2019 « WLUFA

Child Care Campaign / Campagne pour les services de garde

July 29th, 2019

Memorandum 19 :22


Date:  July 25, 2019


To:  Presidents and Administrative Officers; Local, Federated and Provincial Associations


From:  David Robinson, Executive Director


Re:  Child Care Campaign



CAUT is a supporter of Child Care Now (formally the Child Care Advocacy Association Canada), a coalition that is seeking local and provincial association endorsements for its “Affordable Child Care for All Plan”.


The Affordable Child Care for All Plan calls upon all the federal political parties to build a robust child care system over the next ten years. It is the culmination of extensive consultations, investigation, and evidence-based policy discussions over the past year. It is shaped by Canadian and international research on the best way to make high quality early learning and child care accessible, and inclusive to children of all abilities and family circumstance.


The Affordable Child Care for All Plan aims to lower fees, improve availability, and raise quality by improving the wages and working conditions of child care workers.


Child Care Now is seeking local, provincial and national organizational endorsements as we head into the 2019 federal election. To endorse the plan send an email to ed@ccnow.ca.


You can also encourage members to get behind the campaign by signing up in support of the Affordable Child Care for All Plan at childcareforall.ca.




Note 19 :22


Date :  Le 25 juillet 2019


Destinataires :  Présidents et agents administratifs; Associations locales, fédérées et provinciales


Expéditeur :  David Robinson, directeur général


Objet :  Campagne pour les services de garde



L’ACPPU soutient l’organisme Un Enfant Une Place (auparavant dénommé Association canadienne pour la promotion des services de garde à l’enfance), une coalition qui sollicite l’aval des associations locales et provinciales à son « Plan pour des services de garde éducatifs et abordables pour tous ».


Le plan appelle tous les partis politiques fédéraux à bâtir, au cours des dix prochaines années, un solide système de services de garde à l’enfance. Il est l’aboutissement de consultations intensives, d’analyses et de discussions stratégiques fondées sur des données probantes qui ont eu lieu au cours de l’année. Cette feuille de route s’inspire de recherches réalisées au Canada et à l’échelle internationale sur la meilleure façon de rendre des services éducatifs et de garde de bonne qualité accessibles à tous les enfants, peu importe leurs capacités et leur situation familiale.


Le Plan pour des services de garde éducatifs et abordables pour tous vise à faire diminuer les frais de garde, à élargir l’accès aux services et à augmenter leur qualité en améliorant les salaires et les conditions de travail des personnes qui travaillent dans le secteur.


À l’approche des élections fédérales de 2019, Un Enfant Une Place invite les organisations locales, provinciales et nationales à s’engager en faveur du plan en envoyant un courriel à l’adresse ed@ccnow.ca.


Vous pouvez également encourager vos membres à apporter leur appui à la campagne et au Plan pour des services de garde éducatifs et abordables à partir du site childcareforall.ca.


Canadian Association of University Teachers
Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université
2705, promenade Queensview Drive, Ottawa (Ontario) K2B 8K2
Tel \ Tél. (613) 820-2270 | Fax \ Téléc. (613) 820-7244
CAUT.ca \ //Facebook.com/caut.acppu \ @caut_acppu


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AVIS : Ce message peut contenir des renseignements privilégiés et confidentiels et il est strictement réservé à l’usage du destinataire indiqué. Si vous n’êtes pas le destinataire de ce message, la consultation ou la reproduction même partielle de ce message et des renseignements qu’il contient est strictement interdite. Si ce message vous a été transmis par erreur, veuillez en informer


July 29th, 2019
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Some summer reading courtesy of Academic Matters

There is more to Academic Matters than just the print issue. New articles are being added to the Academic Matters website every week. Here are some recent articles for your summer reading pleasure. And if you haven’t already, now is a great time to catch up on our  latest print issue: Decolonizing the university in an era of Truth and Reconciliation.




Precarious employment in education impacts workers, families and students
By Michael Mindzak, Brock University
“Recent announcements in Ontario about public education have been controversial, with changes including larger classroom sizes, mandatory online courses and curriculum revisions. However, perhaps most significantly, the imposed changes will lead to the loss of teaching positions across the province. With government priorities focused on …”Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: An epidemic on both sides of the Medicine Line
By Margaret Moss, University of British Columbia
“As an American Indian woman who recently moved to Canada, I’ve been saddened to see that the systemic and insidious racism towards Indigenous women and girls that is happening in the United States is also happening in Canada. My new provincial home, British Columbia …”

Retirement options for Canadians have changed dramatically
By Thomas Klassen, York University
“The plan by the Ontario government to reduce the wages of professors at age 71 illustrates the dramatic changes in the relationship between work, retirement, and pensions. Until recently, the expectation was that most Canadians would stop working between age 60 and 65 and then …”


– Advertisement –


Zero-hour contracts take a huge mental and physical toll – poor eating habits, lack of sleep and relationship problems
By Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi, University of Hertfordshire and Janet Barlow, University of Hertfordshire
“The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of …”Shifting priorities in the new university
By Thomas Klassen, York University
“The image of universities composed of mostly full-time tenured professors is long out-of-date. Half of all undergraduate students in Canada, as in many other countries, are taught by professors hired part-time or on short-term contracts. In the US, about three-quarters …”


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New polling shows Canadians believe in post-secondary education, and so should our federal political parties

July 29th, 2019

New polling shows Canadians believe in post-secondary education, and so should our federal political parties


(Ottawa – July 25, 2019)  Canadians believe post-secondary education (PSE) has a positive impact on themselves and the country as a whole, is more relevant today in our rapidly changing world, and makes us stronger in the face of new challenges, according to a new national survey conducted by Abacus Data for the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).


With provincial and territorial ministers of education in Victoria July 24-25 for the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), meeting, the survey results are timely and of key relevance to their discussions on crucial PSE issues.

