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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Thursday, February 22, 1973 Another strike threat More than 1,300 teachers in 18 Southern Alberta school districts have worked without contracts since returning to classrooms last September; their old contracts expired August 31, 1972. New contract negotiations began last May. At that time, according to trustees, teachers were offered increases of 4.5 per cent over the previous year, but wanted 10 per cent. According to teachers' representatives, they were offered only 2.5 per cent, but asked for just over seven. A conciliation officer and two different conciliation boards have come and gone since then. Now, in addition to salary differences, issues include length of the new contract, allowances for principals and assistants, pay while on sabbatical leave, payment for partial years of training, contributions to Alberta Health Care and Blue Cross and possibly other considerations. As to salaries, the prime issue, trustees now offer increases amounting to 6.2 per cent, the teachers are asking for 9.1 per cent. Both sides appear to be standing firm. At the teachers' request, a supervised strike vote is to be conducted February 26-28. If a majority is in favor, a strike could be called whenever teachers' representatives decide, with 48 hours prior notice to the trustees. Residents of Lethbridge will recall that in December 1971 city teachers voted for strike action to back their side of a similar dispute. A strike was averted by a compromise settlement. This year city teachers settled amicably for a 6.2 per cent increase, coin-cidentally the same increase offered the rural teachers. Whether the current dispute can be settled without a strike remains to be seen, but some straws in the wind are hardly reassuring. be seen, but some straws in the wind. At the time the teachers rejected the latest board offer, a spokesman for the Alberta Teachers' Association said it was because it offered salaries and fringe benefits "substantially less" than those received by city teachers. Later, when announcing that teachers would seek a strike vote the same spokesman said the teachers' request for increases of 9.1 per cent was "based on the ability of the school boards to pay." There seems to have been a shifting of ground on the part of the ATA, an organization that could play a decisive role in whether or not a strike is called. At the 1972 annual meeting of the ATA, its executive secretary sharply criticized the concept of regional bargaining, on the grounds that it "decreased local autonomy in financial matters." This position was strongly' endorsed by both the incumbent and the newly elected presidents of the association. Indeed, it has been gen-, erally accepted as ATA doctrine. But now, it seems, ATA negotiators in the current dispute are more than willing to see local autonomy decreased, even eliminated. A rural board certainly won't have very much autonomy "in financial matters" if it must conform to the contractual arrangements of neighboring city school boards. The second point, relating contract demands to ability to pay, is an even more startling departure, though it does imply a little more interest in the concept of local autonomy. "Because it's there" may be a fine reason to climb a mountain; it's a pretty poor principal on which to base demands for more money.. Ceasefire in Laos Just as the ceasefire in Vietnam . did not result in the end of all fighting there, so the ceasefire - effective today - will not likely bring peace to Laos. Nevertheless, the formal agreement to stop the war is wel-' come. It will provide the United States an opportunity to withdraw honorably from this part of Indochina, as well as from Vietnam. The release of the U.S. from its quagmire entanglements in Southeast Asia should help greatly in restoring its image, so badly tarnished in recent years. Notliing has really been settled by all the years of carnage. In due time, if not immediately after the Americans leave, the Communist drive will likely resume in the various parts of Indochina. Almost cer- tainly the Communists will gain effective control of most of the region - without anything like the loss of life that has been suffered since the French and the Americans tried to interfere. The certainty that such a fate would be calamitous for the people of that part of the world, as well as for those who live far away in the Western Hemisphere, has diminished markedly nowadays. Even that once ardent anti-Communist, Richard Nixon, sees things somewhat differently, as is evident in his pursuit of detente with Peking and Moscow. Naturally it is to be hoped. that fighting will end and a political solution will be reached. But realism suggests it would be unwise to count on that outcome. It's your ball By Clarence M. Esau, free-lance writer Students of Alberta, take note. You have nothing to lose but your frustrations. A few years ago your parents were being publicly flogged for doing such a poor job of raising you. They were told that they were depriving you of love and security. They were roundly criticized for being too harsh, and for allowing you to make too few choices. Volumes were pub. lished which traced all your shortcomings to some insidious defect in your home upbringing. Then suddenly the attention swung from the home to the school, which became the scapegoat under the guise of accountability. Principals and teachers were told that if you weren't progressing in a clear direction, they were to blame. If you weren't learning, then you obviously were not being motivated, or you were being frustrated by your slower or faster classmates. Guiltily, the teachers tried to "turn on" your interest by adapting the curriculum to your interests. Thus the study of pollution appeared in nearly every subject in each grade. Principals frantically attempted to reorganize their schools to provide for individualized instruction. Teachers churned