Policies for Librarians – In the same Policy with Faculty or Not? What is the Trend?

As a librarian working in the University of Toronto Library System, have you ever wondered why we have a separate Policy for Librarians, never mind the numerous other guidelines and agreements? Or how does this compares to other institutions in Canada?  Our Policy for Librarians was written in 1977-1978 before most universities in Canada had a certified faculty associations and negotiated Collective Agreements. 37 years have passed without any changes to this 1970’s policy. Do you remember the 1970s? Were you even born then? It was a very different time. Today, most faculty associations in Canada are certified unions and negotiate, together with their respective administrations, a full range of academic and compensation issues that comprise the terms of academic employment. This has resulted in librarians and faculty, as academic staff, being in the same collective agreement (for a full list see below).  As we can see in the numerous collective agreements there are ways of addressing these differences within one, unified policy that includes faculty, academic librarians and archivists.  Most recently, the collective agreement negotiated for St. Michael’s University College, includes librarians, archivists and faculty.  So, why is the Administration at the University of Toronto insisting on separate policies for  librarians in the University of Toronto Library System? We know it is not because of the differences. Could they argue that it is because of tradition? After 37 years with no change in policies, can neglect, in good conscience, really be called a tradition?  We don’t think so. Is it because it is easier? Is it because uniting policies for faculty and librarians might involve too much work, too much time? Or is the reason really related to the classical strategy of “Divida et Impera”? What we do know is that our profession has changed. More than ever, we need to reinforce the essential principles of academic freedom, professional autonomy and our status as academics, which our colleagues back in the 1970’s fought so hard to ensure when the Governing Council recognized and approved librarians as members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association in 1978.

Currently the following universities and post-secondary institutes have one policy (collective agreement) which includes both faculty and librarians:

Acadia University, NS
Atlantic School of Theology, NS
Brandon University, MB
Brock University, ON
Cape Breton University, NS
Carleton University, ON
Concordia University, ON
Dalhousie University, NS
Guelph University, ON
Lakehead University, ON
Laurentian University, ON
Lethbridge University, AB
Memorial University of Newfoundland, NL
Mount Allison University, NB
Mount Saint Vincent University, NS
Nipissing University, ON
Northern Ontario School of Medicine Faculty and Staff Association, ON
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, NS
Queen’s University, ON
Royal Roads University, BC
Simon Fraser University, BC
St. Francis Xavier University, NS
St. Mary’s University College, AB
St. Mary’s University, NS
St. Michael’s University College, University of Toronto, ON
St. Thomas More College, SK
Trent University, ON
University of Calgary, AB
University of Manitoba, MB
University of New Brunswick, NB
University of Northern British Columbia, BC
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, ON
University of Ottawa, ON
University of Prince Edward Island, PE
University of Regina, SK
University of Saskachewan, SK
University of Victoria, BC
University of Winnipeg, MB
Wilfrid Laurier University, ON
Windsor University, ON
York University, ON

This entry was posted in Academic exploitation, Academic freedom, Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, Librarians, Library Trends, Politics, Uncategorized, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Libraries. Bookmark the permalink.

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