Findings include:

  • A large majority (78%) of those surveyed view universities and colleges as having positive impacts on the direction of the country;
  • Most Canadians believe PSE is more relevant than ever, with 70% agreeing that “it has never been more important to get a post-secondary education given the changes in the economy and society”;
  • When told that Canada has the highest rate of residents with a post-secondary degree among comparable countries, two thirds (65%) of respondents feel it makes Canada a better place to live, a view that’s held across demographic, regional, and socio-economic groups. A majority of all political party supporters feel this way as well;
  • 93% of Canadians would get a PSE if there was no tuition, indicating cost is a factor for lifelong learning.


“The survey also showed that Canadians are concerned about many issues such as climate change, our aging population, and growing economic and social inequality,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “In that context, Canadians clearly see the value of PSE in preparing students for the modern economy, training the next generation of problem solvers, conducing research, and introducing students to a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives.”


CAUT is calling on all federal political parties to support PSE the way most Canadians want the government to support it, by:

  • Ensuring that every student who wants to go to college or university can go, regardless of their ability to pay (84%);
  • Investing more in full-time post-secondary teaching positions (85%);
  • Reducing class sizes at colleges and universities (64%);
  • Eliminating post-secondary tuition entirely (61%).


“Post-secondary education makes Canada more united, stronger, and positioned to tackle the challenges we will face today and in the future,” Robinson says. “The federal government should support the sector and help make it stronger across the country.”


Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)




*Methodology – the survey was conducted online with 1500 Canadian residents aged 18 and over, from April 24-30. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random-sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment and region. Totals may not add up due to rounding.




Nouveau sondage : Les Canadiens croient à l’éducation postsecondaire et il devrait en être de même de nos partis politiques fédéraux


(Ottawa – 25 juillet 2019) Les Canadiens estiment que l’éducation postsecondaire a un impact positif, que cette formation est plus pertinente que jamais dans notre monde en mutation rapide et qu’elle renforce nos capacités à faire face aux défis, selon un nouveau sondage réalisé par Abacus Data pour l’Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université (ACPPU).


Les résultats de ce sondage arrivent à point nommé puisque les ministres provinciaux et territoriaux responsables de l’éducation se rencontrent à Victoria les 24 et 25 juillet dans le cadre du Conseil des ministres de l’Éducation (CMEC) afin de discuter des enjeux cruciaux liés à l’éducation postsecondaire à l’aube des élections fédérales.


Parmi les constatations du sondage :

  • La grande majorité (78 %) des répondants estiment que les universités et les collèges ont un impact positif sur l’orientation du pays;
  • La plupart des Canadiens croient que l’éducation postsecondaire s’avère plus pertinente que jamais, 70 % étant d’accord pour dire qu’« il importe plus que jamais d’acquérir une formation postsecondaire compte tenu des mutations dans l’économie et la société »;
  • Lorsqu’on fait savoir aux répondants que le Canada compte la plus grande proportion de diplômés postsecondaires parmi les pays comparables, deux tiers (65 %) d’entre eux estiment que cela fait du Canada un meilleur endroit où vivre, un point de vue partagé quels que soient les groupes démographiques, régionaux et socio-économiques. La majorité des Canadiens de toutes les allégeances politiques sont également de cet avis;
  • 93 % des Canadiens poursuivraient des études postsecondaires s’il n’y avait pas de frais de scolarité à payer, ce qui indique que le coût est un facteur de l’apprentissage permanent.


« Le sondage révèle aussi que les Canadiens sont préoccupés par de nombreuses questions telles que le changement climatique, le vieillissement de notre population et l’accroissement des inégalités économiques et sociales, souligne le directeur général de l’ACPPU, David Robinson. Dans ce contexte, les Canadiens reconnaissent pleinement l’importance de l’éducation postsecondaire pour préparer les étudiants à réussir dans l’économie moderne, assurer la formation de la prochaine génération d’innovateurs, réaliser des travaux de recherche et faire connaître aux étudiants une vaste gamme de points de vue et de perspectives. »


L’ACPPU demande à tous les partis politiques fédéraux de manifester pour l’éducation postsecondaire le même soutien que la plupart des Canadiens s’attendent à obtenir du gouvernement, grâce aux démarches suivantes :

  • Veiller à ce que tous les étudiants qui souhaitent faire des études collégiales ou universitaires puissent le faire, peu importe leur capacité à payer (84 %);
  • Investir davantage dans la création de postes d’enseignement à temps plein au niveau postsecondaire (85 %);
  • Réduire les effectifs des classes dans les collèges et les universités (64 %);
  • Éliminer totalement les frais de scolarité au niveau postsecondaire (61 %).


« L’éducation postsecondaire contribue à rendre le Canada plus uni, plus fort et bien placé pour relever les défis d’aujourd’hui et ceux de l’avenir, affirme David Robinson. Le gouvernement fédéral doit soutenir le secteur et le renforcer partout au pays. »


Contact pour les médias : Lisa Keller, agente des communications, Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université, 613-726-5186 (bureau); 613-222-3530 (cellulaire)




*Méthodologie – Le sondage a été mené en ligne du 24 au 30 avril auprès de 1 500 résidents canadiens âgés de 18 ans et plus. La marge d’erreur pour un échantillon aléatoire comparable de même taille sur une base de probabilité est de +/ 2,53 %, 19 fois sur 20. Les chiffres ont été pondérés en fonction des données du recensement pour s’assurer que l’échantillon correspond à l’ensemble de la population du Canada, en fonction de l’âge, du sexe, du niveau d’éducation et de la région. L’addition des totaux pourrait ne pas égaler 100 %, car ceux-ci ont été arrondis.


