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Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition calls for faculty, students and staff to play major role in upcoming PSE consultations
The Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition is calling on the provincial government to recognize faculty, students and staff as equal partners in upcoming consultations on PSE in the province.
The Coalition, comprised of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT), the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia (CFS-NS), the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) and the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) issued a letter today to Premier Stephen McNeil, Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie and New Democratic Party leader Maureen MacDonald, urging them to substantively include faculty, students and staff in the deliberations that will produce the next Memorandum of Understanding between the provincial government and the province’s universities. Dalhousie Student Union Vice-President (Academic and External) Jacqueline Skiptunis also acted as a signatory on behalf of Dalhousie’s student body.
The Coalition declared in the letter that “students, faculty and staff are united within the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition and, as those who know the strengths and weaknesses of universities and colleges best, we are the key stakeholder constituencies to be consulted.” In its most recent public opinion poll, Building for the Future: Public Opinion on Post-Secondary Education in Nova Scotia (2014), the Coalition found that nearly three quarters of respondents felt that students, faculty, and staff should play a major role in decision-making at post-secondary institutions.
“Three quarters of Nova Scotians want to see the faculty who teach, the students who learn, and the staff who work in our post-secondary institutions make the decisions about what their future will look like,” said Marc Lamoureux, ANSUT President. “The Nova Scotia government needs to engage faculty, students and staff as equal partners when policies relating to fees, funding and governance are being set.”
ANSUT supports WUFA against anti-union tactics
The Association of Nova Scotia has written a letter of support to the Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA), whose members recently came under attack when the Employer imposed anti-union tactics on the collective bargaining process.
In a communication to WUFA members on 6 July 2014, the Employer said that it would:
• eliminate its contributions to the money purchase plan component of the hybrid pension plan;
• cease paying health insurance benefits;
• suspend the Grievance and Arbitration provisions in the collective agreement;
• end reimbursing WUFA members for professional development expenses; and,
• cease collecting union dues from members and forwarding those dues to WUFA.
In this undertaking, the Employer threatened to remove WUFA’s right to enforce the terms of the Collective Agreement, while at the same time requiring that WUFA members continue to report for work and do their jobs. As of 10 July, the Employer suspended, but did not withdraw its threat to change the terms and conditions of employment at the University of Windsor.
ANSUT has also written a letter to President Alan Wildeman, urging the Employer to withdraw this tactic entirely and to return to the bargaining table in good faith.
ANSUT responds to Liberal provincial budget
The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers released a statement to the press, on April 3, 2014, responding with sharp criticism to the new Liberal government’s provincial budget.
With this budget, Nova Scotia’s government continues to neglect our province’s vital post-secondary education (PSE) sector, in direct contradiction to Premier Stephen McNeil’s statement earlier this year that “one of the things that we need to do as a province is to stop apologizing for the number of post-secondary institutions that we have in this province,” as they are a “great asset”.
Instead, the McNeil government has upheld the trend of neglecting PSE in Nova Scotia, to the continued detriment of faculty, students, staff and, ultimately, the province as a whole.
Please find ANSUT’s statement to the press here.
ANSUT Releases latest public opinion poll with the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition
On February 4, 2014, the Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Education Coalition (ANSUT, NSGEU, CFS-NS) released its latest in an ongoing series of public opinion polls that began in 2005. “Building For The Future: Public Opinion on Post-Secondary Education in Nova Scotia” suggests that, in keeping with our findings in 2005, 2007, and 2010, Nova Scotians continue to have serious concerns regarding the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education in our province.
With the new Liberal government under Premier McNeil having signalled that we in Nova Scotia ought to start looking at our universities as assets rather than liabilities, the moment seems ripe for those of us involved in the post-secondary system to redouble our advocacy and amplify our voices. Making our concerns, and assessments of the difficulties facing PSE, ever more visible to the public eye will be crucial for the foreseeable future.
Please access our polling brief here and circulate it to your members and other interested parties.
ANSUT Releases Report on Senior Administrators’ Pay
On September 11, 2012, ANSUT released its long-awaited report on levels of compensation for senior administrators at Nova Scotia universities. The report shows that over a seven-year period these have risen disproportionately to other costs, and calls for the government to take measures to stem this disturbing trend.
Click here for the full text of the report: A Culture of Entitlement
Click here for the report backgrounder: A Culture of Entitlement: Backgrounder
NEXT ANSUT COUNCIL MEETING
The next meeting of the ANSUT Council will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the FUNSCAD Lounge at the Granville Campus of NSCAD University. The next Annual General Meeting of ANSUT will take place on May 17, 2014.
The ANSUT Executive
Marc Lamoureux, Saint Mary’s University
Scott Stewart, Cape Breton University
Chris Ferns, Mount Saint Vincent University
Linda Mann, Mount Saint Vincent University
Mathew Reichertz, NSCAD University
Peter McInnis, St. Francis Xavier University
c/o Matthew Furlong, Communications Coordinator
Evaristus Hall 425
166 Bedford Highway
Nova Scotia B3M 2J6