Fair Employment Week

Fair Employment Week – October 26 to 30, 2009

See the CAUT Fair Employment Week website:

http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=572&lang=1

QUFA is distributing Fair Employment Week buttons to all departments through our Council of Representatives. These are classy green on white, good design. We ask everyone to wear them during Fair Employment Week. Ask your Council Rep for a button. Posters are also being distributed. Please post in your area and wherever you think they will be seen. Clusters of posters make an eye-catching display.

QUFA is the source for buttons and posters; however, we encourage all who believe in Fair Employment to participate. This campaign goes beyond part-time faculty to include ALL faculty and department heads. We encourage STAFF and STUDENTS to participate. If the University Administration wishes to support the Fair Employment Week, that would be wonderful! Will your Dean wear a button?

If you need more posters or buttons, please contact your QUFA Council Rep or the QUFA Office.

If you want to be more involved in Fair Employment Week by writing a letter or editorial or distributing information, please contact the QUFA Political Action and Communications Committee (PACC) Co-Chairs, Roberta Lamb email; lambr at queensu or Frank Burke email: burkef at queensu

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.

Submitted by Roberta Lamb and Frank Burke, PACC Co-Chairs

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2 Responses to Fair Employment Week

  1. While I agree that fair empolyment is key to a successful and happy student body and faculty, I think we should be aware of what else is happening in our provinical community. As an adjunct in the Department of Music I have been following the news at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Faculty there have been teaching without a contract since 2007. During this period the RCM has opened their new performing arts centre while squeezing out the very community that helped them grown to the internationally recognized musical super-house that they are today. We at Queens should be mindful of their experiences and make sure that we don’t allow this to happen here.

    Links to check out:
    Martin Knellman’s article in the Toronto Star:
    http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/701808

    RCM Faculty Assoc. Facebook page:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Royal-Conservatory-of-Music-Faculty-Association-OSSTF/316221490174

    Collaborative Piano Blog article:
    http://collaborativepiano.blogspot.com/2009/10/support-royal-conservatory-of-music.html

  2. DR. NATASHA KOZIOL says:

    FEW will have no effect on changing behaviours, but legislation will. If the government insisted that faculty members could not be on contracts for more than 3 years before they had to become full-time members, hiring behaviours would change and more priority would be given to contractual academics. Government could also legislate that no more than 20% (as an example) of academics could be on contracts. This would ensure that there was regular cycling through from part-time to full-time. Conestoga College is an excellent example where there are virtually no contract employees hanging around for years. University Presidents need to reconfigure their organizational culture to prohibit the long-term use of academic contracts. I have lived on both sides of the full-time and contract debate and once you are full-time, it is repulsive to think about reverting to contracts (this is what I did) and work for 1/3 of the pay and no benefits and that’s with a PhD and 25 years of teaching experience.

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