Canadian Association of University Teachers
Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université
2705, promenade Queensview Drive, Ottawa (Ontario) K2B 8K2
Tel \ Tél. (613) 820-2270 | Fax \ Téléc. (613) 820-7244
CAUT.ca \ //Facebook.com/caut.acppu \ @caut_acppu


NOTICE: This message is reserved strictly for the use of the individual or organization to whom it is addressed and it may contain privileged and confidential information. Access, copying or re-use of any information contained therein by any other person is not authorized. If you are not the intended recipient please notify us immediately by returning the message to the originator.


AVIS : Ce message peut contenir des renseignements privilégiés et confidentiels et il est strictement réservé à l’usage du destinataire indiqué. Si vous n’êtes pas le destinataire de ce message, la consultation ou la reproduction même partielle de ce message et des renseignements qu’il contient est strictement interdite. Si ce message vous a été transmis par erreur, veuillez en informer l’expéditeur en lui retournant ce message.


Faculty Respond to WLUFA Budget Message

July 26th, 2019

Please note: This is a static page that will be added to as responses (and permissions) arrive. Responses are being posted chronologically — earliest to most recent. If you wish to add a response, please forward your message to wlufacommunications and CC the email to David Monod.

A Response to WLUFA’s Response to the Laurier Budget Message

On July 18 we received a message from President MacLatchy entitled “Empowering Change: Budget 2020/2021,” which asked us to think of ways to save money / find efficiencies to counter the massive cuts being imposed by Premier Doug Ford’s government.  On July 24 we received a response to that request from WLUFACommunications with the not-so-subtle title, “A Skunkweed By Any Other Name: WLUFA responds to “Empowering Change: Budget 2020/ 2021.”” I was relieved to see that WLUFA issued a response to the President’s request as it was sorely needed.  However, I was both confused and disheartened by what WLUFA wrote.

Comparing the President’s message (and the cuts it represents) to murder and suicide is irresonsible, extreme and will be offensive to some.  No one at Laurier is being murdered or killing themselves due to Ford’s cuts. Beyond the specific rhetoric of the message, there is no actual request or suggestion in WLUFA’s response.  The message ends with the following statement: “it is time to bring the battle to Queen’s Park.”  There is no signature, other identifying info, or link to follow to learn more about this battle.  When are we to take this battle to Queen’s Park?  How? And who is involved?  Is it COU that is to bring the battle, WLU admin, WLUFA?  All of us?  Or are we to just do this ourselves as we see fit?

Overall the message is odd and quite incendiary.  As such, it’s too easy to dismiss as the rantings of a few disgruntled faculty (something I saw happen on Senate repeatedly in my time there).  And this is a shame because the government cuts and WLU’s response to them are very serious affairs.  WLUFA missed a good opportunity to address the many problems of the President’s message. These include:

  1. We’ve done this cost-saving, efficiency-finding exercise already with the IPRM and RCM. And we paid handsomely to do so in the form of consultants’ fees and our own labour.  Asking us all to find efficiencies yet again is redundant.  IPRM and RCM identified where all the money is and where it all goes and produced reams of data the University said would be essential in making budget decisions. Why are they abandoning all this now?  How will information gleaned through this “empowering change” process be any different than that produced from previous processes?
  2. Ford will be out of government by the time any University exercise has been completed.  His approval rating is record-breakingly low. Going through another efficiency-finding exercise as a specific response to Ford is pointless – we’ll come up with new buzz words and metrics only to throw those in the garbage once Ford is gone.
  3. The President’s request is premised on the idea that we have been holding back our ideas for efficiencies – as if we had key ways to cut costs but decided not to voice them during the IPRM and RCM processes.  That’s silly.  This type of call might appeal to new faculty that are eager to get involved and make their mark at the University but as we all know, we haven’t hired a significant number of new faculty in a long time.  The rest of us can smell make-work projects like this from a mile away!
  4. The financial matters of the University are the Board’s responsibility.  Asking faculty to solve a budget crisis is outside what we’re hired to do.  We don’t ask Board members to come up with new academic programs, do research or teach (and we shouldn’t) and we shouldn’t ask faculty to solve the University’s financial problems.  The separation of Board and Senate as responsible for the financial and pedagogical aspects of the University, respectively, was made very clear to me as a Senator and is a defining feature of our bi-cameral system of governance.
  5. Following 4, this is another attempt to promote a false sense of ‘community’ when jobs and livelihoods are at stake.  A close-knit collegial community is an old ideal that may have applied at Laurier before the ‘growth is inherently good’ business model we adopted ten-plus years ago, but we are decidedly bigger and less family-like now.  WLUFA’s response to “empowering change” is a perfect example of the increasingly fraught relationship between faculty and administration at this university. The University Administration must address this financial problem and take responsibility for the decisions made and the impacts that follow – there is no feel-good ‘from-the-ground-up’ or ‘made-in-Laurier’ solution available here. People are going to lose their jobs and working conditions are likely to worsen.
  6. This is a COU problem (WLUFA rightly identifies this in their response).  All Ontario University Presidents and Boards should be publicly lobbying the government to stop the cuts and re-frame the now dominant narrative disparaging postsecondary education.  Unless I missed it, there has been no unified statement from Universities in any major media outlet.  That is extraordinary. Rather than asking faculty to find efficiencies (again and again), our Board and Administration should be working with other University Boards and Administrations to create a unified, public front against the cuts.  If they are doing that, the President should have made that clear in her message.

There are no doubt many other points that could be made here – these are the ones that have resonated with me.  And while I’m glad that WLUFA issued a response rather than remain silent, this particular response missed a good opportunity to highlight the many problems of “empowering change.”

Jonathan Finn



Good evening,

I understand this is a difficult time but the messaging in this email needs to be better.

