1) Wiley/Blackwell “Big Deal” Grievance:
BUFA filed a grievance on the failure of the Administration to provide members with reasonable library resources as a result of the decision late last fall to discontinue the Wiley/Blackwell big deal. This subscription had provided for immediate online access to many journals. After the cancelation, interlibrary loan access was maintained but this involved a delay between a request and obtaining a requested article. The decision to cancel the big deal was driven, in part, by a deficit in the library budget that had resulted from exchange rate variations and increasing subscription costs by the publishers.
In this situation, the rationale for the grievance was focused on the Administration’s failure to provide a budget to the library that was sufficient for maintaining the current subscriptions. Concurrently with the processing of BUFA’s grievance, this matter of the cancellation of the big deal was winding through Senate committees and finally, Senate passed a motion directly on this matter. Given the double channel through which this matter was proceeding, namely BUFA’s grievance procedure and Senate, BUFA made the decision to withdraw the grievance on a without prejudice or precedent basis and to leave it to Senate to deal with the matter.
2) Arbitration on matters involving the processing of multiple complaints under the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy (RWLEP) against two members by the Office of Human Rights and Equity Services (OHRES):
BUFA filed a grievance on behalf of two BUFA members who had been among multiple respondents to complaints filed with the OHRES and, finally, when the matter could not be resolved through the grievance process, BUFA submitted this grievance to arbitration. BUFA’s position was that these members’ collective agreement rights, including their right to Academic Freedom, had been violated by the way the complaints had been handled by the OHRES. An award by the Arbitrator has now been issued. Although not all of BUFA’s arguments were successful, the grievance has succeeded, in part, because the complaints were not handled by the OHRES in a way that was fair to the respondents. Our two members are finally able to speak freely again in the exercise of their academic freedom rights!
3) Grievance regarding elimination of the Director of Coop Programs:
In its response to this grievance, the Administration has submitted that this position was not eliminated. Some changes in the reporting relationship have been made and the position has been reposted, but, the Administration has said, the position was not eliminated. For this and other reasons, BUFA has withdrawn the grievance on a without prejudice and precedent basis.
David Whitehead, Ph.D.
Assiciate Professor, Department of OBHREE
Grievance Officer, Brock University Faculty Association
500 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catharines ON Canada L2S 3A1
Phone: 905-688-5550, ext. 3449