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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, March 27, 1998

  • McCourt to head faculty again
  • National NDP leader speaks
  • Profs walk out at Dalhousie
  • What's happening at Waterloo
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McCourt to head faculty again

Fred McCourt of the chemistry department is to head the Faculty Association of UW for another year, the FAUW office has announced. McCourt was acclaimed for re-election when nominations closed in the association's annual elections.

McCourt became president of the faculty association a year ago; he had previously been the association's salary chair. Salary issues continue to be important to the association, even though a two-year agreement reached last summer means there won't be salary negotiations going on this year. Says McCourt as part of his message in the most recent issue of the FAUW newsletter:

[Fred McCourt] I have been telling those of you who have been wondering how the Salary Anomalies Fund established during the last set of salary negotiations is to be distributed, that the Provost, Dr. Jim Kalbfleisch, would at some point be distributing a set of guidelines to the Faculty Deans and Department Chairs. He has now informed me that he has issued a memorandum outlining the criteria that are to be used by the chairs and deans in recommending salary anomaly corrections. It should be kept in mind that the agreement specifically stated that the funds were being made available to correct faculty salary anomalies, "particularly those related to position in the salary structure relative to recent hires". The department chairs, in first instance, are being asked to identify individuals who they believe fall into this category, and they are being asked to propose corrections for consideration by the faculty deans and finally by the Vice President Academic, and Provost.
The association also works in areas that range from policy development -- a new Memorandum of Agreement is being negotiated -- to academic freedom and tenure, equal rights and pensions and benefits. McCourt is a member of UW's senate and board of governors, where he often comments on budgets and administrative issues from a faculty point of view.

Nominations also closed last week for four seats on the FAUW board of directors. There are five candidates: Ray McLenaghan of applied mathematics, Alicja Muszynski of sociology, Bill Power of chemistry, Frank Reynolds of statistics and actuarial science, and Catherine Schryer of English. Ballots are being mailed to FAUW members, and must be returned by April 7, the day before the association's annual meeting.

The annual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, at 2:30 p.m. in Physics room 145.

National NDP leader speaks

Alexa McDonough, the national leader of the New Democratic Party, will speak on "The Future of Social Democracy" tonight at St. Jerome's University. She comes just three days after another prominent NDP figure, Stephen Lewis, drew a capacity crowd for a lecture in the Humanities Theatre.

McDonough's talk will start at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's, and represents this year's St. Jerome's University Graduates' Association Lecture. Past lecturers in the series include Gérard Pelletier, Stevie Cameron, David MacDonald, Bishop Remi De Roo, Peter Desbarats, Marc Lalonde, and Victor Malarek. The evening will include the lecture, a question period, and a reception. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

"Moving Canada forward, as a united nation, ready to meet the challenges of the new millennium, depends on preparing our children and youth for the future and providing for the health and social needs of Canadians," says McDonough. "For too many years, these priorities have been ignored by the federal government's and some provincial governments' almost exclusive preoccupation with fiscal restraint. Building a new national social consensus . . . can give millions of Canadians renewed hope for their futures, and for the strengthened unity of the country."

McDonough was born into left-wing politics -- her father, Lloyd Shaw, was the first national researcher for the CCF, forerunner of the NDP -- and earned a BA from Dalhousie University followed by a master's degree from the Maritime School of Social Work. Her work experience includes community development with the Nova Scotia Social Services department, social planning with the City of Halifax, teaching at the Maritime School, and policy research at the Institute of Public Affairs, now Henson College, in Halifax.

Elected leader of the Nova Scotia NDP in 1980, McDonough became the first woman in Canada to lead a major political party. Until 1984, she was the only New Democrat and only woman in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. She was re-elected in 1984, 1988, and 1993. In October 1995, at a national convention in Ottawa, McDonough was chosen as the fifth leader of the federal NDP. In June 1997 she gained a Commons seat as MP for Halifax.

Profs walk out at Dalhousie

Picket lines formed on Halifax's Spring Garden Road on Wednesday morning, as professors and librarians at Dalhousie University in Halifax went on strike. Negotiations resumed yesterday for six hours and are to continue today.

The Halifax Herald explains the background to the strike by the Dalhousie Faculty Association:

"Talks between the university and faculty association have been ongoing for several months, but have failed to resolve the two main issues -- money and the replacement staff question.

"The faculty association, which wants a 13 per cent raise over 32 months, argues that Dalhousie professors are paid far less than their counterparts at Canadian universities of similar size. Dal professors make an average of about $65,000 a year. Assistant professors start at $35,000, while full professors make a maximum of $89,000. The average faculty association salary is $63,500.

"The association also wants guarantees that the university will replace faculty members who leave. Dal has lost 113 faculty positions in the past 10 years.

[Student picket]
Students picket at a meeting of the Dalhousie board of governors last week, demanding that contract talks resume. (Dalhousie News photo.)
"Dal negotiators are offering faculty a 9.5 per cent pay hike, which they say will add $17 million to the university's deficit. But the university argues that government funding cuts make it impossible to replace all staff who leave."

The DFA has a little more than 700 members, including those who entered the union less than a year ago when the Technical University of Nova Scotia became part of Dalhousie as "DalTech". In a January vote, union members gave 94 per cent approval for their leadership to call a strike. It's the second in DFA's history; bitterness remains at Dalhousie after a strike in 1988.

The walkout comes with two weeks left in Dal's winter term. University management responded to the strike by declaring a lockout and announcing that no DFA member is allowed on university property during the strike. Academic administrators have been instructed to call security officers if a faculty member is found on campus -- "for example, in his or her office". Classes have been cancelled, except in the medical and dental faculties, where most faculty are not represented by the union.

What's happening at Waterloo

The Ontario Groundwater Association is holding its convention in Waterloo this weekend -- at the Waterloo Inn. The event includes a workshop this morning at which UW's Dave Rudolph will speak on "The Waterloo Aquifers, Capture Zones and Well Head Protection".

As the day and the weekend go on:

Finally, it's end-of-term concert time for UW's musical groups. The UW stage band gives its spring concert, "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", starting at 8 tonight at Conrad Grebel College room 156. Then tomorrow night at 8, the UW choir presents "A Festival of Folk Songs from Around the World" in Zion United Church on Weber Street West in downtown Kitchener. Promised is everything from "A la Claire Fontaine" to "The Banks of Newfoundland". A third concert, by the chamber choir, is scheduled for April 4.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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