While I appreciate WLUFA’s position on President MacLatchy’s email, I was quite disappointed with the comparisons to murder and suicide.

I would expect WLUFA to be more cognizant of this with all the issues surrounding mental health and violence on campus.  Quite simply, I would think that the faculty association would chose better and less worrisome comparisons than murder and suicide.

My two cents for what they are worth but I bet I am not the only faculty member dissatisfied with the content of WLUFA’s email.

Tom J. Hazell, PhD


Hi everyone,

Tom shared his email with me and I wanted to write a short email to state that I am in complete agreement with him. The WLUFA statement in response to Deb’s email was problematic for a couple of reasons. First, I found the comparisons to murder/suicide to be highly insensitive. I don’t think I need to elaborate on why this might be the case. Second, I found the escalation in tone to be completely unnecessary. Unfortunately, this kind of response is one of the reasons I tend not to get too involved in WLUFA in meetings or with my service time. The university and WLUFA have a superordinate problem in Doug Ford and I don’t think it was unreasonable for Deb to ask our opinion about how we might manage this challenging time. I am sure that there will be very difficult conversations to be had with administration over the coming year or so, and I definitely do not agree with many of the directions taken by the university. However, we don’t always need five dollar reactions to perceived nickel provocations.

Mark Eys, Ph.D.



My Fellow WLUFA members

I am writing a response to the email entitled “WLUFA Response to Laurier Budget Message”.

I want to make it clear that I did not find this email to represent my views and I was embarrassed by its tone and its presentation. I did not experience the email as a constructive response to the facts on the ground. The facts: over the next three years of the current Ontario government, university budgets will almost certainly decrease. The actual amounts may not be clear but no one I know disputes some kind of revenue reduction is very likely.

I will bring two aspects of the email to your attention. The discussion of the role of COU was very out of place. COU has very limited power and influence and Laurier has little power and influence within COU. Discussing COU is a waste of time. Second, and more problematically, there is the complaint that members of all campus unions were invited into the budget process to provide ideas on cost reduction or revenue creation. Very colourful language was used about the proposed consultation: “an effort to turn the murder of the university into a suicide.” This seems to me to be very extreme and unhelpful language.

Suppose employees had NOT been asked for their suggestions on spending reduction and revenue enhancement. I can just imagine the email complaining about non-consultation; probably written by the same person(s).

WLUFA, in bargaining on behalf of its members for the contract beginning July 1, 2020, already has a seat at the budget table every three years. This is what WLUFA does and what the other unions do – in their collective agreements; they are participating in the budget process. There is no avoiding being a part of the budget process for the unions that represent their members.

The question is whether the bargaining table is the only place where it is useful for the WLUFA leadership to provide input. I would have to say the answer is not clear to me at this time. If the WLUFA leadership made a formal signed submission to the budget process and their suggestions were taken up, than such a budget would have been created with “support” from WLUFA leadership, then this may be awkward in the adversarial situation at the bargaining table. Perhaps the WLUFA leadership can better serve its membership by not providing formal public input into the budget at this point.

However it is clear to me that there is no harm and some possible good in employees and students offering budgetary suggestions. Suppose a WLUFA member offered up some wonderful way to reduce central expenses that no one else had thought of. That would leave more resources for compensation of faculty and other employees. Why would this be a bad thing?

The administration’s request is an opportunity for members of WLUFA and other university employees to be explicit on “And if that must be done, is our administration willing to provide real leadership by cutting away at itself before it comes after us?” We can suggest to the Administration how to cut itself. We can look to them for leadership in reducing central expenses. They will have no credibility if this does not occur.

After a Budget Town Hall held by the previous provost and vice-president, I chose to provide explicit feedback on spending at the centre of the RCM model. I did point out that there needed to be credible cuts at the centre to generate any support for the budget process. I repeated that feedback in the recent Administration request for budget ideas.

Here were my four explicit suggestions on spending at the “centre”:

1) Replace the three “dean-like positions” at Brantford with one Dean. There seems no purpose in have three decanal-level administrators for a campus of Brantford’s size.

2) End the subsidy to the BSIA and SIPG programs. From the Town Hall comments my memory is that this subsidy is somewhere between two and three million dollars a year. * There are very few students in the SIPPG / BSIA programs. In my judgement, the work done in this unit is also done in other places in Canada and around the world. In my judgement, other programs at Laurier have fewer resources because of a recent poor administration decision to extend this program for 10 years. The WLU faculty members in that unit can return to cognate departments who are already paying their salaries (I believe). The PhD students can be funded to the end of their funding period in cognate departments. The Master’s program could end. This would be less expensive than the current subsidy and move talented people to be exposed to teach more students in other programs. * https://lauriercloud.sharepoint.com/sites/finance/budget-and-planning/Documents/budget-report-2019-20.pdf has some information on the net revenue and cost position by faculty unit. In that document (page 34) SIPG reports there revenue of $1.3M – direct costs of $1.5M – no contribution to shared expenses of $1M – and with their faculty costs born in Arts, Lazarides and Science totalling $2M. SIPG is listed in the same document as having roughly 40 FTE graduate students.

3) Carefully study Laurier’s expenditures on undergraduate scholarships. How much should this total expenditure fall in this area since tuition has been reduced by 10%? This is mentioned in the budget document above. Are scholarships going to students with the highest financial needs or are they poorly targeted? Do we know very much about the role of entrance scholarships in attracting students? As an example, even the best students in Engineering at the University of Waterloo receive almost no scholarship money.

4) End all central spending related to Milton – even the explorations. It is clear this government will not support the Milton campus in the next three years. It would seem that whatever has already been done on the Milton project can sit in files for the next three years.

I am not an Administration toady: anyone who watched me on Senate and the Board would say quite the opposite. That experience left me with quite a complicated relationship with senior administrators. I hope we both learned from each other.

