OCUFA REPORT: Queen’s now in bargaining

Queen’s now in bargaining; Laurier files for conciliation; McMaster facing final offer selection.

February 22, 2011

Queen’s University Faculty Association negotiators opened contract talks with the employer last December and have had several negotiation sessions this year.

The QUFA contract, which covers both full-time and part-time faculty, expires April 30. The parties have opened 18 articles in the collective agreement for this round of negotiations.

The faculty association at McMaster University, which is not certified under the Ontario Labour Relations Act, has been in contract talks for six weeks and will be required to go to final offer selection on March 15 if no agreement is reached by the parties before then. So far, the only administration compensation offer on the table is two years of zero compensation increases. This is Ontario government’s public sector wage policy that has been achieved virtually nowhere in the sector.

The employer is also demanding a two-tier compensation structure, with new faculty not eligible for the current faculty’s defined benefit pension plan or for other post-retirement benefits.

At Algoma, where part-time faculty compensation is about 20 per cent lower than at Laurentian and Lakehead universities, faculty negotiators are seeking wage parity with other Northern Ontario universities. The administration, however, appears determined to achieve two years of zero compensation increases. Meanwhile, Algoma’s staff, represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Association, have reached a tentative agreement, achieved through conciliation.

The part-time faculty group at Algoma has twice the number of members as the full-time faculty. This year, part-time faculty were responsible for 50 per cent of the teaching load, a figure which will rise to more than 60 per cent in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Negotiators for part-time faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University, who have been in bargaining for several months, have filed for conciliation in order to put additional pressure on the employer. While the employer has offered some compensation increases, administration negotiators are rejecting any proposal to improve job security for these faculty members.

At the University of the Ontario Institute of Technology, negotiators are meeting weekly. At the University of Western Ontario, faculty association negotiators are preparing

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