Talks at Windsor will enter mediation this week, but the Windsor University Faculty Association has filed for a no-board report when conciliation talks broke off after several sessions with a provincial conciliator failed to achieve agreement on key issues.
The no-board report will put the faculty association in a legal strike position by October 15. Both monetary and non-monetary issues remain unresolved, reports WUFA President Brian E. Brown. “The membership is very strong,” Brown says. “We have a 90 per cent strike mandate vote, and we are hopeful that mediation will result in an agreement.”
The first week of contract talks covering faculty members at Wilfrid Laurier University saw the university’s administration present faculty association negotiators with a full package of proposals, monetary as well as non-monetary. The package includes demands for concessions in pensions and benefits.
Meantime, contract academic staff at Wilfrid Laurier ratified a new, three-year collective agreement with a 79 per cent vote in favour. The new agreement contains improvements to the work environment and the hiring process, as well as better provisions for members teaching large classes. Compensation rises by 1.71 per cent in the first year, 1.74 in the second, and 1.85 in the third. Members with seniority will receive an increase to the seniority rate. There are also improvements to supplemental remuneration allowances. As well, members will now have personal leave and Family Day.
At the University of Ottawa, while the majority of non-monetary issues have been settled, the employer continues to demand a new category of teaching-centred faculty, a category it would like to comprise 15 per cent of the university’s faculty. Such faculty would teach double the normal load and a minimum of three semesters a year. They would not be allowed to supervise graduate students and would be given little time or scope for research and other scholarly activity. The faculty association is resisting “teaching-only” positions but is open to recognizing “teaching intensive” positions, provided such faculty members are treated the same as regular faculty and enjoy conditions allowing them to pursue a reasonable minimum of scholarly activity. The employer and the faculty association’s negotiating team continue to exchange proposals on this issue in the hope of arriving at an agreement.
This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.