“I will not resign,” said the rector of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, Daniel McMahon, Monday. The rector summoned the media at the last minute, in the evening, to take stock and even empty his heart a little. “Quebec can ask me, I will refuse,” he adds. “The Council of Ministers can decide my fate”, since it is he, he recalls, who has placed him in this position to restore the finances of a very deficit university.
In the evening, Monday, the Minister of Higher Education, Hélène David, wrote this on social networks. “After many unsuccessful attempts to find a way out to ensure a better peace of mind in the negotiations until the end of the afternoon today (Monday), I find myself obliged to inform those those who declared the lockout that they can no longer count on my trust. Under the circumstances, I will be at UQTR tomorrow (Tuesday). “
“They have the power to resign. They have the power to resign the board of directors because it is the council of ministers who appoints them, “said the rector. “The government has all the powers. If he adopts a special law, we will comply, but make a decision not on what he sees in social networks, but on the real reality of the University. If they think they have a bad manager, let them take another, “said the rector.
“And if they think they have a bad board of directors, they will appoint others,” said board chairman Robert Ricard.
“What is opposed is two things. A political management of the situation and a healthy and administrative management of the situation, “said Daniel McMahon. “We are being asked to do the exact opposite of all that is taught about good management,” he says.
The president said he was ready to resume talks with the union as early as Tuesday morning and the union also said he was ready to continue negotiations.
The rector explained that the core of this difficult negotiation is a lift clause. “When it was established that there was an employment floor for 381 teachers, it was worth 7,700 full-time equivalent students. Whenever there are 30 full-time equivalent students, it adds a teacher. It is around 10,300 students. We would therefore be required, in June, to have 466 teachers under the lift clause, “sums up the rector.
“If we go on this logic of 466 teachers, we will be condemned to have to review the programs we offer,” he warns “and focus where we generate students,” he says . “The council does not want to go there. We do not want to close programs. ”
“There is a flaw in the formula of the lift clause. If we do not die this abscess, we are stuck for the development of the University, “believes the rector who fears” for the survival of a general university. ”
“We do not fire teachers who are not permanent. We are talking about teaching positions that do not exist and we are fighting for a theoretical figure that is inaccessible in relation to the financial situation of the University, “he pleads. “That’s the issue.”
We know that the government is about to announce a reinvestment in universities. “If we take our 2018-2019 budget, we already anticipated $ 5.8 million of the money we will receive and we will receive $ 6.9 million. It’s already in our budget, “he says, and we have a projected deficit of $ 8.9 million,” he says. “We already know that we will have to present a revised recovery plan to the government because this year, with what we put on the table, we will run a deficit of $ 9.9 million instead of $ 8.9 million. $ Million, “he says.
The recovery plan was five years and two years have passed. “For the remaining three years, we have organized to return to balance to meet our commitment to the government and the room for maneuver we will have in the last year of the recovery plan is 40,000 $. We bled. We put everything on the table. One can not say that one does not make efforts, pleads the rector.
Daniel McMahon said the government has offered to extend his recovery plan for another five years. “Fantastic. We will have had seven years of recovery plan (instead of five), seven years when we will not have been able to hire the number of professionals we need, seven years where we do not have not been able to have the equipment, tools and equipment that we need. It is untenable, because if I hire them, the 466 teachers, they will want to have computers, laboratories, equipment, “he says. But there will be more money for that, he laments.
“You will not come to believe me that we are building a big CEGEP with 445 teachers. Let’s see. Stop carrying me. We do not want to reduce the University’s service offer, “he says.