June 18th, 2024

Revisiting shared values and principles


By Lethbridge Herald on March 10, 2022.

Editor:

As I write this letter, the U of L strike looks like it will soon enter its second month.

In this time of post-pandemic awakening and incredible Ukrainian bravery, I would like to offer a perspective that has been all but missing in the current exchange. My hope is that such a focus can ultimately provide a platform from which both parties can ultimately settle their differences allowing for the U of L to once again open up and continue with its mandate to educate and develop students as well as serve its community and constituents. 

Although I recently retired this past June, I had been with the U of L for 38 years serving in a variety of roles including professor, Associate Vice President Academic, and Dean of the Dhillon School of Business. I have been on both sides of the negotiating table and I think I have a fair understanding of the major issues and articles that have been discussed over the last two years leading up to this impasse. 

Over the last several decades as the University has grown its reputation as one of the leading post-secondaries in this country and beyond, it has collectively developed and written a series of plans including strategic, academic, research, budget, and enrolment, to name just a few. At the very core of these and all the U of L plans that have and will be written are a core set of fundamental values and principles. Among these include a commitment to liberal education, being student-centered, providing access, an unwavering commitment to quality, excellence, professionalism and community engagement, being respectful, ethical, collegial, honest, inclusive, innovative, and sustainable; always aim to practice wisdom and apply knowledge. I have no doubt I have missed other values and principles but my point is that the current “bargaining” processes, updates, and public exchanges have all but ignored these. Moreover, any settlement and the future of U of L has to be built on a collectively agreed upon set of values and principles. I truly believe that both faculty and the U of L administration would wholeheartedly agree with this last statement. 

I grew up in a suburb just off the island of Montreal. My father worked a blue- collar job in the elevator industry. When I was a teenager my father and his company and industry went out on strike. It went on for about 8 months and had a tremendous financial and psychological impact on our family. I say this because when any individual goes on strike, the material and personal impacts are far reaching. And sometimes it takes years, or you may never know, whether the benefits outweigh the costs. 

I end this letter with an invitation: When both parties finally agree to meet, make the first agenda item, a discussion and review of the fundamental principles and values that you all share and that will serve as the basis for any agreement reached. Establishing such a common ground will ultimately help and guide you through the issues and articles that remain unresolved. 

As we look to the prospect of a second month and perhaps longer on strike at the U of L, I hope that both the U of L Faculty and Administration negotiating teams agree to meet sooner rather than later. 

Bob Boudreau, 

Professor Emeritus

University of Lethbridge 

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Fedup Conservative

You would have to be a fool to sit and watch Jason Kenney cut $9.4 billion off corporate taxes to benefit his rich friends while creating a nightmare for our doctors , nurses and teachers with promises of a lot more privatization of health care and education. It’s not happening in other provinces.

prairiebreze

A common good would be to make students a priority. It’s obviously not happening. Profs these days have been poisoned by the union ever pushing for more and more money. ULFA has lost perspective. What ULFA needs is a dose of reality; a step into the real world to experience what it offers in terms of pay. If this wasn’t about money the students would be in the classroom and not held hostage to the greed of profs. Bob Bourdreau would do well reading Alvin Shier’s Letter to Editor. It’s succinct and hits the mark. Mr. Bourdreau on the other hand writes like a prof – nebulous and long winded that leaves you glazed over before you get the point.

Elohssa Gib

The author’s point is clear to me.

Older-Than-Old-School

Agreed.

Last edited 2 years ago by Older-Than-Old-School
Older-Than-Old-School

prairiebreze, can you explain why it is unreasonable to compare faculty salaries at the UofL to those at comparable institutions, or perhaps other professions requiring comparable levels of education and demonstrated subject-area expertise?