We would all benefit from a better run university. All organizations have room to improve. The act of asking for ideas around the budget is perfectly reasonable and if you have a good idea, you should participate.

Let’s have constructive conversations as we work together to spend the resources entrusted to us by student tuition dollars and taxpayers. In my opinion, the email was not part of a constructive conversation.

David Johnson



Please stop.

Your overuse of pathos is sickening. Referring a budgetary need to find efficiencies as “suicide” and “murder” is repulsive, and this type of rhetoric is far too common in communications coming from WLUFA.

The author didn’t even sign it.

WLUFA should be encouraging members to take part in the process, put pressure on the government for change, and work with the university to ensure the successful delivery of quality education for all its students.

It wouldn’t hurt to take part in the broader discussion of improving teaching and learning in the 21st century either.

Rick Henderson


Dear David and WLUFA,

Although your response to the recent correspondence from the University about governmental cutbacks was rather strongly worded, it was exactly what was needed. I appreciate your willingness to endure the unsavoury missives lobbed in your direction. Please be assured that many of us are indebted to your efforts.

Name withheld by request


Fellow union members,

I am dismayed at many of the responses to the WLUFA Executive’s message to the membership. I thought the message was not only quite well-written but more importantly . . . important! Some faculty members apparently thought just the opposite. Ford has launched an extreme attack, not just upon higher education, but upon all the education sectors in Ontario. Ford has launched an extreme attack upon our right to collectively bargain. But apparently to some, that’s not what is really important; no, it is our union President’s extreme rhetoric. I believe extreme situations sometimes call for extreme language. Regardless, what is required now is not a debate about rhetoric. The key question, as always, is: what is to be done?

Figuring out what should be done is in part a process of determining what should not be done. The sensible response to extraordinarily bad government policies is not how can we best implement them. As Jonathan Finn pointed out in his message, we have been down this “look for cuts and efficiencies road” before. Nonetheless, this is the pathetic administration response, which sadly some faculty members think is the only appropriate course of action. What is actually required, however, is to collectively fight this government’s policies.

There are many possible strategies to do so. They are not mutually exclusive. The legality of the government interference with collective bargaining is questionable. The CAUT has lawyers, OCUFA has lawyers, WLUFA has lawyers. Let’s mount some legal challenges.

When bargaining for the full-time unit commences, the WLUFA team should make it clear from the outset that 1% simply won’t do unless they make huge concessions in other areas.

Now, though the WLU administration’s response to the Ford attacks is disappointing, the issue goes way beyond Laurier. As said before, it concerns the entire education sector. WLUFA should be preparing with OCUFA, other higher education unions – and the teachers’ unions – how to coordinate a unified and vigorous action campaign to commence in September.

By action campaign, I mean strikes! A series of one day or one week strikes should be organized. Parents and students need to be mobilized, so a media campaign is also required.

Is the language too extreme to assert that education is under attack and that we, as educators, need to fight for it!

Garry Potter


Dear David and WLUFA,

Thank you for doing the vital work of the union that may counter the employer’s unilateral decisions.

The WLUFA Communications Team has identified a gap in WLUFA members’ views on recent communications from Laurier’s president concerning future budget cuts: “going too far” and “not far enough.  Quantifying the arguments can contribute to bridging the gap in WLUFA members’ understanding.

Concerning the recent information about budget cuts, is it possible for WLUFA to conduct (or commission) an economic analysis? Also, republishing and recalculating the growth of administration compared to faculty would be useful data for future arguments. Can WLUFA address in a financial analysis where and how much Laurier expends on administration in human resources and other areas such as salary plus taxable benefits that members of the administration have received, as well as capital expenditures? At least one new manager was created recently in the area of capital projects.

Can WLUFA present to the members the following data for 2008-2018 in graphs or tables:

– year by year number of staff (not CAS/Faculty), particularly line managers, vice-presidents, and president compared to the number of faculty members (two lines on a graph one for Full-time and one for CAS)

– comparison of the change in expenditures over the past decade: (1) How much has the faculty salary expenditure changed over the past decade (e.g., is it 2% per year?) and (2) how much has the managerial, executive/senior advisor, vice-presidents, presidents changed.

Also, is it possible to clarify whether the government funds only one-third of Laurier’s operating budget? Using the percentage received from the Ontario government, can WLUFA quantify the rate of cuts proposed by administration that will be faculty vs. administration vs. capital projects? For example, is the administration proposing that WLUFA members absorbed all of the reduction in the one-third or will administration also be reducing expenditures?

Thank you for considering providing numbers to the WLUFA members.

Name withheld by request



Though I haven’t taught at Laurier for a couple years, WLUFA’s recent response to the Ford government’s austerity measures against higher education gave me hope and courage. As a postdoctoral fellow and sessional instructor, I sometimes wonder whether the necessary changes can be spearheaded by tenured faculty and their associations, even though such workers and groups are witness to he way neoliberal governments are using universities as testing grounds for aggressive austerity and exploitation. It seems that the hierarchical privileges and divisions of the academy often work against the forming of solidarities that could put an end to the gross exploitation of such a highly trained work force. In this light, I found WLUFA’s call for solidarity across staff, professorial and student groups heartening; this is exactly what is needed at the current dire juncture.

As a successful but precariously positioned academic worker who has long grappled with anxiety, depression and mental care, for both myself and friends and colleagues, I was in no way offended by the use of murder and suicide as figures for describing the current state of affairs in the academy. The pressures being put on academic staff and students do have repercussions that can be life-threatening, especially when combined with other factors. If anything, these strong images made me relieved that an association in a position of influence had the courage to use clear and powerful language to describe the affective realities of our collective plight.

