The cutting edge of the attack on collegial governance these days is on Canada’s east coast. Despite considerable opposition from faculty, labour and opposition parties, Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has just passed Bill 100, The Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act.
The Bill threatens to override all Collective Agreements of campus employees, opening the door to layoffs, program closures and pay reductions. It is a frontal assault on the principles of collegial governance and the political autonomy of research, teaching and learning. Promoted as a means of ensuring university accountability, Bill 100 ensures that the costs of that accountability are borne by faculty and staff, not the senior administrators.
The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) – supported by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and CAUT – organized vocal opposition to the Bill. However, all concerned parties were caught off guard as Third Reading and a Vote were moved forward, short-circuiting debate, and passing the Bill into law on Wednesday.
WLUFA joins the ANSUT and others in condemning this new law, and calls on Nova Scotia’s university presidents to refuse to invoke the terms (that is, cite a “significant operating deficiency”) that would set the provisions of this flawed legislation in motion.
For more information, read OCUFA’s open letter of support, a report on CAUT’s condemnation of the law and Wednesday’s press release by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers.