CUEFA : Media Coverage
CUE students upset over elimination of semester break
Media Coverage: Monday, January 17th
- CBC News
...petition for return of winter break garners over 1800 signatures
...eliminating the break will affect students' well-being ... time off from classes is crucial for keeping up with a demanding course load
...Concordia president and vice-chancellor Tim Loreman said universities in Alberta must provide students with a minimum number of instructional hours and, because of the strike delay, the school must make up two weeks' worth of instruction. ... Loreman said the university will give students an extra day off on Feb. 22 and is asking faculty to reduce students workload that week.
CUEFA strike may not be the last in Alberta
Media Coverage: Sunday, January 16th
- Global News
..."It's a relief. We weren't sure how long this was going to go. ... Our teaching conditions are our students' learning conditions. And so if we are a better frame to teach, ... that's going to be played out in the classrooms." - Dr. Glynis Price, CUEFA President
...The strike garnered attention from other faculty associations in Alberta. Dr. Bob Barneton, Labour Relations Professor, Athabasca University, says this win for the [CUE] Faculty Association could lead to more job action around our province. "This should make other associations who are looking at strikes in the next few months feel much more confident. It also gave workers a good dry run at other institutions to see what kind of tactics work and what they might choose."
...Regardless of what's to come, CUEFA says it's excited to start classes this Wednesday.
Landmark Strike Ends
Media Coverage: Saturday, January 15th
- CBC News
...Classes will resume this week for students at Concordia University of Edmonton after a deal was reached Saturday between the school and its striking faculty association.
..."This new agreement is a win for faculty, students and the community," said association president Glynis Price. "It will enable the university to recruit and retain excellent faculty and lays the foundation for a stronger learning environment."
...The agreement opens the door for classes to begin at the university on Wednesday, Jan. 19, the faculty association said in a news release sent to media at 2:30 p.m. today. An official announcement on the opening day is expected soon from the administration, the news release said.
...“Collective action is what made it possible, and CUEFA is grateful to the students, parents, other associations and allies across Canada who rallied in support of this strike,” [Glynis Price, CUEFA President].
- Global News
...On Saturday, the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association (CUEFA) said 89 per cent of its members voted in favour of ratification of a new tentative agreement. ... The new agreement will also improve working conditions for CUEFA members by moving toward manageable workloads for professors, laboratory instructors, librarians and field placement coordinators. It will also add job security to its members along with preserving their ownership of their intellectual property.
- Edmonton Journal
...During the strike more than 1,350 people and organizations sent messages to the university administration asking them to put the interests of "students and staff before profit" as well as a student-run petition supporting the faculty that gained more than 500 signatories ...
- CTV News
... The strike began on Jan. 4, marking a first for faculty associations in Alberta. Bargaining started in the late spring of 2021 but stalled in the remaining months. CUEFA — representing librarians, full-time professors, and lab instructors — issued a strike notice on Dec. 22, barring an amenable deal.
... Students at Concordia University of Edmonton will return to classes Wednesday after faculty members ratified a new collective agreement ending a nearly two-week strike.
National support for strikers
Media Coverage: Friday, January 14th
- CBC Edmonton News [minutes:5:30 to 6:35]
..."We have supporters here from across Edmonton, from different union organizations. We have supporters from provinces across Canada. We have people coming in from Manitoba today, from British Columbia, and from Nova Scotia as well. So this is a national movement and a provincial movement."
- Dr. Tolly Bradford, History Professor, CUE
- Global News
..."It’s left me kind of feeling empty and searching for something. ... I enjoy being in school even if its online classes. It’s difficult to go without".
..."To support those on the picket line in Edmonton, representatives of students, staff and faculty associations across Calgary declared their support for the ongoing job action Friday morning"
... "'They are trying to highlight the fact that they’ve been struggling like many of us have, to try to arrive to a new collective agreement,' Mount Royal University Faculty Association president Lee Easton said. 'There’s a host of issues at play here: we have many of the same ones here (at MRU), so we’re here today to show that we support them'".
Interview with Dr. Glynis Price, CUEFA President: CBC Radio
Media Coverage: Thursday, January 13th
- CBC: Edmonton AM with Mark Connolly, Tara McCarthy [Click link to listen to full interview]
Glynis Price, the president of the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association, shares whether any progress is being made to get professors and students back in class.
Interview with Dr. Glynis Price, CUEFA President
Media Coverage: Saturday, January 8th
- Alberta Advantage [Click link to listen to the full interview]
..."It's been amazing to see the solidarity we're receiving across Alberta for our picket this [past] week ... We've had members from faculty associations across the province on the line with us. ...
