Faculty Association by gabyion


									                                                                           August 2006
Faculty Association                                                        Issue 2
              Newsletter - June 2004:3/ (250) 721-7939


UNBC News Release
June 28, 2006

Today s official ratification of a new faculty agreement with the University of Northern British Columbia
makes UNBC the first research-intensive university in British Columbia to end mandatory retirement for
faculty members, librarians, and senior lab instructors.

“The University and faculty association negotiations were highly collegial and both of us saw this
outcome as a win-win,” says Howard Brunt, Vice-President Academic and Provost at UNBC. “Beyond
the philosophical and moral arguments against age discrimination, we feel that forcing some of our
most productive teachers and researchers to retire when they are at the peak of their careers makes
little sense.”

As with virtually all professions and skilled technicians and trades people, universities anticipate a
growing challenge replacing retiring faculty members over the coming decade. Under the terms of the
new agreement, members of the Faculty Association between 60 and 67 years of age can elect to
phase into retirement over a period of up to three years by annually reducing their workload in 25%
increments. According to Dr. Brunt, this will assist both the university and the academic employees to
flexibly plan for the future. The experience in other provinces without mandatory retirement is that most
academics still retire in their early to mid-60s and those who stay longer continue to have very active
research programs.

The new Faculty Association agreement is effective July 1 for a period of four years. The tentative
agreement was reached in March.

The membership voted 89% in favour of the agreement. It has also been approved by the Board of
Governors. In addition to dealing with mandatory retirement, the negotiations also dealt with other
policy matters of mutual interest to the University and the Association. Matters related to compensation
were resolved earlier in the year.

The Faculty Association represents nearly 450 UNBC faculty, sessional instructors, librarians, and lab

Howard Brunt, Vice-President Academic & Provost, UNBC - 250.960.5610
Chris Hawkins, President of the UNBC Faculty Association - 250.960.5614
Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC - 250.960.5622
                                                                                                Page 2 of 4

   University Profs Lead the Charge to End Mandatory Retirement –
   June 26, 2006, written by Confederation of University Faculty Associations of
   British Columbia

                       The organization representing BC's            with age,” Clift said. “This is a faulty
                       public university professors announced        assumption not only because older
                       today that it will lead the campaign to end   British Columbians are healthier than in
                       mandatory retirement in British Columbia.     the past, but also because our economy
                       “There is no good reason to continue to       is increasingly based on industries that
                       deny older British Columbians the ability     do not require physical strength and
“65 IS AN AGE. NOT     to choose to work if they want to,” said      endurance. Everyone deserves to be
AN EXPIRY DATE.”       Chris Petter, President-Elect of the          evaluated on their ability to do the work,
                       Confederation of the University Faculty       and not their age.”
Campaign website at:   Associations of BC (CUFA/BC). “The            “It’s time for the government of British
www.AbilityNotAge.ca   decision to retire from the working world     Columbia to follow the lead of
                       should be made by the individual based        governments in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta,
                       on their needs, desires and abilities and     the United States, Australia and the
                       not on an arbitrary age. Sixty-five is just   European Union and end mandatory
                       an age, it’s not an expiry date.”             retirement,” Clift said. “Older British
                       Currently, workers aged 65 and older are      Columbians have more than earned the
                       not protected from employment                 freedom and dignity to choose how they
                       discrimination under BC's Human Rights        will spend the rest of their lives.”
                       Code. This allows employers to force
                       employees to leave their jobs once they       CUFA/BC represents over 4,300
                       reach age 65, or otherwise discriminate       university professors, instructors,
                       against them in rates of pay and benefits.    professional librarians, and other
                       “When 65 became the normal age to             academic staff at the University of British
                       receive government-supported pensions         Columbia, Simon Fraser University,
                       in the early part of the 20th Century, the    University of Victoria, University of
                       average life expectancy at birth was less     Northern British Columbia and Royal
                       than 60 years,” said Robert Clift,            Roads University.
                       Executive Director of CUFA/BC. “Today,
                       the average life expectancy at birth is       For further information please contact:
                       almost 80 years. If we were to adjust the
                       mandatory retirement age in keeping with      Mr. Robert Clift, Executive Director
                       the change in life expectancy over the        Confederation of University Faculty
                       last 70 years, employees wouldn’t get         Associations of British Columbia
                       their gold watch until they were 116 years    (604) 817-1649 (24 hours)
                       old.”                                         (604) 646-4677
                       BC’s economy is changing. Twenty years        cufabc@sfu.ca
                       ago, about 60% of British Columbians
                       worked in the service sector—today, it’s      Or consult the campaign website at
                       almost 80%. Three-quarters of BC’s            www.AbilityNotAge.ca
                       Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes
                       from the service sector, and BC’s
                       “knowledge-intensive” industries alone
                       generate about half of the provincial
                       economic output.
                       “Mandatory retirement is based on the
                       assumption that productivity declines with
                       age, because physical ability declines
Page 3 of 4

