, department, principal subject taught, salary and administrative stipends, unpaid leave, citizenship, and province or country of degrees earned. Charbonneau also points out that StatsCan’sEducation Matters publication has been discontinued as well. The Canadian Association of University Teachers has written to Industry Minister Christian Paradis urging him “to reconsider this ill-conceived decision.” CAUT states in its letter that “it is particularly ironic that this decision has been made at precisely the same time as it is widely recognized that knowledge and education are one of the key building blocks for long-term and sustainable growth.” Margin Notes (University Affairs blog) | CAUT Letter



Anyone who has been in collective bargaining knows how important these data are. This is not only a blow to PSE generally, but a direct assault on collective bargaining in the PSE sector.