out behavioral objectives, so that your progress could be clinically plotted. No effort was spared to make the school more relevant for you. The society which had apparently been so hypocritical was now on its knees before you, begging for forgiveness. But you still weren't happy, or better directed. You knew the root cause, but why should you bring it to light when all the adult institutions were so busily crucifying themselves. However, you knew that you really had no one to blame but yourself. If you didn't relate well with your parents, it was probably because you chose not to take your place as a responsible family member, helping to uphold that major institution for the preservation of society. If school bored you, it was because you chose to be bored rather than immerse yourself in the humanities and sci. ences and expose yourself to the wisdom of early and contemporary mental giants. If you found the curriculum irrelevant, it was probably because you didn't spend time and energy to set a course of service and self-fulfilment for your life. Furthermore, you knew that the world didn't owe you anything. You had a strong notion that if the school would help you to solve problems, to work with other people, to learn to communicate and be communicated to, to gain some skill in a fine art or other leisure-time activity, and to help you gain direction, it had basically done its job. You knew that to drop out, cop out or to freak out were acts of immaturity and cowardice. And you knew that when you were willing to level with yourself, your world would begin to take shape. , Distinguished predecessor By Dong Walker �'. . . finally I had no alternative but to turn to crime to maintain my habit . . . eating." Whither the U of L? (10) Jeanne Beaty Let's make Edmonton listen As everyone knows, the minister of Mc-Killop United Church sometimes forgets about the offering. This is scarcely something about which the session should get exercised. It could be worse. A famous preacher of the last century, Lyman Beecher, once at least forgot what Protestant ministers have sometimes been guilty of thinking of as the "preliminaries" and rushed into his sermon as soon as he entered the pulpit. When Blake falls into that pattern we can start to show some concern. There are two tilings to keep in mind when talking about a university. The first is the nature of the institution. Universities are always in a state of crisis or tension or suspense. Sometimes this surfaces into public view; usually it doss not. There is the periodic crisis of financing and the questions: Will we get the auditorim we need? Will the library budget be improved? Will we be able to replace faculty members on sabbatical leave? Will we have to drop some staff and faculty? There are the occasional crises over academic freedom and the firing of a faculty member. In every gathering of students, one will ask the question, "What can we do about tenure?" Programming and curriculum cause frequent internal crises. Student elections, the fate of a campus newspaper, the question of fees and entry to athletic contests - all lead to tension. There is the suspense of: Will the research grant come through? Will I get the scholarship? Will enrolment go up in Physics 1000? The student body is not as much a source of tension as the world - wide reputation of students would lead one to believe. In fact, the Carnegie report came to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of students and teachers oppose violent and disruptive demonstrations on campuses and that the majority of them are generally satisfied with' the institutions in which they work, although there is wide agreement on the need for specific reforms. A lack of noticeable tension on the U of L campus may be a sign of apathy. In the last student election 49 per cent of those eligible voted. It may be that there is' little to protest. Students have membership on all the committees, including promotion and tenure committees and even the Board of Governors. They set their own fees. They handle their own affairs through the Students' Society Council. These include a newspaper, a day-oare centre, a weekly cabaret and a radio station which will soon be in op^ cration. Their curriculum can be tailored to suit individual needs. Even the resident students make their own rules, via the organization of residence students. The U of L has a greater percentage of resident students than either Calgary or Alberta. Members of the council report a good relationship between the students and staff. The main complaint concerns what they consider to be an over-zealous distribution of parking tickets. Part-time students sometimes protest the $5 semester student fee, although it is less than the $14 fee for full-time students. However, since last summer they have been entitled to all the privileges and responsibilities of full-time students, including voting and sitting on committees. (One part-time student, an BCMP officer, was mollified when he learned that his fee entitled him to a copy of the students directory.) A polarity or opinion exists in regard to the quality of the architecture. The main building has peen described as the biggest snow fence in Alberta. Some people, including the student body president, think that Arthur Ericson knew little about the needs of students and faculty and that in spite of his design theories the building is ,not conducive to interaction within that community. There are others, including this winter, who feel that it is a magnificently exciting piece of architecture, designed to emphasize and give recognition to the prairie landscape, whose residents are usually on the defensive whenever the word "scenery" turns up in conversation. The building stretches the imagination with an almost physical wrench and it should be judged in the.awareness that every college campus is a labyrinth with, a parking problem. This campus is not finished and many of the flaws are being eliminated. Within