USFA e-Letter: Nova Scotia govt. proposes alarming new law

If you haven’t heard yet, the Nova Scotia government has tabled the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act, AKA Bill 100 (http://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/62nd_2nd/1st_read/b100.htm) and is trying to get it passed quickly. This legislation, touted by the NS Liberal government as the first of its kind in Canada, is at once a union-busting bill and a bill devoted to accelerating the university’s transformation into a business enterprise. It gives academic employers the capacity to neutralize the rights to strike and to grieve, and allows for students, staff, and faculty opposition to be swept aside in the wholesale restructuring of universities.

 

The proposed legislation would permit the provincial government, when requested by a university seeking a financial “revitalization plan,” to suspend the right of university workers to strike as well as suspending the right of unions representing these workers to enforce aspects of their Collective Agreements that may relate in any way to the revitalization plan.

 

Bill 100 also mandates the contents of revitalization plans. It requires that revitalization plans must satisfy the government that research will be turned into “business opportunities” and program and course offerings will be “relevant” to students, society and the economy. Plans must also include ideas for exchanging knowledge and innovation with the private sector, with an emphasis on university-industry collaboration.

 

The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) is looking for support for their efforts to prevent Bill 100 from becoming law. www.facebook.com/NSUniversityTeachers

 

An online petition can be found at http://nsuniversitiesuncut.ca/