“The New York Public Library Wars”

For an update on the changes at NY Public Library see article in The Chronicle of Higher Education July 2, 2015 http://chronicle.com/article/The-New-York-Public-Library/231127/

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Policy on Academic Continuity at UofT – Growing Concerns – Possible Strike Feb. 27 CUPE 3902

Faculty, teaching assistants, sessionals, lab technicians, writing coaches are concerned over the Policy on Academic Continuity which sets unprecedented guidelines in teaching areas which have traditionally been the domain of the teaching faculty.

Media coverage regarding this issue, see article in Toronto Star : http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2015/02/12/u-of-t-non-tenured-staff-poised-for-strike-feb-27.html :

““I hope there’s not a strike at U of T, but if there is, you can’t have the provost telling you what you can and cannot teach, and how to mark, and whether to replace a final essay (which could require teaching assistants to mark) with a multiple-choice evaluation (marked by a computer),” said Prudham [Scott Prudham, President, University of Toronto Faculty Association]” (Toronto Star, “U of T non-tenured staff poised for strike Feb. 27” Feb. 12, 2015)


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Academic Freedom under Threat – St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto

Our colleagues at the University of St. Michael’s College need our support. Please read below a letter from Scott Prudham, President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association outlining some of the issues, one is ‘academic freedom’ – and we know where academic librarians stand on that issue (!!).

Academic freedom is a required, core staple of our research, teaching, learning and all we support and nurture at this institution.

This call for support has also been distributed across the membership of CAUT and UTFA Council members. Let’s affirm our support for them (legal strike position as of February 6):

Dear colleagues,

UTFA is negotiating a second contract for faculty and librarians employed by the University of Saint Michael’s College. We have been in negotiations since early summer 2014. However, the negotiations have stalled over a few remaining issues, including, significantly, job security for faculty with teaching intensive appointments. The USMC Administration actually gave notice in October 2014 to terminate the three faculty in question effective June 2015. Only because of the firm resolve shown by our membership at USMC was that notice subsequently rescinded. Now the employer is refusing to agree to language providing job security provisions sufficient to protect academic freedom for these continuing faculty appointments, thereby threatening to undermine the integrity and quality of undergraduate instruction. We will be in a legal strike position as of February 6. Although we hope to reach an agreement without a work stoppage, we will not agree to casualize continuing academic appointments.

At this time, it would be very helpful if you could send emails and letters to the Administration of the University of Saint Michael’s College calling on the employer to agree to job security language for continuing faculty that is consistent with established principles of academic freedom and with prevailing norms for teaching intensive faculty in the U of T community more generally. You are encouraged to write to:

President of USMC – Prof. Anne Anderson, usmc.presidentsoffice@utoronto.ca
Principal of Saint Michael’s College – Prof. Domenico Pietropaolo, usmc.principal@utoronto.ca
Chair of the USMC Collegium – Fr. Don McLeod, don.mcleod@ualberta.ca .

Feel free to use some or all of the text of my message above in constructing your own.  In addition, messages of support may be sent to me and/or our Unit Chair and Chief Negotiator, Michael Attridge (cc’d here) and we will pass them on to the members of the unit.
In solidarity,   Scott

Scott Prudham
Professor, University of Toronto
President, University of Toronto Faculty Association

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic libraries, Strikes, University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto Scarborough | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What was faculty governance? Can it be rebuilt?

Librarians join us today to listen to Christopher Newfield, Professor of Literature and American Studies and author of Unmaking the Public University, November 11, 2014 at 4:30, Bahen Centre, Room 1190, University of Toronto, St. George campus. Newfield-Poster-Print

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, Christopher, University of Toronto, UTFA | Leave a comment

SJAC Tentative Agreement between UTFA and the University administration

UTFA and the University Administration have reached a tentative agreement, including a new framework that resets the role of UTFA in representing you, a needed new policy dealing with procedural aspects of significant academic restructuring initiatives, and a lengthening of the tenure “clock” and a process by which UofT librarians will be able to up-date the current 35-year Policy for Librarians. The proposed changes are important and historic.  Read more about them on our website.

Posted in Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, SJAC, SJAC - Special Joint Advisory Committee, University of Toronto, UTFA, UTFA Bargaining | Leave a comment

Town Hall Meetings to Discuss SJAC Results for Negotiating Terms of Employment – Mark Your Calendars!

Members of UTFA’s SJAC negotiating team will be present at all three meetings to provide information and respond to comments. Please make every effort to attend, and bring a colleague with you!

1. On the St George Campus:  Wednesday, November 19, 4:00 pm – 5:30pm, Sidney Smith Hall, Rm. 2102

2. On the Mississauga campusThursday, November, 27, 4:00 pm – 5:30pm
UTM Faculty Club

3. On the Scarborough campusFriday, November 28, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Ralph Campbell Lounge

Posted in Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Collegiality, Faculty, Governance, SJAC - Special Joint Advisory Committee, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Libraries, UTFA, UTFA Bargaining | Leave a comment

In Solidarity: Academic Librarian Labour Activism and Union Participation in Canada

For those who want to understand the history of academic librarianship in Canada, our roots and some of the current issues facing colleagues today, this is the book to check out. The book, edited by Mary Kandiuk and Jennifer Dekker (Library Juice Press, CA, 2014), is a collection of fifteen essays written by professionals working in the field. Why is this an important book? The essays are well written and offer a glimpse of our profession that has rarely been seen. Contributors are: Stephanie Braunstein, Martha Attridge Bufton, Mike Dawes, Jennifer Dekker, Linda K. Dunn, Natasha Gerolami, Carla Graebner, Marni R. Harrington, Francesca Holyoke, Robin Inskip, Leona Jacobs, Karen Jensen, David L. Jones, Mary Kandiuk, Christena A. mcKillop, Margaret (Peggy) Patterson, Meg Raven, Tim Ribaric, Michael F. Russo, Michael Skelton, Harriet Sonne de Torrens, Douglas Vaisey, Aniko Varpalotai, Justine Wheeler.

A synopsis of the content is presented on the Library Juice website, http://libraryjuicepress.com/solidarity.php and a review of the book is provided on this site http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2014/10/28/new-book-explores-academic-librarian-labour-activism-in-canada/, which notes “that most of the contributions are written by female authors. Importantly, In Solidarity documents the struggles of a largely female occupational group to gain control of their working conditions”:

“With a focus on Canada, this collection provides a historical and current perspective regarding the unionization of academic librarians, an exploration of some of the major labour issues affecting academic librarians in a certified and non-certified union context, as well as case studies relating to the unionization of academic librarians at selected institutions. Topics addressed include the history of academic librarian labour organizing in Canada, academic status, academic freedom, leadership in academic staff associations, collective bargaining, and recent attacks on the rights and occupational interests of academic librarians at Canadian universities. The volume includes a broad representation of academic librarian labour activists from across Canada. Little in the way of documentation exists on academic librarian union activism and participation in Canada and this work will contribute to original research in this area. Serving as both history and handbook it will be of interest to librarians and labour historians alike.”

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