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Ontario faculty throw weight behind day of action for $15 & Fairness
On April 15, 2016, university professors and academic librarians across Ontario joined in a day of action for the $15 & Fairness campaigns. Workers from a range of workplaces and sectors took part in the event – all of whom are facing common challenges such as unpredictable scheduling, job insecurity, poor access to benefits, and unfair pay.  

OCUFA co-hosts second annual Worldviews Lecture
On April 13, 2016, OCUFA was very pleased to co-host the second annual Worldviews Lecture with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. This year’s lecture featured Rajani Naidoo, Chair in Higher Education Management and Director International Centre for Higher Education Management at the University of Bath.

Time is running out to nominate exceptional faculty members for the OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards
Just over a month remains to nominate an outstanding professor or academic librarian for the OCUFA Teaching or Academic Librarianship Award. Every year, OCUFA recognizes outstanding faculty members in Ontario universities through these prestigious honors. Up to seven awards are presented annually.
 
Ontario faculty throw weight behind day of action for $15 & Fairness
On April 15, 2016, university professors and academic librarians across Ontario joined in a day of action for the $15 & Fairness campaigns. Workers from a range of workplaces and sectors took part in the event – all of whom are facing common challenges such as unpredictable scheduling, job insecurity, poor access to benefits, and unfair pay.
  
“The idea that a PhD is a golden ticket to a good job is increasingly inaccurate,” said Fran Cachon a contract professor at the University of Windsor. “Today, young scholars – who are increasingly women and people of colour – are struggling to find footing in the academy. It is our frustration with this reality motivating us to demand fairness alongside other workers in our communities.”

Contract professors must struggle with unfair pay, poor access to benefits, and must often string together multiple contracts at different universities just to make a living. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) estimates the number of courses taught by contract faculty teaching at Ontario universities has doubled since 2000. But a recent poll showed that Ontarians believe universities should be moving in the other direction, with 94 per cent saying that universities should be model employers and support good jobs in their communities.

With the Ontario government currently reviewing employment and labour law to address the rise of precarious work, the timing is right to consider change. OCUFA has made recommendations to the Changing Workplaces Review on how to raise standards for contract faculty and to update labour law to ensure all workers can organize collectively in a union. The proposals include requiring equal pay for work of equal value and equal access to benefits for contract workers, and requiring that all workers receive reasonable notice of their schedules.

“We’re standing up to say contract workers in all sectors deserve better,” said OCUFA President Judy Bates. “Faculty working conditions are the learning conditions in our classrooms, labs, and libraries. When we ensure that every academic job is a good job, we create a quality learning experience for students.”

OCUFA is one of over 50 community and labour organizations that is part of the Fight for $15 & Fairness across Ontario. Supporters of fairness for contract faculty can sign a pledge that was launched by OCUFA’s We Teach Ontario campaign.

OCUFA co-hosts second annual Worldviews Lecture
On April 13, 2016, OCUFA was very pleased to co-host the second annual Worldviews Lecture with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. This year’s lecture featured Rajani Naidoo, Chair in Higher Education Management and Director International Centre for Higher Education Management at the University of Bath.

Professor Naidoo delivered a lecture exploring what she calls the “competition fetish” in higher education. She argued that the obsession with competition on the part of governments and institutions is shaping universities in very particular ways, and obscuring other ways of thinking about university education. In her view, a “global wellbeing” frame may be a much more positive way of conceptualizing the relationship between universities and broader society.

Nearly 100 in-person and online participants attended Prof. Naidoo’s lecture. An archived version of the webcast will be available here.

The annual Worldviews Lecture is a spinoff of the popular Worldviews Conferences on Media and Higher Education, which have been organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, OISE/University of Toronto, the Washington-based Inside Higher Ed and the London-based University World News. This year, Worldviews was pleased to welcome Academica Group as a sponsor.

Time is running out to nominate exceptional faculty members for the OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards
Just over a month remains to nominate an outstanding professor or academic librarian for the OCUFA Teaching or Academic Librarianship Award. Every year, OCUFA recognizes outstanding faculty members in Ontario universities through these prestigious honors. Up to seven awards are presented annually.

Nominations are invited from individuals; informal groups of faculty, students, or both; local faculty associations; faculty or college councils; university committees concerned with teaching and learning; local student councils; departments; alumni; and any campus group with an interest in teaching.

Nominations should include a covering nomination form, a nominator’s brief, and sufficient evidence, from as many sources as possible, to demonstrate the outstanding nature of the candidate’s work.

Teaching, in the context of the OCUFA awards, embraces virtually all levels of instruction – graduate and undergraduate teaching, continuing education, and faculty development. Similarly, proficiency in teaching may extend well beyond the classroom, the laboratory or the faculty member’s office. Activities such as course design, curriculum development, organization of teaching programs and other significant forms of leadership are often important contributions to the instructional process.

Academic librarianship includes all aspects of librarianship that contribute to the scholarly achievement of all members of the university community. Activities such as development and delivery of services, provision of educational materials, collection development and management and other contributions to academic librarianship are important to the intellectual functioning of the university.

The deadline for nominations is May 27, 2016. We request that all submissions be uploaded onto OCUFA’s secured online submission system as a single PDF file at http://awards.ocufa.on.ca. For more information and questions, please contact OCUFA at 416 979 2117 or ocufa@ocufa.on.ca.


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Got a question or comment for OCUFA Report? Email the publisher at gstewart@ocufa.on.ca.

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