On Wednesday, March 25th, the members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate. Over 90 per cent of NUFA members cast their ballot, and 97 per cent voted to authorize NUFA to strike should one become necessary.
NUFA held its strike vote less than a week after receiving proposals from the employer. While this is a departure from normal practice in the university sector, it was done for a good reason. In an increasingly hostile bargaining environment, an early strike vote helps protect faculty associations from emerging administration tactics. Over the past few months, several associations have experienced heavy-handed bargaining behavior from employers, some of it intended to circumvent the normal bargaining process. As a result, faculty across the province are working to develop new strategies to protect themselves from imposed concessions and aggressive tactics.
An early strike vote sends a clear message that the association is prepared to take strong action to protect their members. The big lesson of the past eighteen months is simple: no association should let their agreement expire without holding a strike vote.
For more information on NUFA’s strike vote and bargaining, please visit the NUFA website.