As promised, the Government of Alberta has begun its second round of consultations with the post-secondary institutions in Alberta following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that asserted the right to strike as a fundamental right. As you may remember from this past year, it was this key decision that inspired our change in mil rate for the lockout/strike preparedness fund approved by the Membership at April’s general meeting.
The Ministry of Advanced Education is currently soliciting feedback from Faculty Associations and its members, among other interest groups, on the matter of labour relations as the Post Secondary Learning Act undergoes significant transformation. The discussion document itself (found here) is aimed at individuals, with a deadline of October 17, 2016.
The questions the discussion guide asks involve at times quite technical aspects of labour relations law and custom and the choices it present have in some cases very significant consequences for the post-secondary environment we have lived in since our incipience in the mid-1960s. Some of the questions imply specific outcomes that the Faculty Association has obvious vested interests in, that speak to the core principles of academia, while other questions broadly address the complex logistics of meshing post-secondary in Alberta with the traditional labour relations model found elsewhere. Finding ourselves at the forefront of major change, we look forward to helping shape this future with a goal of ensuring the smoothest transition to whatever comes our [collective] way.
The Association has prepared for this final consultation with the Ministry by consulting with prominent labour lawyers and labour relations practitioners, as well as our colleagues in the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). We would like at this point to consult with our Members and also to share our understanding of the issues involves.
Just as we did last year in preparation for the lockout/strike fund vote, we have organized two town halls to enable full discussion.
I encourage you to participate in either one or both of them. To facilitate your attendance, lunch will be provided.