the academic program at the U of L there are dichoto-movs attitudes toward the mode and the purpose of learning. There is a fundamental battle all the time between the vocationalists and the educationalists and a noticeable division exists between the traditionalists and the experimentalists. One official commented that the traditionalists had not held sway. A faculty member said, however, that whether the university is an experimental one depends on the students, the unspoken corollary being that the opportunities exist. The Meliorlst, the campus newspaper, editorialized recently that "This USED to be an experimental university." Most of the tension which arises from these constantly conflicting opinions should be recognized for What it is, a sign of vitality and not disintegration. It is the norm for a university, where people tend to take their responsibilities seriously but treat differences of opinion objectively. The second thing to keep in mind when assessing a university is the effect financing bas on its operations. It costs to be small, to be innovative, to act as an intellectual stimulus to the community, all of which have been set forth as goals for the University of Lethbridge. For instance, a member of the library staff is compiling a local bibliography in all disciplines for southern Alberta. It already has 4,000 citations and will be invaluable to anyone doing research in this area. But it takes money. The library would also like to publish a file of its catalogue for distribution to schools and libraries throughout this part of the province so that teachers and others would know what is available as resource material. This is another valuable community service and it will take $10,000. The university's public service courses for the fall semester enroled 1,117 persons, more than the full-time student enrolment for the same period. 'Crazy Capers' Hi, Betty, I'm at the Johnsons-babysitting] But public service has its financial side, too. When the operating grant for the U of L for 1973-74 was announced not ltag ago it fell short of the proposed budget by a few hundred thousand dollars. Dr. Beckel said at the time that this meant giving up some proposed new programs. What were they? One of them would have allowed the development in the faculty of education of early childhood teacher training; another was the development of fine arts in the same faculty with the support of the faculty of arte and science, i.e., the training of music, drama and art teachers. Another proposed program in education was designed to combat functional illiteracy. Dr. Beckel said the English centre of the faculty of education desperately needs people to diagnose difficulties with the English language and to remedy them. The multi-purpose theatre auditorium which the university feels is essential to development of drama, music and public service programs with large audiences is in the design drawing stage. Abut two-thirds of the necessary money for this building is already available through 3AU funds and matching grants. And there the matter rests. Finance and autonomy are the two critical questions facing the university at the moment. Underground rumors Have apparently circulated since its founding to the effect that the U of L would not last. This is on a par with the predictions that the buildings will slide into the river. The provincial government would not be so politically inept as to drop such an economic bomb on this area. Furthermore, it, too, is committed to decentralization. The question Is not the existence, but the quality, of the institution. When Dr. Beckel talked abut destroying the university, he did not mean the buildings. He meant the intellectual content which makes it a school of quality and distinction' with a unique contribution to make to the province. This is the future which is at stake. It is this writer's impression that the issue is not resolved and that it can be influenced. If Southern Alberta wants a good university, it is going to have to say loudly enough for Edmonton to hear. (A good way to start would be to take part in Aperture 73, March 9 and 10)) If the students want a good university, they, too, must speak more loudly. The message Mr. Foster got from them the last time he was here was mainly silence. In the interview with which this series began, Foster said that the future of the university was up to the university, the community and the government. The government should spell out clearly whether it does or does not intend to de-value the universities in Alberta. And it should defend its decision philosophically as well as statistically. It should also demonstrate that, in making this decision, it had understood clearly the scope and purpose and the value to society of each of the kinds of institutions of post-secondary education in the province. If the decision is unfavorable to universities, the loss will really be to the community and the vovince, rather than to the universities. Ideas last longer than governments and the community of scholars has survived for many centuries. Letters Need ivinter shelter I was pleased to see in a recent edition of The Herald, a letter written by Mr. Grant Lovering in defence of predators. God knows, they get little enough sympathy in Southern Alberta! Mr. Lovering raised some very interesting points regarding the presence of healthy game populations in a healthy environment. Scientific research has shown that when game birds with a high reproductive potential, such as pheasants, are supplied with the proper habitat requirements it is generally impossible for hunters or natural predators to adversely affect their population densities., Rather, their numbers are regulated by the carrying capacity of their environment. Here in Southern Alberta the one single factor which appears to be most responsible for limiting the carrying capacity is the absence of adequate winter cover (co',#ar to shelter the birds from the winter elements). This is