Meg Perinpanayagam, University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) president, said the Goudge Report’s findings raise more “concerns and questions, than satisfactory answers.”
“We were surprised the chair of the Board of Governors solely negotiated an amended contract with President Chakma without the approval of the Senior Operations Committee, who, in turn, has the responsibility of the contract, and was ignorant to the fact that it had occurred,”
Perinpanayagam said Tuesday. “Justice Goudge’s findings also called Shah’s actions a ‘simple misunderstanding.’ We were also surprised to learn that the chair of the Senior Operations Committee – who also is the chair of the Board of Governors – took the extra step to seek legal counsel externally. This action could be viewed as calculated or deliberate to circumvent the process.”
Perinpanayagam also questioned how Chakma could negotiate a double payment at the same time the university was asking to freeze unionized employment compensation.
“Mr. Shah said on April 1 that ‘in this time of fiscal uncertainty and restraint in the postsecondary education sector, Western’s Board of Governors is highly sensitive to the concerns expressed by members of the Western community and the wider public,’” Perinpanayagam continued. “This is the same man who approved, without his own Board’s knowledge, a negotiated double cash payment to enhance the President’s pension.”
Perinpanayagam said UWOSA maintains its non-confidence in the leadership of Chakma and Shah.
“We believe that in order for the university to move forward, Western’s administration and governance should be transparent, responsible, and accountable,” she concluded.