   Work’s Done ‘til Fall? Not Likely
   CAUT Bulletin, Vol 53, No 6, June 2006 –by Greg Allain, CAUT President

   Last month I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen for quite some time. After a cordial exchange about
   our respective families, he said: “So, now that the semester is finished and your grades are in, you must be
   settling into your four-month vacation? Great job, if you can get it!”
   I am always appalled at how little people know about the employment and working conditions of academic
   staff. Over coffee, I patiently explained to this professional, who has fewer years of schooling than I have
   (and earns a higher salary, I might add), that we work as hard if not harder than other people, but our yearly
   workload happens to be distributed differently.
   During the regular school year, which in many institutions runs from early September to late April, we teach
   and advise full-time and part-time students, perform research, serve on academic or administrative
   committees, and work with student and community organizations. In May and June, we finalize our research
   papers and present them at scientific conferences where we receive feedback from our peers before our
   findings are published in scholarly journals, books or electronic media. These meetings are also a great
   place to keep abreast of developments in our fields.
   The lucky ones among us are vacationing for the month of July. August is devoted to updating existing
   courses or designing new ones and preparing lectures and exercises for the fall term. “So you see,” I told
   this fellow, “we work year round just like you do!”
   Luckily, he didn’t bring up the old saw about how, since we’re only in class nine hours a week (the actual
   number varies by institution), we only work nine hours a week! This is without question a common
   misapprehension shared by many people and time and again we must explain that we spend at least two
   hours in out-of-class preparation for every hour we spend in class. There’s also office hours for student
   consultations, which for those supervising graduate students’ research could be a considerable amount of
   time, and hours of faculty and committee meetings that deal with the policies of our institutions,
   departmental matters, academic issues, curricula, budgets, equipment purchases and hiring, and, if there’s
   time left, oh yes, there are those research projects we must manage and bring to fruition.
   According to recent surveys, many academics work a 50-hour week, while some exceed the 60-hour a
   week mark. I realize I’m talking here from a full-time professor’s point of view, and we all know CAUT
   represents a vast array of members, including university and college teachers, librarians, researchers,
   contract academic staff and other academic professionals whose working conditions vary by individual
   circumstances and institution. For instance, some part-timers have to hold a number of teaching contracts
   to make ends meet, often ending up working more hours, for less pay, than a full-time job.
   All I am trying to say here is that the work we do is commonly misunderstood by the general public – even
   by some professionals, who should know better. Yet we all share a mutual dedication to the work we do to
   sharpen our students’ critical thinking skills and prepare them for the important roles they will be playing in
   society, and to develop and disseminate new knowledge. The question is, how do we make the nature of
   our work better known?
   I remember a few years ago reading an analyst’s diagnosis of the many challenges facing higher education
   in Canada, and scoffing at his suggestion that all academics needed was a good marketing strategy.
   Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea after all. At my institution, the faculty of graduate studies arranged for
   a regular column in the Saturday edition of our local daily to feature one of our professor’s research. About
   30 have appeared so far.
   Now if we could only build teaching and community involvement into that formula, we might have one
   possible model on how we go about disseminating information on what we do and the passion that drives
   us, in the media and therefore the general public.
             Faculty Association – August 2006                                                    Page 4 of 4

                       Faculty Association Membership Listserv
                       The listserv (uvfac-l@lists.uvic.ca) is used for important and sometimes urgent
  Newsletter –         Association messages. There are times when deadlines are too tight to print and
    August             distribute information by hard copy to our Members. If you would like to be added to
                       the listserv, please send your email address, name and department to the
    2006:2             Association office at uvicfa02@uvic.ca and you will be added to the listserv.
                       Absolutely no advertising, such as house sitting or house rentals, is placed on the
Phone:                 listserv. For house rentals, please contact UVic Housing at 721-8395.
(250) 721-7939
(250) 721-8873         Senior Instructors Reception
                       A Faculty Association Wine and Cheese Reception has been scheduled for all UVic
E-Mail:                Senior Instructors on Tuesday, October 24 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, Fireside
uvicfa02@uvic.ca       Lounge, University Club. Senior Instructors are asked to attend and bring ideas for
                       issues they would like to see the Senior Instructor Committee deal with in the coming
                       Please RSVP by Thursday, October 19, 2006 to the Association at uvicfa02@uvic.ca
                       or 7939.

                       Congratulations to Dr. Joanne Wegner
                       Dr. Joanne Wegner, Mechanical Engineering, has agreed to serve as the Vice-
                       President on the Faculty Association Executive for a term to April 30, 2008, replacing
We’re on the Web!
                       Dr. Peter Driessen, Electrical Engineering who has resigned due to his position as
See us at:             the Faculty Representative on the Board of Governors.
                       Among various Faculty Association roles, Dr. Wegner has also served as the 2000-
                       2002 Faculty Association Treasurer.
                       Thank you to Dr. Wegner for agreeing to serve as the 2006-2008 Vice-President.


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