particularly important during unusually severe winters such as the one we experienced last year. As a student of wildlife management at the Lethbridge Community College last winter, I conducted a survey of pheasant sex-ratios following the introduction of Alberta's hen pheasant hunting season. In an effort to locate an adequate number of birds, I covered a large area of land in the MD of Lethbridge. Without fail, I found pheasants only in large farm shelterbelts and occasionally in heavy willow and cattail stands surrounding sloughs. The latter, however, contained pheasants only if within approximately one half mile or less of stubble fields where the bivds could feed. By far, the majority of the weed and brush patches which had proven so productive during the hunting season in the fall, were filled in with wind blown snow and provided no shelter at all for pheasants. The evidence was overwhelmingly obvious! There were very few pheasants because there simply wasn't enough winter cover for them in the intensively farmed countryside. Yet when asked for their opinion, farmers I interviewed would invariably point their finger at the fox as the culprit responsible for diminishing pheasant populations. It simply had not occurred to them that if they planted more shelter-belts or retained a brush margin along fence lines and irrigation ditches, that perhaps this would provide winter shelter for pheasants badly in need of it. Because wildlife is so directly affected by human activity, it has been said that the best form of wildlife management is, first and foremost, an effective proaram. on people management. It might behoove us to listen to Mr. Lovering when he says "Let's manage ourselves!" JIM WIEBE Lethbridge Consider swimmer. A lot of energy went into the Operation Olympics swimming trials at Lethbridge recently. A first reading of the results, published in The Herald's sports pages, left the impression that this was just another fish-swallow-fish swim meet. The long established Lethbridge Lions Amateur Swim Club clearly outswam the Lethbridge Y Stingrays and the Medicine Hat Y Otters. Possibly, one essential detail of Operation Olympics was overlooked by the meet organizers. Operation Olympics has been designed by the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association as a "grass-roots" starting place for national competitive swim teams. Similar trials are held throughout each province. Individual times are submitted to a central selection body for possible consideration as entrants in future national swim team training and preparation. When 32 events covering medley, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle are packed into about iVt hours of continuous swimming, can coaches feel their swimmers are giving their best times? Certainly, only a handful of swimmers from each province are likely to rate anywhere near national or world class swimming. No one expects world records to tumble in the civic sports centre pool just yet. But, if the Operation Olympics program here could have been divided with half the events on each of two weekends, or with a generous three-hour intermission between morning and afternoon, every swimmer would have had better opportunity to swim in peak condition. If Canadians want to see their young athletes gather more Olympic gold, silver and bronze, more consideration should be given from the bottom up. How can any swimmer be satisfied with event times when different, strokes are swum at 10 minute intervals? PARTICIPANT Lethbridge RCMP centennial I have been following the conduct of Southern Albertans with regard to the RCMP centennial celebration, and so far it seems that the people who are supposed to lead this historic affair and make it a big success are the ones who are putting up a stumbling block. Take, for example, the appeal launched by the different socio-civic groups in Lethbridge and Fort Macleod (where the first fort was erected), to have this town included during the Queen's July visit. There was much pressure and lobbying done by our newly elected MP in the halls of Parliament; but what happened was a political farce. Another case was the request of our local stamp club officials to the postmaster general to issue commemorative (stamps depicting the coming of the mounties to Fort Macleod and Fort Whoop Up, but once again the political fingers stick out. These two absurd instances illustrate only too well how our limousine - chauffered national officials usually attack problems confronting the Westerners. It is comforting for Southern Albertans and all those concerned m preparing this historical anniversary that we have a strong voice in Parliament, a man like J. H. Carpenter and a club like the Lionettes of Fort Macleod who kept on ral- lying for what appears to be a lost cause. These are not mere opinions of a history lover but rather a desire motivated by my love of my adopted country. Let it not be said to the younger, generations or to those who have pioneered this area that we have exhausted all persuasive means and concerted efforts to make this RCMP centennary the most memorable ever. N. P. FERNANDEZ Coaldale. Music missed I am voicing a strenuous objection to CHEC FM's cancellation of "Concert overtures and encores," which, until recently was broadcast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday. This program was an oasis in a desert of banality but, according to CHEC's production manager "not commercial." I refuse to believe that I am the only person in Lethbridge who appreciates good music and regrets that now there is absolutely nothing to listen to on any station in this city. I urge all who enjoy something a little better to phone or write CHEC FM and insist that this program be returned to the air. A. BROWN Lethbridge The Lctlibridgc Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD OO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor _ ROY F. MILES DOUGLA& K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" it ;