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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Monday, May 11, 1998

  • All ready for spring recreation
  • About the Memorandum of Agreement
  • All around us, fees go up
  • The Bulletin begins year 6
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All ready for spring recreation

"Get into the swing of spring!" is the invitation this term from the campus recreation folks in the athletics department.

A flip through the green-covered guidebook for this term shows that people will be playing everything from squash to ball hockey in the league and tournament programs, and the range in instructional and club programs is even wider. How about a canoe clinic, power skating, archery, kripalu yoga (at two levels), bouldering, social dancing, windsurfing, or bike maintenance? (How about first aid, which more than a few of us might need after a venture into canoeing, bouldering and windsurfing?)

And then there are, by my count, 16 different kinds of fitness class, most on dry land but a few in the Physical Activities pool. That's in addition to several kinds of swimming class.

Registration for the instructional programs in Campus Rec starts tomorrow. Better read all the fine print in the guidebook, just to be sure, but the main idea is to pick up a registration ticket tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., in the Red North corner of the Physical Activities Complex, and then to register in PAC room 2039 at the time indicated on your card, Tuesday or Wednesday. Registration for programs with space left starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

About the Memorandum of Agreement

Faculty members will vote this week on a proposed Memorandum of Agreement between UW and the faculty association. It's a "special plan" agreement under Ontario labour law, and doesn't make the faculty association into a union:
The University recognizes the Association as representing the University employees (Members) as defined under Article 2.1.1. Recognition of the Association under this Agreement does not constitute voluntary recognition equivalent to certification. . . .

The University recognizes the Association as the sole representative of the following groups of University employees (hereinafter referred to as Members) with regard to terms and conditions of employment: (a) all regular faculty members (Policy 53, II.A) who hold definite term, probationary, tenured, or continuing appointments, on either a full-time or fractional-load basis; and (b) all part-time faculty members (Policy 53, II.B.6) who hold definite term appointments of one year or more with FTE of at least 50% (as specified in the letter of appointment). . . .

No person shall be required to be a member of the Association as a condition of employment.

However, it seems there was an error of some significance in what I said Friday about the section of the Memorandum that deals with faculty members paying dues to the association. A separate vote about compulsory payment will be held in the fall, if the rest of the agreement is ratified this month. John Wilson of political science, chief negotiator for the faculty association, writes:

"The fall vote on what is ordinarily called the Rand formula will NOT be about all faculty members paying dues to the Association. Article 2.4.2 says explicitly that no person can be required to be a member of the Association. The Rand formula, if adopted, will provide that all faculty members (unless they opt out as you have explained) will have transferred monthly by the University 'an amount equal to the Association's membership dues'. That is not the same thing.

"This is not quibbling. The distinction lies at the heart of Mr. Justice Rand's famous solution of many years ago to labour problems of the time, and has a very precise meaning under Ontario law. To put it shortly, the University would not be able to act in the way you describe."

A similar formula has been adopted for faculty members at McMaster University, and the same arrangement -- but with a grandfather clause to let current faculty members opt out -- is under discussion at the University of Toronto.

All around us, fees go up

Universities across the province are boosting the fees for their professional programs, after the rules were announced by the Ontario government last week.

The announcement is "an important step towards ensuring that our universities have greater flexibility to set fees and, most importantly, to reinvest revenue in improving the quality of education for students", says Bonnie Patterson, president of the Council of Ontario Universities "Ontario universities have consistently advocated that the responsibility for setting tuition fees should rest with the universities' boards of governors. Local fee decisions allow universities to respond more effectively to the unique needs of the communities they serve and be directly accountable to students."

In a statement on Thursday, University of Toronto president Rob Prichard said that U of T "plans to use the new policy to strengthen its professional programs and ensure that they are competitive with leading programs around the world. It is critically important that Canadians have access at home to internationally competitive professional programs and tuition deregulation will contribute to our achieving this goal.

