Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

November 10, 2010 05:00 ET

Carleton's 'Scorched Earth' Approach to Stakeholder Relations is Jeopardizing Bid for Research Designation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2010) - In an open letter to be published in Ottawa newspapers today, representatives of staff, contract instructors, and teaching assistants together with the students' unions are requesting a meeting with John Milloy, the Ontario Minister for Training, Colleges and Universities, claiming that the Carleton administration's "scorched earth" approach in dealing with its campus stakeholders is jeopardizing the province's plans for the university sector in Ottawa.

The dismal handling of labour and student relations by the Carleton University administration is threatening the University's own goal of becoming a designated research university say representatives for students, administrative staff, teaching assistants, and contract instructors. 

Carleton University is vying for the prestigious designation as a "research intense" university that would bring both academic clout and funding resources to the university. 

"For Carleton to achieve this goal, they need support from all major groups on campus: the faculty, the contract instructors, staff, students and TA's," said Wiz Long, President of CUPE 2424. "All employee and student groups have heartily supported achieving the designation. But Carleton has alienated all of us by fomenting extreme acrimony and fuelling labour instability by months' end. And the province needs to be made aware of this."

The Canadian Union of Public Employees representing office and professional staff (CUPE 2424) and teaching assistants and contract instructors (CUPE 4600) and CUASA representing faculty have all reported that their current round of collective bargaining with Carleton University have been marked by acrimony. CUPE 4600 and CUPE 2424 will both be in a strike position later this month. CUASA only called off its strike deadline on Sunday.

The Carleton University Students Association and the Carleton Graduate Students Association are locked in a dispute with the University over the University's refusal to forward to them the student association fees collected on their behalf. 

"It's not just leadership in research that Carleton should be impressing on the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). They should also be showing the province that they work well with all campus stakeholders and can deliver labour stability to ensure the province's investment in research is realized. Carleton has yet to see the value in the employee resource right under their nose," says James Meades, co-president of CUPE 4600.

An Open Letter Regarding Carleton University

November 8, 2010

The Honourable John Milloy
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
3rd Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2

Dear Minister Milloy:

Leadership in research can only come about when a university administration works well with campus stakeholders.  Carleton University is vying for the prestigious designation as a "research intense" university that would bring both academic clout and funding resources to the university.  

As students, staff, teaching assistants and contract instructors, we heartily support making Carleton an institution of academic excellence. 

However we are writing you because we are very concerned that Carleton's dismal relations with its employee and student groups are jeopardizing this goal. 

Carleton Administration has been pursuing a "scorched earth" policy in dealing with its campus stakeholders.  They have alienated every major campus group. Negotiations with the four largest labour groups have been acrimonious.  All four groups were forced into setting mid-month strike deadlines. Three of these groups are still in this position. Faculty, staff, instructors, teaching assistants and student groups have denounced the university's refusal to grant academic amnesty to students in the event of a labour disruption. Separate from labour matters but equally important and worrisome is that the University is withholding student associations' fees in an attempt to control those associations activities. 

As representatives of the community that is Carleton University we are requesting a meeting with you, Minister Milloy, to have further discussions about how to create a stable labour and student relations environment that nurtures our aspirations for Carleton University. 

We are sure you will agree that the intransigence of the Carleton administration and its fomenting of labour instability are contrary to your policy goals.  We would look forward to working with your ministry to enhance post secondary education at Carleton University.

Yours truly, 

Wiz Long   James Meades
President   Matt Nelson
CUPE 2424   Co-Presidents
    CUPE 4600
Alex Sirois   Kimalee Phillip
President   President 
Carleton University Students   Carleton University Graduate
Association    Student's Association
c.c.: Deborah Newman, Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Hon Bob Chiarelli, Ottawa West Nepean,
Hon Dalton McGuinty, Ottawa South
Hon Madeleine Meilleur, Ottawa Vanier
Rosario Marchese, (MPP) Trinity-Spadina
Jim Wilson, (MPP) Simcoe-Grey
Carleton Board of Govenors
Yasir Naqvi, (MPP) Ottawa Centre

Contact Information

  • Susan Arab
    CUPE National Representative
    613-769-7553 (cell)
    Wiz Long
    CUPE Local 2424 President
    613-866-2871 (cell)
    James Meades
    CUPE 4600 Co-President
    Kelly Black
    VP Operations, Graduate Students Association
    Alex Sirois
    President, Carleton University Students Association
    613-520-2600 x 1603