The Legacy of Peter C. Dooley

The USFA Executive Committee wants to express its deepest condolences to the family and friends of our colleague, Peter Dooley. The University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association would not be what it is today if not for his work.

Peter was Chair of the Faculty Association when it became a certified trade union in the 1970’s and he was intimately involved in writing our first Collective Agreement. His simple, yet revolutionary, view that the collegium is the primary decision-maker at a university is a central premise of the document. This view, initially considered by many other faculty associations as naïve and wrong, has held us in good stead in the decades since and has made our Agreement the model to which many other faculty associations in Canada continue to aspire. Very little of the original language of the Collective Agreement has been changed since it was negotiated in 1977.

Throughout his career at the U of S, Peter was significantly involved in the activities of the USFA. He was elected Chair of the Executive Committee 7 times, more than anyone else since the Faculty Association came into existence in the 1950’s. Gruff though he was on the outside, he was readily available to fulfill the very important pastoral role that is central to representing union members.

Peter played a pivotal role in pension reform and successfully fought to ensure that pension funds remained in the hands of USFA members. The results of his steadfast resolve are readily apparent in the USFA in so many ways it is difficult to bring them all to mind.

To ensure that the role Peter played in making the USFA what it is today is not forgotten, the USFA Executive Committee has voted to establish “The Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award.” While we have yet to flesh out the details of the Award, our intention is to ensure that USFA members past and present continue to learn about Peter’s work on behalf of the USFA and its members.

Peter has provided us with a legacy for which we will always be grateful.