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July NewsWire: CAUT calls for faculty/governance renewal at Laurentian U - Nick Papatheodorakos: Leveraging union power to figure precarity (Video)

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In this issu​e

  • Laurentian U: CAUT calls for faculty and governance renewal
  • Nick Papatheodorakos: Leveraging union power to fight precarity (Video)
  • Supreme Court reaffirms importance of balanced approach to copyright
  • CAUT Equity Toolkit
  • New academic freedom podcast series
  • Upcoming events

Laurentian U: CAUT calls for faculty and governance renewal

CAUT joined the Laurentian University Faculty Association and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations last week in applauding the departure of two of Laurentian University’s most senior administrators.

But CAUT also warned that more needs to be done to ensure open and transparent renewal of the troubled institution.

“The news that some of the senior administrators responsible for creating the mess at Laurentian will be departing is a welcomed step in the right direction,” said David Robinson, Executive Director of CAUT. “Under new leadership, the University will need to chart a new course to ensure it operates in a manner that is open, transparent, and accountable to its academic staff, employees, students, and the community of Sudbury. The shocking failures that led Laurentian to the brink cannot be allowed to happen again.”

The announcement of the upcoming “retirement” of the two senior leaders follows CAUT’s call for the dismissal of the senior administrators responsible for the debacle that led to massive lay-offs, and extensive harm to staff, students and the community of Sudbury.

Leveraging union power to fight precarity

Nick Papatheodorakos, chair of the CAUT Contract Academic Staff Committee, shares his thoughts on the challenges facing contract academic staff, the power of unions, and the importance of collective action and solidarity. “Every association, every union that exists, if you compare non-unionized to unionized, we are talking about a 20 to 30 per cent increase in work conditions and job security,” he said.

Supreme Court reaffirms importance of balanced approach to copyright

CAUT is welcoming the latest Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the importance of fair dealing.

In a majority ruling issued July 15, the Court underscored the importance of copyright balance in serving the public interest. “[T]he Copyright Act does not exist solely for the benefit of authors,” the Court declared, adding the purpose of the Act is to “balance authors’ and users’ rights by securing just rewards for authors while facilitating public access to works.”

At issue in SOCAN v. Entertainment Software Association was whether the Copyright Act grants rights-holders who allow their work to be uploaded to the internet the entitlement to be paid a separate royalty when the work is downloaded or streamed. The Court rejected this interpretation of the Act, ensuring that users pay just one royalty fee.
This latest decision follows on Court’s ruling in favor of a balanced approach to copyright in the landmark York University v. Access Copyright case last year. At the time, CAUT together with the Canadian Federation of Students intervened before the Court to voice the concerns of post-secondary teachers, researchers, and students about restrictions on fair dealing, and copyright tariffs.

CAUT Equity Toolkit

The online CAUT Equity Toolkit provides academic staff associations with important resources and tools to advance equity in the workplace and beyond. The site is regularly updated with case studies, links to relevant data, bargaining advisories, and articles addressing issues such as equitable compensation and how to combat the marginalization and exclusion faced by equity-deserving groups. Check out the featured articles:

New academic freedom podcast series

“What do you think of when you hear the term academic freedom?” Demystifying Academic Freedom, a new podcast series by Dr. Marc Spooner of the University of Regina and Stephen Hurley of voicEd Radio Canada explores the meaning and struggle over academic freedom in Canada.

Upcoming events

Registration is open for the 2022 CAUT Librarians’ and Archivists’ Conference taking place October 21-22 in-person at the Marriott Hotel, Ottawa, and on-line. The theme is Collective Resistance: Academic Librarians and Archivists Taking Action.

Join us to learn how colleagues have successfully organized to defend the profession, uphold academic values, and build solidarity. For more information, visit the CAUT website.