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PSAC Local 610
University of Western Ontario
1313 Somerville House
London, ON  N6A 3K7

General Inquiries:
519.661.4137 (p)
519.850.2998 (f)
psac610@psac610.ca

Office Hours:
Monday- Friday: 10am - 2pm

View complete PSAC610 Personnel Contact Information Here.


 

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Nova Scotia's Bill 100 Poses Major Threat to University-Based Unions Across Canada

PSAC Local 610 stands in strong opposition to the Nova Scotia government’s attack on the rights of students and workers through Bill 100, the so-called Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act. In a misguided attempt to prevent financial mismanagement, the McNeil Liberal government in Nova Scotia seeks to eliminate the rights of student workers – to strike, to pursue grievances over workplace issues, even to sign and negotiate collective agreements.

 

Adding to the problem is the fact that the Act does nothing to ensure accountability or fiscal discipline amongst university administrators. Given the recent revelations surrounding President Chakma’s financial compensation at Western and the exorbitant salaries of many of the university’s other senior administrators, PSAC Local 610 urges the government of Nova Scotia to focus its attention on curbing excessive payouts to university administrators, rather than curtailing the rights and interests of university student educational workers (many of whom live far below the poverty line). President Chakma’s exorbitant salary is not unique to Western or Ontario. In fact, although the President of Dalhousie University “only” makes $325,000 per year, his predecessor continues to collect $442,000 per year in his retirement – even as students in Nova Scotia pay some of the highest tuition fees in Canada.

Furthermore, by eliminating the grievance process and requiring specific curriculum and research objectives as part of universities' revitalization plans, Bill 100 threatens the academic freedom and autonomy of Nova Scotia’s post secondary institutions. This attack on academic freedom is utterly unacceptable.

Given the dearth of young people in Nova Scotia and the fact that the province is faced with an aging population second only to Newfoundland, one might reasonably suggest that providing stable, secure employment opportunities to young workers should be a high priority for the government. Not so say the McNeil Liberals, who are instead opting to promote precariousness, uncertainty, and fewer opportunities and protections for young workers. Who do the Liberals think will support an increasingly large retirement-age population across the province if not young people with good jobs? How will they attract new residents to replace those that are being systematically driven out by a lack of employment opportunities? With minimum wage jobs? Or with jobs that offer no benefits, no pensions, and no job security?

The attack on the right to collectively bargain for better working conditions in universities is an attack we must oppose. The threat faced by student workers in Nova Scotia is one that educational workers in all provinces must take seriously as there is no doubt that premiers across the country are waiting to see whether they too can successfully implement similar legislation that would allow them to suspend our collective agreements and halt out right to collective bargaining as part of a provincial austerity agenda.

Please join the thousands of academic and other unionized workers across Canada who have already expressed their opposition to this attack on our rights by signing the petition below:

http://nsuniversitiesuncut.ca/petition/

PSAC610 / SOGS COMMON INFO:

A significant portion of our members are also members of the University of Western Ontario Society of Graduate Students.