5 reasons to take a stance on People, Processes, & Partnerships

These talking points were developed as a 5-min teaching tool to be used in classrooms. Please share widely.

(1)  The PPP is a massive and historic re-organization of the Faculty of Arts affecting 13 departments or thousands of academic support staff, faculty members, and students. This plan is slated to go into full effect in May, yet there are still many questions on the virtues of the plan. Today, the PPP is not a done deal; students and faculty are still actively expressing their opposition. We must get informed as stakeholders affected by the PPP.

Ask how many people heard of the plan and how it will affect the departments?

(2)  The PPP will create “Administrative Service Centers,” centralizing support staff currently working within our departments into 4 hubs. Under this plan, support staff in these hubs will be accountable to multiple departments at once.

Project/share HUBtable and comment that these ratios do not even recognize that there are 9000 students registered in Economics this term, so the numbers here only represent students pursuing degrees in these departments.

We are promised efficiency under the PPP, but we have no details of how this will work. What processes have been eliminated to streamline the new roles and responsibilities created by the PPP? How will student advising be accessible under the PPP where staff will be accommodating the advising demands of three or more departments?

(3)  Staff in some of the departments targeted by the PPP are already being overworked. This is because of staffing gaps left in the wake of the Voluntary Retirement Program which is part of ongoing budget cuts at McGill. Under the PPP, departments have been promised transition time, while in reality no training time is in place and staff are expected to transmit knowledge to each other on the job. As is, the PPP is a sink or swim plan. We are also told the PPP is the only solution while in reality there are alternative plans prepared by the affected departments that the Dean has yet to make public.

(4)  The lack of transparency and the silencing of opposition are trademarks of the PPP consultation process. The recently published “Key Developments” document on the PPP website exemplifies this. While the Dean mentions the Faculty of Arts vote last April, he neglects to include the outcome of the vote which stated: “Be it resolved that the Faculty of Arts does not endorse the clustering of core administrative and support staff and/or their removal from departments” (Minutes 509.2 of the Faculty meeting of 23 April 2013). Not only did the Dean dismiss the vote procedurally, he won’t even acknowledge the results. Additionally, why are the students’ petition garnering 100s of signatures last spring and the open letter published by SOS-McGill last November with 1000s of supporters both missing from the Dean’s time line?

(5)  Manfredi suggests he is addressing “feedback”—but the fact remains too few students and faculty members are aware of the PPP. As stakeholders we must get informed and take a stand. Students and faculty have a voice. We have heard from staff members affected by the PPP who fear to express their frustrations about the PPP process publically, so we therefore, must speak louder. Students and faculty must act in the best interest of the Faculty when the Dean is not. Our departments deserve a better plan and a more accountable process to address the future administrative structure of our departments.


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