WUFA rep questions sessional election

A councillor for the university’s faculty union is concerned about whether or not the sessional instructors were properly informed about the last faculty council election.

WUFA’s sessional election has professor Jang Singh concerned • photo Joey Acott WUFA’s sessional election has professor Jang Singh concerned • photo Joey Acott



Darryl Gallinger
NEWS EDITOR

A councillor for the university’s faculty union is concerned about whether or not the sessional instructors were properly informed about the last faculty council election.

In an e-mail obtained by The Lance, Jang Singh, a Windsor University Faculty Association councillor, contacted sessionals on Oct. 16 to say it’s unclear to him whether all sessionals were informed of their right to run WUFA’s spring election by being provided with a list of eligible candidates.

“I would be grateful if you could let me know whether you received a package of materials from WUFA in early March 2012 informing you of your right to seek election to council together with a list of 287 names of those eligible for election to council,” Singh wrote in the e-mail.

“I’m concerned that it’s not an accurate list (that WUFA has),” said Singh, who himself has access to a list of eligible sessional instructors. “In any election, it’s fundamental that you should have a list saying that these are eligible voters.”

“I’m not alleging at this point that there was any fraud. I just want to see the list.”

WUFA quickly responded with an e-mail to all sessionals asking to disregard Singh’s message. “An unauthorized e-mail … has been sent out to all sessional members,” wrote Jean Roath, administrative assistant for WUFA. “This e-mail was circulated today by a faculty member who has no authority to request the information from sessional members.”

The response continues, “This e-mail was not authorized by the Faculty Association nor did the Faculty Association provide the member with an e-mail list of sessional instructors.”

As a former president and having served on committees and bargaining units for the faculty union, Singh is no stranger to the inner workings of WUFA. He was dismayed by WUFA’s response to his e-mail. “I wasn’t claiming to be sending it on behalf of WUFA, it’s a personal e-mail sent in my capacity as a councillor for WUFA,” he said.

Before sending out the e-mail, Singh went through WUFA’s council. “As a council member, as a member of the association, I thought that I had a right to know how people are elected,” he said.

According to Singh, WUFA refused to provide the list, citing privacy concerns, so he went directly to the sessionals.

Singh explained that WUFA’s membership is divided into units, and each unit elects representatives to the council. As a professor for business, Singh would vote for someone within his faculty. WUFA members are mailed information about the election, and Singh has always received a list of eligible voters for his unit in the election.

Sessional instructors have their own unit. There is one councillor for every 25 members of a unit, rounded up. With 287 sessional members, they hold 12 out of the 31 seats on WUFA’s council.

Singh got about 45 responses, and he said that not a single person can produce documents with a list of eligible sessionals.

WUFA president Brian Brown doesn’t think there is a problem. “The issue is something that he has raised, it’s not something that anyone else has raised in terms of the election,” Brown asserted. “Why [Singh] feels the need to go back to the elections in March 2012 … and what improprieties he feels that there were, I don’t know.”

Brown continued, “His issue is an issue with something that we have dealt with at council and at the membership meetings. It’s something we’ll be addressing in the future in terms of, is there a better way to conduct elections. In terms of the generation of the list of members that are available, there’s no question that the individuals listed were eligible for taking office in council.”

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