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CAUT defends academic freedom and collegial governance before Quebec’s National Assembly

(Quebec City — February 8, 2018) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) testified today 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 that would threaten governance at Université de Montréal.

“On the pretense of modernizing its Charter, the Université de Montréal administration is suggesting nothing less than to end collegiality at the University and to bring about a radical change in faculty working conditions without bargaining,” said CAUT Past President Robin Vose.

According to CAUT, Bill 234 presents the following three risks:

•    Infringement on academic freedom
•    Weakening of collegial governance
•    Altering working conditions outside the regular union bargaining process

“The last time the University updated its Charter was 50 years ago. Therefore, once a new Charter is adopted, faculty could be stuck with it for a very long time. 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,” Vose stressed.