Windsor faculty announce one-day strike, job action plan

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The Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) will be going on a one-day strike on Sept.15 with the intent of forcing the university administration back to the bargaining table, the association has announced. The one-day stoppage will be followed by a series of rolling half-day job actions. If a deal is not reached by October 1st, a full work stoppage will occur at a date to be announced.

“We are very close to a deal and we are confident that, if the University administration returns to the table in a spirit of compromise, we could have this issue resolved without impacting classes,” says Forrest. “I personally invite President Wildeman to send his bargaining team back to the table to work things out and get this deal done.”

Forrest says WUFA is encouraged by University President Alan Wildeman’s recent CBC Radio interview where he indicated the administration is willing to return to the negotiating table.

“The substantive monetary differences between WUFA and the administration are relatively small. If this administration has decided to return to collective bargaining, we could settle all this very quickly and avoid a lot of pain for students, faculty and the whole university community,” said Forrest.

Over the past three weeks the WUFA negotiating team has been working closely with the mediators in an effort to restart negotiations. During this period, and for several weeks before-hand, the University administration has refused to participate in the collective bargaining process. Although WUFA has a 40-year history of good labour relations with the University of Windsor, the current administration has bypassed the bargaining process, and unilaterally imposed new terms and conditions of employment on July 28, four weeks after the previous contract expired, Forrest explains.

On September 3, WUFA decided that if there is no settlement of current contract negotiations by midnight Sunday, September 14, 2014, faculty members, librarians, and AAS ancillary staff, including rike vote for September 8 & 9 coaches, teaching-learning specialists, and part-time faculty, will hold a one-day strike on Monday, Sept. 15.

The one-day strike will be followed by rotating half-day strikes (a.m./p.m.), to be announced two hours in advance. If no settlement is reached by October 1, the union will implement a full work stoppage at a date to be announced.

“Believe me, we are not a group of employees that wants to go on strike, which is why we’ve been so reluctant to make this decision. But our members really don’t see any choice as long the administration completely ignores the principle of negotiating with us and we continue to work under unilaterally imposed terms and conditions of employment.” says Forrest.

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