Currently our members sit right at the bottom of the sector in Canada. We sit about 68 of 70 post-secondary institutions across Canada in terms of salaries. … The university in fact has run a surplus for a number of years but in the last two years they've run two major surpluses including $11.5M in the last year, during a pandemic, which was probably the best in their 100 year history. … Our ask is not necessarily to be brought up to the same status as comparable universities, but to take a couple of steps along the way to make the university more competitive to be able to retain, and to be able to recruit, new members to the university to maintain and to increase the level of excellence that we give to our students when we teach."
Alberta Advantage: Could you tell us about ideally what you would like to see come from this job action, both in your collective agreement and but also longer-term for your Faculty Association and for CUE?
"Of course. Obviously we would like a deal. We are back at the bargaining table, which is great news, so we hope that we can come to a resolution. We don't want to be out on 112 Avenue in Edmonton waving picket signs at people. We would like to be back in our classrooms. We want to be back in our libraries working with our students. But we need to be sure we have an equitable deal for all of our members, not just some of our members.
I think the one thing we've learned on the picket line this week is how much strength there is in our members. It's not just me and that guy and the religion professor and the librarian and the biology prof. It's everyone. We've discovered our collective voice, and I think that is only going to make Concordia a stronger univerisity going forward. Because it means that there will be more collaboration. It means that there will be more collective voice speaking up for our group, for those of us who teach at the instution, including sessionals.
And I think that will only make it a better institution and will make us all better educators. I think that's what it comes down to--is what can we teach, what can we help our students learn, about molecular biology or chemistry sure, but also learn about life and learn about the collective "we" as opposed to "I". And I think that's going to be important. We have a much stronger voice going forward, I think, in terms of asking for equitable treatment at the institution. Most importantly one of the big things we're looking at is getting our sessional instructors protected, whether that is under the Faculty Association, or whether we help them unionize under one of the many amazing unions we have in this province.
I think that's a big thing, to make sure that everyone is protected and everyone has a voice at Concordia, not just the administration."
Small university strike sets big Alberta precedent
Media Coverage: Thursday, January 7th
- Rank and File: Canadian Labour News and Analyis From a Critical Perspective
..."[T]he university is expecting staff to trade control of their intellectual property for protection against arbitrary dismissal. ... this trade-off wasn't in the school's initial offer and is "unheard of" in post-secondary negotiations ... The intellectual property piece the school is offering is institutional, meaning staff would have no say over it in the event it's changed, despite the fact that they are the ones creating the intellectual property."
- CAUT News Article
... "Students joined picket lines ... and rallied behind the job action through social media posts. ... More than 450 [updated: almost 900] people have sent letters to Concordia University's President in support of the strike ... CUEFA is receiving letters of solidarity and cheques from across the country ... questioning the administration's decision to acquire a historic mansion instead of 'investing in students' education, paying faculty fair and competitive wages, and refocusing resources on academic staff recruitment and retention'."
Front line educators still out in the cold
Media Coverage: Thursday, January 6th
... "[CUE's] bargaining team isn't bound by the secret government mandates imposed by United Conservative Party legislation to interfere with good-faith bargaining at public sector post-secondary institutions. ... Perhaps CUE's administration tried playing hardball and discovered the CUEFA's 82 members were harder to intimidate than expected."
Front line educators now front line picketers
Media Coverage: Tuesday, January 4th
... "some may wonder why students would choose to act in solidarity with faculty associations in the first place. ... Students at Concordia sympathetic to the cause of their own faculty association were inspired by these U of M demonstrations and have been circulating a petition expressing their support for the association. In both cases, retaining quality faculty members was the primary concern. ... Professors who are overworked and underpaid also cannot perform as well as they could under different circumstances. All of this together influences the quality of our education in very real ways. ... This is why students should care about faculty associations and their fight to get a fair deal."
... "The first reason [for the strike] is: The Collective agreement negotiations have not secured for us "just cause" for dismissal. ... Anyone in Alberta, in any workplace, wants job security." ... Dr. Tolly Bradford, CUE
- Global News
Bob Barnetson, a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University, said the strike is historic and could see other institutions follow suit. [...] He also said the support on the picket line Tuesday was "quite striking." "I think that is an unusual level of community support for a strike and that may well play a factor in how this plays out for Concordia University." ...
... One "sticking point" is a discipline article Price says enables the university to dismiss faculty without just cause." ... Dr. Glynis Price, CUEFA,CUE
... "We're saddened that the administration has refused to budge and would rather disrupt students' lives and add to their stress by jeopardizing their winter term," Price said in the statement. "But we will not give up on proposals that are about delivering high quality education and research and preserving the tight knit community the administration claims to value but that the instructional staff actually deliver." ... Dr. Glynis Price, CUEFA, CUE