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Academic staff vote unanimously to condemn the Nova Scotia government’s attack on universities

Delegates attending the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) today have voted unanimously to condemn the Nova Scotia government’s Bill 100 as an unacceptable violation of constitutional rights, university autonomy, and academic freedom.

The motion brought by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) and seconded by the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) calls for CAUT to initiate the censure process against any university that seeks to use the provisions in the Bill to trample employment and academic rights of staff.

“Bill 100 attacks collective agreements and undermines worker security through these revitalization plans”, David Mensink, president of the Dalhousie Faculty Association told the delegates. “The values in this bill are antithetical to the values of CAUT and academic staff across the country by undermining the right to strike, academic freedom and institutional autonomy.”

The motion also calls on CAUT to denounce the Nova Scotia government for interfering in workers’ rights and academic freedom, and to consider legal action if the bill is adopted.

“This bill is essentially program prioritization on steroids,” said David Robinson, CAUT executive director. “What is most surprising and disappointing about the Bill has been the silence of senior university leaders in not raising their voices against this attack on institutional autonomy and fundamental academic values.”

Delegates from across the country spoke in favour of the motion and extended their support and solidarity to their colleagues in Nova Scotia in their struggle to defend the constitutional rights of academic staff and the autonomy of their post-secondary institutions.