CAUT testified Feb. 8 before the Commission de la culture et de l’éducation at Quebec’s National Assembly to express its opposition to Bill 234, a private member’s bill that would introduce sweeping changes threatening governance at Université de Montréal.
“On the pretense of modernizing its charter, the university administration is suggesting nothing less than an end to collegiality and bringing about a radical change in academic staff working conditions without bargaining,” says CAUT past president Robin Vose.
According to CAUT, Bill 234 infringes on academic freedom, weakens collegial governance, and alters working conditions outside the regular union bargaining process.
“The last time Montreal updated its charter was 50 years ago. If a new charter is adopted, faculty could be stuck with it for a very long time,” Vose notes. “We’re talking about a critical document that cannot be amended quickly, hence the importance of taking the time that is needed to properly assess the impact of such fundamental changes.”