"As we implement this new policy, the University of Toronto will ensure that all qualified students who gain admission to our programs have access on fair terms to the financial resources they need to enter and complete the programs. The Governing Council of the University of Toronto has already adopted a policy which commits the university to this goal and our budget strategy provides the resources necessary to fund this commitment for all students."

Toronto's plans, subject to approval by the university's Governing Council, include a fee of $11,000 a year in the medical school. Western is expected to be charging similar rates.

The province last week told universities that fees are completely deregulated in law, medicine, dentistry, business, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. Of those professional fields, UW has only optometry, where a special $500-a-term extra fee was given government approval last year. Fees are also to be fully deregulated in all graduate programs.

And deregulation applies to computer science and engineering, but only if an institution takes part in the newly-announced plan to double enrolment in those fields. It isn't clear whether UW is interested in taking part, or can afford to try.

Many institutions are expected to have their new high fees in effect by September. UW approved a fee schedule in April that involves a uniform 10 per cent increase on all fees for 1998-99, including optometry and graduate studies. That 10 per cent is the maximum increase this year, under government rules, for programs that aren't deregulated.

The state of financial aid in Ontario is pretty confused just now, and big tuition fee increases are "premature" until it's sorted out, say such leaders as Ross Paul, the new president of the University of Windsor. Windsor has kept the fee increase for students in its law school to 10 per cent for this year.

Said Friday's Toronto Star: "The Ministry of Education failed to get a new and improved Ontario Student Assistance Plan in place by September. . . . The announcement in Tuesday's budget of a Canada-Ontario $9 billion Millennium Fund is misleading. The province simply combined Ontario's share of the money from the federal Millennium Fund with Ontario's student-aid money, added on inflation and came up with an announcement."

The Bulletin begins year 6

It was May 11, 1993, that the first brief tentative Daily Bulletin was issued -- and here we are, five years and 1,200 or so Bulletins later! Ironically, that first Bulletin started with a claim that there was "no news", but over the past five years there's been news on this campus pretty constantly, and I don't yet foresee a time when the Bulletin isn't going to be needed.

For a long time I could say straightfacedly that Waterloo was the only university in Canada to have a daily news vehicle of this kind. But the University of Windsor has now introduced its own "Daily News", and in fact has just received an award as "the first in Canada to initiate a campus-wide news service through e-mail and the internet".

Now here's the rest of today's news:

A teleconference presenting Steve Jobs of Apple Computers, with "some pretty amazing stuff" about the future of Apple technology, starts at noon today in Davis Centre room 1302 (with lunch at 11:30 in the nearby lounge). The computer store, phone ext. 3518, might be able to take some last-minute reservations.

Kelly Foley of the student services office sends word that "Any students planning on being an Orientation leader, ice breaker, planner, organizer or hope to be involved in Orientation in any way for any faculty, college or residence are required to complete four modules of Orientation Training before September 1. The four modules include the Principles of Orientation, Harassment and Diversity, Alcohol and Drug Awareness and Hazing and Initiation. If students have not completed the training they will not be able to participate in Orientation." To register, you can call Foley at ext. 6876, or fill out a form on the Web. Training sessions this term begin May 11 -- that's today, so don't delay -- and run through July 11.

The co-op department advises that co-op students planning to go out on a work term in the fall should pick up the master copy of their co-op record tomorrow (after 10 a.m., from the paging desk on the first floor of Needles Hall). Tomorrow is also the day to hand in work reports from the winter work term -- deadlines vary, but for most faculties reports are due at 4:00 Tuesday afternoon.

The Bike Centre is looking for volunteers, says one of its mainstays, Ted Harms of the library staff. "If you have some basic knowledge of bicycles and can volunteer two hours a week," he writes, "come to the Bike Centre (SLC 101A, down the hall from CIBC; ext. 5174) between 2-3 p.m., Monday. The Bike Centre is student-run and provides the tools necessary for most routine maintenance. We charge $1/hour to use the tools and have new and used supplies available."


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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