Rhetorical choices are important, and sometimes figures get used inappropriately and in ways that can cause harm and disrespect. However, I felt that in this context these images captured the feelings of desperation, fear and anxiety that attend trying to make a living in the contemporary university. WLUFA’s statement made me feel less alone, less disheartened, and helped stoke an empowering, fighting spirit in a context that often excels in individualizing and personalizing what are in reality structural injustices. It made me think that change is possible.

Please accept my gratitude and support for WLUFA’s assertion of leadership in these difficult and desperate times.


Simon Orpana

Post-doctoral Fellow

Department of English and Film Studies

University of Alberta


I want to commend WLUFA for recognizing the need for solidarity among university administration, faculty, staff, and students to fight against the demoralizing and oppressive budgetary constraints foisted upon us by the Ontario government. To simply comply, as our administration seems to want to do, is to make it easier for the current provincial government to continue to cut the feet from under the education sector and ensure its slow death. This government seems to want to ensure an uneducated citizenry that will not question their tactics. Why is our administration not calling on us all to speak out, act out, and show how important education must be for a successful society? Why doesn’t our administration utilize its connections with other universities and colleges to create a strong block of resistance? Instead we roll over and play submissive dog. As a contract faculty who is most likely to be affected by cuts to unit budgets, I am dismayed by the administration’s refusal to support our education system and by some  of my colleagues’ lack of concern with this situation.
Dr. Chris Klassen
Religion and Culture

WLUFA Response to Laurier Budget 2020-2021

July 24th, 2019


A Skunkweed By Any Other Name: WLUFA responds to “Empowering Change: Budget 2020/ 2021”

Losing your job is devastating, not empowering.

Universities have been placed in an impossible position by the Ford government’s predations. We know that. But President MacLatchy’s message is an effort to turn the murder of the university into a suicide.

Even more alarming is that her message asks us all to participate willingly in the action.

Making the cuts work by gutting programs, services and destroying morale at Laurier will only play into the Ford government’s hands. And if that must be done, is our administration willing to provide real leadership by cutting away at itself before it comes after us?

And why is COU sitting quietly on the sidelines while the ability for our province to provide post-secondary education – and the ability for Ontario’s young people to access post-secondary education – continues to be eroded?

We need to stand up to the government together: employer, student, staff and faculty, united in resistance.  President MacLatchy’s message is a plea to our Laurier community. But being a community doesn’t mean passing the knife from one group to the other.

The government wants to murder us, but we don’t have to make it pretty.  Playing into this government’s hands will only allow the next government to think that we’re okay with the new status quo. We need to make it clear that we are not.

It is time for us to fight back. It is time for our Administration to fight back. It is time for COU to say “no”.

It is time to bring the battle to Queen’s Park.

Bill 124 and You: A summary report from WLUFA President, David Monod

July 9th, 2019


Dear colleagues,

I wanted to update you on WLUFA’s engagement with the provincial government and how the recently proposed legislation will affect you.  I’m afraid the news is bad.

I’ve sent out a few notes already on our “consultations” with the Ford government: the February consultation on “double dipping”, the May consultation on salary increases and now a June consultation of “faculty renewal”.  None of these consultations have involved any sharing of information or debate about policy.  Instead, the government indicates what it wants to do and holds “consultations” and asks for suggestions on how it might best achieve its goal.  As you may have heard, during the press conference where the salary cap was introduced, Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, discounted all the criticism and challenges to the government’s approach which the consultations generated.  It is clear that these are consultations in name only.

For the last several months, the faculty associations have pushed officials to give us answers and explanations and they have been consistently refused. Minister Fullerton never spoke with representatives from employee groups, including OCUFA. Communication with COU, the organization which represents the employers, were only marginally better.  It is alarming that COU has refused to oppose the government, although we know that individual universities are as distressed over the Ford government’s actions as we are. We can only hope that the situation will improve with a new minister and that COU will locate its missing spine.  Universities and their faculty have to work together if we have any hope of preventing further ravages to post-secondary education in this province.

So what have we seen so far?

On 5 June, the President of the Treasury Board introduced Bill 124 imposing a 3-year cap on compensation for employees in the “broader public sector.”  Some colleagues have asked how the legislation will affect university faculty. Here are the key points:

The bill as introduced for first reading does cover all members of the Association.  It does not override existing agreements, but applies for three years from the time your contract comes up for renegotiation (for contract faculty that’s 31 August 2019, for full-time it’s 1 July 2020).

The legislation sets a limit on compensation increases in any new collective agreement.  It also prohibits increases greater than 1% during the period prior to the legislation being passed ( i.e. from 5 June until the legislation is passed) and also during a “moderation period” even after the legislation expires (in order to prevent catch-up wage settlements).  It limits combined increases to 1%, whether in existing or in “new” compensation — that is, we cannot create new streams of compensation for existing positions. What should also be kept in mind is that compensation is a broader concept than salary; under the proposed legislation it also includes benefits and other discretionary payments.

The legislation does not apply to salary increases due to length of time of employment, to performance assessments (merit) or to increases that are tied to the completion of additional professional training. However, no new grids or merit bonuses can be introduced and existing ones fall under the 1% limit on total compensation increases. This means that employees are prohibited from securing merit or length of employment increases in a new contract that are more than 1% above the levels established in the previous contract.

It should be noted that this is draft legislation, so it may still change.

With the legislation on salaries prepared, the government has returned to the issue of “double dipping,” a matter we’d hoped we’d put to rest in February.  Although the Ministry has not acquired new data or greater wisdom over the last 5 months, it has dramatically broadened the scope of what it is preparing to do.

On 24 June, Kimberly Ellis-Hale and I participated in a consultation with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on what it now calls “faculty renewal.” Unfortunately, however, the government’s focus seems to be on inducing professors over 65 to retire; it has no solid plans for the “renewal” part of the equation. At least not yet.

