Labour and education in the news

Below are recent news stories on labour and education related issues.  Click the headline to be taken to the article. Some may require a subscription.

June 24, 2019

State of the unions
Winnipeg Free Press
She didn’t tip over a streetcar, but Basia Sokal’s bold departure from the Winnipeg Labour Council in March still made a thud — and lifted the veil on cracks in the local movement’s solidarity.

New tentative contract for Canada's scientists would enshrine right to speak to media
A tentative agreement reached between the Trudeau government and Canada's scientists would lock in their right to speak to the media about science and their work for another four years.

Deal Between Feds, Unions Gives Paid Time Off For Domestic Violence
Huffington Post
Several new deals reached between the federal government and one of its biggest civil-service unions that allow paid time off for victims of domestic violence are the start of a trend, says an academic expert on violence against women and children.

Breaking: ‘Bojack Horseman’ Crew Is Victorious In Unionizing With Animation Guild
Cartoon Brew
Following months of negotiations, the crew of Netflix’s Bojack Horseman has won their battle to unionize the production.

Mexico’s Workers Can Finally Choose Unions. Old Unions Are Pushing Back.
The New York Times
GUADALUPE, Mexico — As an election to choose a union at a Mexican tire plant began one recent drizzly morning, a labor leader urged supporters to come out and vote: “You can relax,” he said over social media. “Your vote is free and secret.”

Anger and disgust over UAW betrayal of Mercy St. Vincent nurses strike in Toledo, Ohio
World Socialist Website
Nurses at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio have returned to work to find the same brutal management regime in place as before their six-week strike. The United Auto Workers union shut down the walkout on June 12 and sent nurses back to work before they had a chance to vote or even see the agreement the UAW reached with hospital management.

Navigating a new landscape in labor law
Boston Globe
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling last year in Janus v. AFSCME drastically changed the landscape of state labor laws across the country, to the detriment of workers and their unions. The legislation passed this month by the Massachusetts House provides a number of sensible fixes in response to the post-Janus landscape, and sends a strong message from our elected officials that effective union representation is in the public interest.

Students fuming over large OSAP decreases
The Oshawa Express
Post-secondary students across Ontario are fuming over massive cuts to OSAP funding.

Tracie Afifi wins national health research award for work on child abuse
The Globe and Mail
Tracie Afifi used to wonder whether Canada has a child-abuse problem.

Teachers' union takes responsibility for education cuts sign flown over Ford Fest
CTV News
MARKHAM, Ont. -- A teachers' union representative claiming responsibility for an anti-Ford sign that flew over Ford Fest said he had to hire an American company because the Canadian one he approached refused to participate.

Goodbye, Chrome: Google’s web browser has become spy software
The Washington Post
You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you?

The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It's Big.
Splinter News
“Two half-time adjunct jobs do not make a full-time income. Far from it,” Ximena Barrientos says. “I’m lucky that I have my own apartment. I have no idea how people make it work if they have to pay rent.”

Four Presidents Out, Without Notice or Explanation
Inside Higher Ed
Within days of each other, four university presidents left their respective institutions with little warning. At each institution, administrators offered only minimal, and sometimes no, explanation for their departure.

Ethics fly out of the window at Oxford University when big donors come calling
The Guardian
hat do we know about Stephen Schwarzman, the US financier whose name, following his £150m donation to the University of Oxford, is destined to become synonymous – as the Schwarzman Centre – with the humanities, the study of ethics in particular?

Op-ed: The strike, Shoal Lake and Indigenous dispossession
UM Today
Shoal Lake water first flowed in Winnipeg mains on March 29, 1919. About six weeks later, the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council called a general strike, and this popular revolt would last a remarkable six weeks. The Winnipeg General Strike and the arrival of Shoal Lake water in Winnipeg taps occurred at the same time, and in the same place, and are part of a larger story of Indigenous dispossession.

June 20, 2019

AUFA Reaches Agreement with Athabasca University
Yesterday afternoon the AUFA bargaining team signed off on a contract agreement with the employer. Should this agreement be ratified by the AUFA members and AU Board of Governors it will complete this round of bargaining. The agreement is for all language signed to date, a 0% wage increase for two years, and language which will convert term staff to permanent status after five years of employment. If ratified the new contract will expire on June 30, 2020.

What Bill 9 Means for AUFA Members
Last week, the government introduced the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act (Bill 9) in the legislature. If passed, Bill 9 will not directly affect AUFA or its members. Bill 9 will, however, affect the collective agreement presently in effect between AUPE Local 69 and Athabasca University as well as other faculty associations. Bill 9 will also indirectly affect AUFA members.

Government lied about leaked education report, says Nunavut Teachers' Association
The president of the Nunavut Teachers' Association says his organization was lied to when it comes to a leaked report on the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP), saying they were told several times work on the report was still ongoing.

