Fall 2022 President’s Message

Dear StFXAUT Members,

This issue of the Beacon features an interview with StFX Alumna Dr. Lisa Gillis (’94), a hospitalist at St. Martha’s, and reflections on the recent CAUT Librarians’ and Archivists’ Conference and the 2022 Fair Employment Week. Also included are overviews of StFXAUT donations and strike support, and another challenging True-or-False quiz on the Collective Agreement.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on formal negotiations. As I had mentioned previously, we will start negotiations when we have clarity on the University’s finances. We are making progress and have obtained a preliminary estimate from the Vice-President Finance of the impact on the financial statements, but we continue to seek further clarity. We are awaiting additional details and are planning for more discussions with administration in the new year. We hope to be able to provide a complete report in February or March 2023. As such we do not see formal negotiations starting until the Spring of 2023. In the meantime, we plan on sharing information on University spending patterns via Bulletins and will continue to consult on issues of importance to Members.

It is the narrative surrounding the financial position of the University that is being challenged. As illustrated by the recent StFXAUT Bulletin, Culture of Entitlement @ StFX [PDF], “It is not AUT Members and their compensation that have created the financial stresses reported by the StFX administration.” Rather, it is the number of senior administrators and their overall salaries, benefits, and perks, along with the huge debt load created for ancillary services through renovations and construction. For the latter, over $6 million is siphoned annually from operations to fund this long-term debt.

Your representatives on the Executive Committee and other AUT committees continue to work diligently on your behalf; however, without your engagement and feedback, the work of the AUT would not be accomplished. We will continue to reach out for input on the upcoming negotiations and welcome any thoughts and suggestions for improvements in the Collective Agreement.

As we approach the holiday season, it is my wish that you take some time to rest, recuperate, stay healthy, and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Stay safe and Happy Holidays!

Martin van Bommel