The consultation on this issue was a bit different from the one dealing with the salary cap because we talked to representatives from the Ministry rather than a consulting firm.  Maybe I’m imagining it, but the Ministry representatives seemed to realize how ill-prepared they were to craft legislation: they have no idea how many faculty there are collecting salary and pension, don’t know what percentage of all faculty are over 65, have undertaken no studies, and have no plans to undertake any studies. Although they are calling it “faculty renewal”, they have no plan for how they are going to link faculty retirements to job creation. For data, the government is relying on a HEQCO report that is based on a COU report that, by its own admission, was incomplete and could not be used as a basis of policy (the COU link is dead, but the HEQCO report can be found here.)

Despite the fact that the government has no reliable data on the issue and has not figured out how to deal with the diversity of pension plans in the sector, or how to avoid an overt violation of charter rights, it is primed for action.  The current plan is for the government to somehow prevent faculty members over 65 from earning more in “total salary + pension income” than their salary. It is not clear how this would be achieved or whether it would affect all sources of pension income (for example, a faculty member could transfer a university pension to an individual or group RRSP and draw from that source).  It is not clear how it would apply to a faculty-member teaching more courses on stipend + collecting a pension or to non-university derived pensions. Could a faculty member who’d switched universities collect a pension from one and a salary from another? Could the government force the university to reduce your salary if you withdrew cash from your RRSP while working? Though the answers to the above questions have yet to be answered, the proposals we’ve received grant the government a shocking level of sweeping investigatory powers into personal finances, which does seem to suggest a desire to somehow cap “total compensation,” including personal pensions and those from previous employers.

Many of you probably think that faculty should not collect a pension when they are working. But keep in mind that your pension is deferred salary – you negotiated it and you paid into it.  The portion paid by the institution might have gone to you as salary if it hadn’t been negotiated into a pension plan. If the government prevents you from collecting your pension when you want to or, in the case of faculty over 71, simply seizes it, it is restricting your right to the money you put away for yourself.  This is, in essence, a violation of plans you made, and agreements you entered into, as an employee and a citizen, regarding your retirement savings.

OCUFA delivered a powerful statement against the government’s proposal and all the faculty association representatives spoke against it.  It was clear to all of us that the Ministry had no idea how it was going to design an age-based limit on total compensation, but the bureaucrats are under political pressure to do so.

This measure, like the cap on salary increases, is an attack on your rights under the Charter and, as unionized workers, your rights to collective bargaining (cf. Supreme Court decision re: the Charter and Collective Bargaining).  Our right to negotiate and, if need be, to strike to secure better salaries or benefit values will be removed by the proposed legislation.  Our freedom from discrimination on the basis of age will be curtailed.

As your union Executive, we’ll continue to fight — alongside the provincial and national associations — to try and stop the Ford government’s attack on universities and those working for them.  I’ll keep you informed as I learn more,

All the best,


Even Before Legislation Has Been Passed, Ford Bill 124 Disrupts Contract Faculty Negotiations

June 14th, 2019








Though it was tabled only moments before Ontario’s Legislative Assembly adjourned for a lengthy five-month break – and though it will likely not be passed until well into November, 2019 – Bill 124 is already having an impact on our negotiating of a new Agreement for our Contract Faculty bargaining unit.

The Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 was submitted late in the day on June 5, just a day after bargaining teams for WLUFA and the University Administration exchanged proposals and only days before the teams were scheduled to begin negotiations. Because the tabled legislation includes a strict 1% cap on overall compensation, as well as language that makes the legislation, once passed, retroactive to June 5, the WLUFA negotiating team has found itself in the frustrating position of needing to revise the proposals it has been working on for the past six months.

Original – and optimistic – plans to have a “focused bargaining” approach work as well for CF negotiations as it did for the last Full-time round of bargaining may be in jeopardy, thanks to the Bill. The focused approach to bargaining means that very few major issues are brought to the negotiating table in the hope that discussions remain pointed and productive. This means that the major concerns of the CF bargaining unit — job security, improved compensation, and access to improved benefits — occupied the lion’s share of WLUFA’s bargaining proposal.

With anything that has a monetary value now off the table, job security remains as the only major issue that Bill 124 allows us to negotiate in this round of bargaining. Historically, however, Laurier’s Administration has been averse to negotiating improvements in Contract Faculty job security and have usually found more money to throw on the table at last minute in order to avoid the inclusion of language that would improve the employment conditions of the most precarious workers on our campuses.

Bill 124, of course, makes that strategy a non-option for the Administration. And while we’re certain that the 1% cap on overall compensation has made the Administration’s number-crunchers quite happy, we also know that it’s left their own negotiating team with fewer options at the table.

The Parties have agreed to maintain the proposed bargaining schedule and will meet at the table beginning on Monday, June 17. In the meantime, the WLUFA team has been hard at work attempting to modify its bargaining proposals in light of Bill 124.

This round of negotiations is coming down almost completely to the issue of job security alone. WLUFA is ready to fight for it. We’ll soon see if the Administration is ready to reach a fair deal.


For more information on Bill 124, see a legal summary and opinion here: Goldblatt Partners Summary

Toronto Star National Affairs columnist, Thomas Walkom, offers a thoughtful piece on Bill 124’s place in the public’s perception of its provincial government here : Doug Ford is testing Ontario’s tolerance for chaos

image appended copyright citynews.ca

Ottawa Sun: Contract faculty at colleges and universities will be hit hard by government’s proposed wage caps, say unions, say

June 10th, 2019

by Jacquie Miller

At Ontario’s universities, the army of contract teaching staff will be hurt the most by the province’s plan to restrict wage increases for the public sector, says a spokesperson for faculty unions.

