Top Ten

May 12, 2010

St. Peter's College, CTRC discuss merger

Approximately 20 months ago, Saskatchewan-based St. Peter's College and Carlton Trail Regional College met to discuss amalgamating under one name. Both schools serve a similar area and demographic, and have worked under an informal partnership for at least a decade. The union representing staff at CTRC argues the province is "dismantling" the college, a sign of "privatization of skills training." Representatives from the institutions and government say the merger was initiated by the colleges, not the province. A provincial review of the proposed merger is expected to take place over the next few months. For now, both colleges are being governed by their own respective boards, as well as a "transitional board" to work towards the merger. CanWest News Service | SGEU News Release

ACC, RRC union alleges bad faith bargaining by management

Without a contract for the last 10 months, staff at Assiniboine Community College and Red River College plan to picket today to draw attention to the lack of progress at the bargaining table. The workers say that after 35 bargaining sessions, the employers have refused to negotiate any meaningful improvements to wages or health benefits. The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union will file a complaint with the Manitoba Labour Board, claiming bad faith bargaining by the employers. NUPGE News Release

Mohawk College offers employees buyouts, places restrictions on hiring

Mohawk College is aiming to cut $5.5 million in payroll costs by offering a monetary incentive to senior staff who were planning to retire or leave the institution. The college first made its "voluntary exit" offer late last month, giving interested employees until May 19 to accept. The offer's terms include a lump-sum payment of $5,000 to staff with 10 to 24 years' service, 3 months' salary for those with 24 to 29 years, and 6 months' salary for those with 30 years or more. By taking the offer, employees agree to end their employment by June 30. Mohawk is also placing restrictions on hiring, hoping to avoid layoffs through attrition. Hamilton Spectator

uSask in midst of major capital period

As stated in its annual capital report for 2010-11, the University of Saskatchewan is in the midst of one of its most intensive capital periods in its history. 2 major capital projects underway are the Academic Health Sciences Project and the renovation and expansion of the Place Riel Student Centre. For 2010-11, uSask received an annual capital allowance of over $12 million, which will go towards capital renewal, general campus equipment, campus-wide IT and multimedia, and faculty start-up and retention. uSask Annual Capital Plan 2010-11


Dal med school funding cut made in error

Nova Scotia's health minister says poor paperwork led to a $2.5-million cut in funding to Dalhousie University's medical school. The minister says the confusion will be cleared up as soon as possible and funding will be forthcoming to the school. Dal officials are warning that the medical school could lose its licence to train physicians because of the 8% cut in its operating budget, as the school is facing accreditation challenges. CBC

Medical schools urged to disclose competing interests

A Canadian Medical Association Journal editorial calls on faculties of medicine and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada to immediately adopt the guidance about disclosure of competing interests issued in 2008 by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The editorial states that medical school curricula should include formal teaching on the effects of competing interests on evaluation of medical information. The editorial urges medical students to champion the development of strict policies on conflict of interest that, among other things, demand from faculty full public disclosure of income generated from pharmaceutical firms. If medical schools fail to act on such policies, student organizations could use their own website to post professors' links to industry, the editorial states. CMAJ editorial

Graduate students a priority for new uCalgary president

Speaking at the University of Calgary's annual graduate research conference last week, incoming president Dr. Elizabeth Cannon said graduate students and graduate education is a key part in positioning the institution for the future. Cannon told attendees that uCalgary needs to very disciplined to ensure graduate students receive the training and skills to be successful, while also engaging in classrooms to expose undergraduates to their knowledge and enthusiasm. She said the university needs to be more successful in the federal granting councils, encouraging faculty to compete and be competitive in the search for research dollars that directly contribute to the number of graduate students that can be supported. UToday

Keyano College president to retire

Keyano College announced yesterday that president Jim Foote will retire effective June 30, 2011. Foote joined the northern Alberta college as dean of academic and career programs in 1993. He also served as the acting vice-president of instruction in 1997 before taking over as president in 2003. During Foote's tenure, Keyano added physical infrastructure to align college capacity with community need, including the Fort Chipewyan campus, and expanded programs, particularly in trades and technology, as well as launched a number of new programs. Keyano's board of governors chair says Foote "has positioned us very well to respond to the challenges and opportunities in the years ahead." Keyano College News Release

Saskatchewan amends apprenticeship and trades certification regulations

The Saskatchewan government announced Tuesday changes to The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Regulations, 2003, allowing employers to hire additional workers to meet the needs of the growing economy and labour market. In the past, the ratios in most trades had been one apprentice to one journeyperson. The amendments will increase the number of apprentices per journeyperson, from one-to-one to 2-to-one in 27 of the 47 trades and 16 of the 23 sub-trades; exclude final level apprentices from the apprentice to journeyperson ratio requirement in all trades and sub-trades; enable journeypersons to receive training and certification to complete work in a related compulsory trade. Saskatchewan News Release

Record summer enrolment at Langara

Langara College welcomes over 4,800 students this month, breaking summer enrolment records. This is the fourth year in a row that enrolment has grown for the summer term. Returning student numbers have increased by more than 8%, and enrolment in university programming is up nearly 6% over enrolment in the summer term of 2009. The college has now reached record enrolment for 4 consecutive semesters. Langara News Release