Maureen Shaw receives Sarah Shorten Award

Maureen Shaw was presented with the Sarah Shorten Award at the Spring Council meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers' (CAUT), held in Ottawa in May. Lisa Sharp, Chair of CAUT's Women's Committee, provided a brief background on Maureen's career, noting that Maureen started as a contract faculty member at UBC in 1975 in the English department, and then taught at Douglas College, Fraser Valley College, and Kwantlen. Maureen Shaw - Shorten Award

She is active in her union, the Kwantlen Faculty Association, and has served as Vice-President-Negotiations, Vice-President-Grievances, and President. She served as Secretary-Treasurer of the then College Institute Educators' Association-now the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators-for three years and as President for three. She has been a member of the BC Labour Relations Board and was the first President of the National Union of CAUT. She also served as a Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress as well as on CAUT's Collective Bargaining and Economic Benefits Committee.

Applauded by Tom Booth, former CAUT President and University of Manitoba Faculty Association member, for raising the profile of women in post-secondary education across Canada, Maureen began her address by saying that she was honored to receive the award. She said no one person is responsible for the gains women have achieved: it has taken the collective will and shared wisdom of all activists.

Maureen stressed the importance that there is still much work to do and emphasized the importance of continuing that work. "Women and visible minorities still have barriers to advancement: they earn less, there are fewer of them, and their work is less secure," Maureen noted.

She commented on a film she saw recently, Made in Dagenham, about women working at the Ford plant in England in the 1960s. The women, who accounted for less than 10 percent of the workforce at the plant, shut it down when they went out on strike for pay equity. They had to battle their employer and their own union leadership, but the apple cart needed to be upset, and they prevailed.

Maureen ended her remarks with a challenge: to upset the apple carts in our institutions. "Keep pushing for change so that women and the disadvantaged can achieve the respect and equality they deserve."


About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.