On May 27, 2013, OCUFA President Constance Adamson wrote a letter to Rector Chantal Beauvais of Saint Paul University, regarding troubling labour developments at the university. Here is the full text of the letter.
Dear Rector Beauvais;
I am writing this letter to urge the administration of Saint Paul University to reverse its threat to terminate faculty members within the Faculty of Theology. These actions are extreme, and will result in serious harm to the Faculty, those who work within it, and its students.
On behalf of OCUFA and the 17,000 professors and academic librarians it represents, I would request that the following measures be taken to correct this situation:
Honour the collective agreement with the Professors’ Association of Saint Paul University (PASPU), which does not include an article that defines the procedures under which faculty members may be terminated in a case of financial exigency.
Cease plans to fire tenured professors in the Faculty of Theology (or any other faculty), in an attempt to decrease the deficit. During the consultation and round-tables held this Spring at Saint Paul, the university community expressed strong support for the continuation of the institution’s Catholic mission and identity.
Reinstate Alice Constantinou, the professional librarian who was fired on May 15th. Saint Paul’s current lack of even one professional librarian leaves a significant hole in its reputation as a well-functioning academic institution.
Provide full transparency of the University’s finances, debts, and resources to PASPU and the university community. This will help the broader Saint Paul community determine to what extent the actions that are planned, and have taken place, are justifiable.
OCUFA is aware that, in addition to the termination of Alice Constantinou, three staff members in Theology have been terminated. OCUFA is also aware that other faculty members have been transferred to different Faculties and early retirements have occurred. And yet, your administration believes that the actions taken thus far have not significantly affected the deficit.
Will further terminations and related actions similarly be insignificant with respect to the budget while imposing a heavy cost on those who face losing their current appointments? This is a critical question I urge you to consider.
I welcome any opportunity to discuss these matters with you further. I believe we share the goal of preserving the future of Saint Paul University as a viable academic institution. In the interest of achieving this goal while protecting Saint Paul’s professors and librarians, I again urge you to take the actions I have outlined in this letter.
Constance Adamson, President, OCUFA