UWOFA Voices: ‘A better choice is to get up and do my part, however small that might be’

Ann Bigelow

June 24, 2019

When I stand up in the face of injustice, I know that I will be supported by my union, and for that I am very grateful. When I’m talking to my students I frequently tell them that the problems of this world are so big that they often seem unresolvable, and therefore it might feel that the best thing to do is roll over in the morning and go back to sleep, or spend hours watching Netflix. But, in my opinion, a better choice is to get up and do my part, however small that might be. I think that while it might be possible for me to make a big splash, what is more important is that I make little splashes every day.

Every great university has a library at its centre

Matthew Rowlinson

June 20, 2019

Every great university has a library at its centre; and, as I have tried to argue here, the library is above all an institution sustained by the knowledge and skills of the professionals who staff it. Western faculty like me are enormously privileged to carry on our research at Weldon and at the university’s other libraries; as our librarian colleagues enter what may be a difficult set of contract negotiations, we owe them our unconditional support.

UWOFA Voices: 'It feels right to work toward better stewardship'

Ben Rubin

June 17, 2019

In his graduate course, Forest Decline Concepts, Dr. Manion asked us “How much tree mortality is normal in a forest and how can you know when and where that baseline level is exceeded?” I took the question to heart and started as his graduate student to trek through the woods, measure thousands of trees, read papers, and sweat through analyzing data. At forest pathology conferences I took pride in knowing that our lab dealt with big picture questions and the health of the forest, while most presentations I heard were about maladies of individual trees.  Predictably, when I reflect on my past mindset now, I am most struck by my own myopia. I wanted a professorial career based solely on a love of science and was naïve to the workings of the precarious academy that houses science.  It never occurred to me that, as a professor, I’d want to work to support my labour union.

UWOFA-LA collective bargaining has begun. Now what? Vol. 5, No. 4

June 14, 2019

Your UWOFA-LA negotiating team, led by chief negotiator Johanna Weststar (DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies), began negotiating a new collective agreement for librarians and archivists on Tuesday, June 11. Several half-day sessions are scheduled with the employer this month before bargaining pauses in July until mid-August. The current four-year contract expires June 30, 2019.

OCUFA statement on public sector wage restraint legislation

June 12, 2019

Ontario faculty are deeply concerned by the Ford government's attempt to cap public sector compensation increases at one per cent per year. This legislation represents an attack on the right to free and fair collective bargaining, a threat to pay equity and benefits for contract faculty and other marginalized workers, and an erosion of the foundations of Ontario's important public services.