OCUFA Report: June 22, 2011.

Tentative agreement at Laurier, Brescia launching certification drive, unanimous strike mandate vote at Western

A tentative agreement covering contract academic staff at Wilfrid Laurier University was reached early last Thursday morning. A mediator from the Ontario Ministry of Labour had joined the talks to assist the parties with reaching the agreement, which will be put to the membership for ratification.

A majority of faculty association members at Brescia voted last week in favour of beginning the process towards becoming a certified trade union under the Ontario Labour Relations Act. The association is currently in bargaining.

Librarian and archivists at the University of Western Ontario have voted unanimously in support of a strike mandate. Voter turnout was 80 per cent of eligible members. Their contract expires June 30. The two sides remain apart on many critical issues, including compensation and benefits, complement and pay
equity. “The administration has refused to share important salary data or discuss pay equity, despite the fact that they have a legal obligation to do so under the provincial government’s Pay Equity Act,” said James Compton, president of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. The majority of librarians and archivists at Western are women. A Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator has met with both sides, and talks are scheduled to resume June 22.

At the University of Windsor, the two sides have exchanged a complete set of proposals, and the employer’s package contains significant concession demands, including a demand for a massive increase in faculty pension contributions. On the non-monetary side, the demands include having librarians perform faculty responsibilities, such as teaching and scholarly research, with no accompanying increase in pay, prestige, or support. The employer has also introduced a deeply flawed proposal to create a teaching-only instructor position.

Negotiators at the University of Ottawa met twice last week. It is expected that both parties will have tabled all their non-monetary bargaining proposals next week and that the parties will begin to respond to one another’s respective proposals.

In the talks at Brock University, the parties have tabled their non-monetary proposals. It is expected active bargaining will take place this week, including the faculty association’s tabling its monetary proposals.

And at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, negotiators are in mediation with mediator William Kaplan.

CORRECTION: Last week’s pension story contained an error. According to OCUFA Director for QUFA John Holmes, “Please Note that the following sentence in the OCUFA report–’But here’s the thing: the Queen’s pension plan would likely not qualify for solvency relief under Ontario’s new pension regulations.’–is INCORRECT.” OCUFA Report regrets the error.

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2 Responses to OCUFA Report: June 22, 2011.

  1. Mike Cummings says:

    This is only tagential to this particular item, but I haven’t been able ot figure out how to post to the job action blog so I’m raising it here. In the latest report on Job Action Readiness, I read: “Or does
    it
    want
    to
    position
    itself
    where
    it
    can
    make
    unilateral
    changes
    to
    existing
    terms
    of
    employment
    (as
    it
    would
    be
    free
    to
    do
    seventeen
    days
    after
    a
    no-­‐
    board
    report)?” This seems to contradict the statement earlier that “As
    negotiations
    continue,
    there
    is
    a
    statutory
    freeze
    on
    existing
    terms
    and
    conditions.
    In
    effect,
    this
    means
    that
    our
    terms
    of
    employment
    remain
    the
    same.”
    What type of unilateral changes to existing terms of employment could the administration make? This worries me immensely.

  2. Paul Young says:

    Mike, the statutory freeze is only in effect as long as negotiations continue. At the point where one of the parties calls for a no board report from the OLRB, and after the waiting period, the employer is free to unilaterally change working conditions. In my personal opinion, realistically, since it would only exacerbate a bad situation and a settlement will eventually be reached by negotiation. it makes little sense to do so.

    Paul Young, President, QUFA

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