On April 29, 2015, OCUFA President Kate Lawson sent a letter to the Premier of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan to protest the proposed Bill 100. The Bill would allow universities in financial difficult to suspend collective agreements and ban strikes for up to 18 months. Bill 100 is a direct assault on academic freedom, collegial governance, and institutional autonomy, as well as potentially unconstitutional. The text of the letter follows:
Dear Premier McNeil and Minister Regan,
On behalf of the 17,000 professors and academic librarians the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) represents at universities across Ontario, I am writing to condemn in the strongest possible terms your government’s Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act.
If passed, this legislation would seriously undermine postsecondary education throughout Nova Scotia. The provisions that would allow universities to undertake government directed “revitalization” processes seriously undermine the fundamental principles of collegial governance, institutional
autonomy and academic freedom, which are central to the core educational mission of the university.
Moreover, the legislation includes provisions that attack Charter-protected rights to collective bargaining, the right to strike and the right to grieve.
This proposed legislation represents the worst kind of political interference in our institutions of higher learning and must not stand. I urge you to withdraw Bill 100 immediately.