Investing in education pays off, says Conference Board of Canada report
The Star
If Ontario’s high school graduation rate hit 90 per cent, that would save the province more than $16 million a year in spending on health care, social assistance and the justice system, says a report released Wednesday.

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training
Rossland News
The B.C. government will invest $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training, to try boost Indigenous teacher numbers and practices.

100 years after the Winnipeg General Strike, Manitoba labour faces fights from outside and within
When Stephanie Swain worked at a movie theatre, she was told to shred any and all staff lists — that's how worried her bosses were about the curtain rising on a union.

St. Boniface Hospital staff survey fails to focus on nurses' concerns, union says
St. Boniface Hospital is surveying staff for their thoughts on the direction of the facility amid concerns about over-worked employees, bed shortages and the quality of patient care — but the nurses' union says the survey rings hollow.

Alberta finance minister won’t guarantee delayed union arbitration will occur
Global News
Alberta’s finance minister won’t promise that 180,000 public sector workers will still get their legally mandated wage arbitration hearings if they don’t happen as planned this fall.

Bargaining rights bill passes after all-night session in Alberta legislature
Legislation that will strip away some bargaining rights for 180,000 Alberta public-sector workers passed Thursday after an all-night session in the legislature.

Toronto votes to continue allowing select group of labour unions to bid on construction projects
The Globe and Mail
Toronto has rejected new provincial legislation that opens public-sector construction work to non-unionized workers, setting the stage for a legal showdown with those shut out of bidding on projects.

Brazilian unions sabotage one-day general strike
World Socialist Website
Last Friday saw workers and youth carry out partial work stoppages and demonstrations in 380 cities and towns across Brazil. The widely anticipated one-day general strike had been called as early as May Day by unions covering workplaces employing some 45 million workers, and was meant to let off steam amid mounting popular opposition to the austerity measures of the Bolsonaro government.

Copper Mine Strike Lengthens as Unions Reject Offer
The world’s top copper producer is facing the longest strike in years at one of its main mines in Chile as unions called on about 3,200 workers to reject the latest offer from Codelco.

June 19, 2019

Professors at war: Sexual misconduct allegations in Windsor reach Trinidad and Tobago
Global News
At least two students at the University of Windsor’s law school allegedly disclosed to their teachers that a professor had repeatedly sexually harassed them.

Indigenous high-school graduation rate in B.C. reaches 70 per cent
Globe and Mail
The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from high school in British Columbia is higher than ever, but there is still a significant gap between those students and their non-Indigenous peers in getting their diplomas.

McGill receives its largest gift for Indigenous education
US$ 1.25-million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support new Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative, to be based in the Faculty of Arts

U of S introduces queer housing pilot program
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
A pilot project will allow LGBTQ students at the University of Saskatchewan to choose to live together in on-campus housing.

Government of Canada announces talented and diverse group of new and renewed Canada Research Chairs
Government of Canada
Our government recognizes that diversity of backgrounds, experiences and thought breed great science and research. If we want Canada to achieve its greatest potential in research, we need the diversity of citizens and communities to be reflected in our academic ranks.

Canada Research Chairs to investigate electricity, linguistics, biodiversity, and stressed cells
UM Today
The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of over $275 million for 346 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 52 institutions across Canada for research excellence, including four at the University of Manitoba.

The Battle Between West Virginia Teachers and Republicans Is About to Get Ugly
West Virginia public school teachers and the state’s Republican legislators are once again on a collision course over charter schools. And things could get ugly.

14 more rejected students sue universities, mastermind of admissions scheme
USA Today
Fourteen more current and former students who were denied admissions into elite universities tied to the nation's college admissions scandal are now suing the colleges and the mastermind of the scheme, seeking to get back their application fees.

Employees at second cannabis store vote to strike
CTV News
Employees at a second branch of the SQDC have voted in favour of going on strike, according to the Canadian Press.

'Dark day for Quebec': Religious symbols law draws criticism
Bill 21 bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols while on the job

ALEC Says "Strike!" Just Do It Without Unions
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has gone on the record as supporting the right of workers to bargain collectively, and even strike, for better working conditions -- as long as they do it without a union.

EXPLAINED: Why are 10,000 HSE support staff going on strike this Thursday?
Waterford Live
The Minister for Finance, the Minister for Health and the HSE are coming under political pressure to liaise with SIPTU and up to 10,000 HSE support staff who are going on strike this Thursday, June 20.

France plans to change jobless benefits, unions to protest
Canadian HR Reporter
French President Emmanuel Macron's government has unveiled plans to make it more difficult for the unemployed to claim benefits, as part of an overhaul of France's labour market that aims to boost the nation's economy.