On Tuesday, September 2nd, members of the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) voted 90% in favour of a strike mandate to support their negotiating team.
“We are heartened and gratified by this strong endorsement by our members,” said LUFA President Anis Farah. “We hope that this will bolster negotiations, and that we can arrive at a fair and equitable agreement with the Board of Governors in a timely fashion.”
The faculty has been without a contract since July 1. Negotiations for a new contract began in May when LUFA submitted a comprehensive set of proposals to the employer. LUFA is seeking to improve workloads so that faculty can devote more time to research and training graduate students, and calling for comparative compensation to other academic workers in the sector.
The employer’s negotiating team refused to enter into substantive monetary and academic workload negotiations until incomplete offers were submitted to LUFA in August. These offers are considered totally unacceptable by the LUFA negotiators.
“At a time when Laurentian’s revenues and spending on renovations are at record levels, the administration’s refusal to even attempt to move faculty remuneration and benefits towards the norm in Ontario is unreasonable,” Farah added.
“The proposals presented by Laurentian’s administration would broaden the gap between the average faculty salary at Laurentian and that of the Ontario university system,” explained Farah.
LUFA has not announced a strike date at this time.