The legislation introduced by the Ontario government would prevent unions from bargaining to improve wages for staff at the bottom of pay scales, said Gyllian Phillips, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

“This legislation is going to affect those who make $30,000 as much as those who make $100,000,” she said.

More than half the courses at Ontario universities are taught by contract faculty, who earn much less than full-time professors, said Phillips. “It’s those folks who are really going to suffer the most with this kind of legislation. Without that ability to bargain fairly to bring those folks up to a fair wage, the massive inequities in the system will just increase.”

Improving the working conditions and pay for contract staff have been key issues for unions representing both university and college faculty. It was the major issue in a five-week strike by college professors across Ontario in the fall of 2017.

The wage-restraint bill may be a spark that feeds labour unrest across the post-secondary education sector.

Phillips says she’s not optimistic about how contract negotiations will go at Ontario’s universities.

“I think (the legislation) is going to make things very, very difficult,” she said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t say for sure, but anything that gets in the way of the conversation at the table, where you can work out a fair exchange of what managers and workers need, anything that puts a block on that and pulls the two sides apart, is going to make it much more difficult to get there.”

The legislation would also hamper the power of arbitrators to act as an “escape valve” for difficult negotiations, she said. The legislation would prevent arbitrators from making awards that exceed the proposed cap on wage increases, she said.

A spokesperson for the union representing faculty at Ontario colleges puts it bluntly: “We are going to be in for a big fight,” said RM Kennedy, chair for the Ontario colleges faculty division of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Precarious employment of part-time professors was the “No. 1 issue” behind the 2017 college strike, strike, he said.

About 75 per cent of college faculty are contract workers, said Kennedy. The council representing colleges, during the last round of bargaining, used a different calculation, noting that 49 per cent of teaching hours were by full-time professors.

However, negotiations with college faculty are in the distant future. The provincial contract between colleges and faculty doesn’t expire until Sept. 31, 2020.

(Under the legislation, public-sector wage increases would be capped at one per cent annually for three years, but only after current collective agreements expire.)

It’s a more immediate issue at some universities, where contracts are negotiated at each institution.

At Carleton University, for instance, the contract with full-time faculty doesn’t expire until April 30, 2021, but agreements covering part-time faculty and teaching assistants expire at the end of August 2019.

Negotiations will “be a difficult battle for us,” said Yaroslava Montenegro, spokesperson for the union local that represents contract professor and teaching assistants at Carleton. The legislation “is going to put a strain on our ability to have a collective bargaining process,” she said.

Most university faculty agreements are for three years, said Phillips. She estimated that seven or eight of the agreements will expire over the next year.

The proposed legislation would apply to more than a million public-sector workers, including staff at school boards, colleges and universities, hospitals and children’s aid societies, among others.

The government has said the legislation does not interfere with collective bargaining or tamper with existing contracts.

“By taking steps to ensure increases in public sector compensation reflect the fiscal reality of the province, the government is working to protect jobs, workers and vital services, now and as the government tackles Ontario’s debt,” said a statement from Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the Treasury Board.

Unions have pledged to protest the legislation and are threatening legal challenges if it is passed.

Universities and colleges will benefit financially by having wages constrained at a time when the provincial government has reduced their funding and cut tuition by 10 per cent, which also reduces their revenue.

Phillips and Kennedy say they don’t understand how restricting wages for post-secondary workers will save the provincial government money.

The government has already announced the funding it intends to give post-secondary institutions for the next three years.

“We are not directly paid by the government,” said Kennedy. “I’m not a government employee. The government gives a grant to the colleges. So if they put wage caps on, how is that saving the government money, unless they are intending to reduce the operating grant?”

Resist Ford Interference in Public Sector Bargaining. Rallies Today!

June 7th, 2019

Two days ago, the Ford government trampled on your rights as professors working at a self-governing university.  Two days ago, the government abused its power and violated your right to collective bargaining.  On 5 June the Ford government mandated that salaries for all those employed in the “broader public sector” will rise at a lower rate than inflation.  Although it will take its own time passing the legislation, the government has made its attack on collective bargaining retroactive to 5 June.

Today, you have your first opportunity to make clear your response to the government’s action.

Join with us at the Waterloo Town Square (75 King St. N.) at 4pm for the Power of Many March. Brantford faculty!  The Brantford District Labour Council is co-hosting a rally in Hamilton. Or join in an event that’s close to home for you (see below).  Let’s show the government how we feel about its attack on our rights.  Let’s march in protest.

Look for members of the WLUFA Executive in Waterloo and Hamilton; we’ll be there with flags affirming our support for our Association and our opposition to the Ford government’s attack on your rights.

  • Guelph, June 7, Rally and march at Puslinch Community Centre, 23 Brock Rd. S. 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Facebook event
  • Hamilton, June 7, Resistance Fair & Rise Up Rally, 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm, Hamilton City Hall, 71 Main St W Facebook event
  • London, June 7, Jeff Yurek’s Office, Suite 201, 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Facebook event
  • Peel/Mississauga, June 7, Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr, Mississauga, 4:00 pm Facebook event
  • Stratford, June 7, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, Rally at MPP Randy Pettapiece’s office, 55 Lorne Ave East, Unit 2, Stratford, Facebook event.
  • Toronto (see all below):
  • 9:00am – 11:00am, Canvass Blitz starting at MPP Raymond Cho’s Office 4559 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Facebook event.
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm, Lunch and Learn, Albert Campbell Square, 50 Borough Drive, Toronto, Facebook event.
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Education Rally at MPP Caroline Mulroney’s office – 45 Grist Mill Road, Holland Landing, Facebook event
  • 4:00pm –6:00pm, Human Chain outside MPP Vijay Thanigasalam’s office, 8130 Sheppard Ave. East, Toronto, Facebook event

This Friday – KW March Against Ford Cuts!

June 4th, 2019