Unions representing academic staff at Nipissing University, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto have averted strikes and ratified new collective agreements.
Full-time members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify a new contract with the university, faculty association president Todd Horton announced last month. The tentative deal was brokered just days after a commanding 95 per cent strike vote and just hours before NUFA’s strike deadline Nov. 8.
A highlight of the new agreement is language protecting the percentage of courses delivered by tenure stream faculty.
“This is a huge win for our membership,” Horton said. “The employer has recognized that casualization of academic work is bad for the university.”
The agreement also includes release time for faculty association work, extended group benefits for members aged 65 and over and a health care spending account for retired members aged 65 and over. The union was also able to move tenure and promotion procedures into the collective agreement, and won important intellectual property language protecting members’ ownership rights.
University of Western Ontario
At the University of Western Ontario, librarians and archivists voted by a 9-to-1 margin in favour of a new collective agreement that has enhanced job security and ensured fair job performance reviews.
But more important, says faculty association president Regna Darnell, was the defeat of employer proposals that would have deprofessionalized the work of the bargaining unit.
“The employer proposed measures like involuntary relocation and reassignment, which would have eroded the expertise so crucial to the services provided by librarians and archivists at any world-class research institution,” she said.
“Our members stood firmly in opposition to those proposals, and as a result, we were able to reach an agreement that recognizes and preserves that vital expertise.”
University of Toronto
Contract academic staff represented by CUPE Local 3902 at the University of Toronto have voted to accept a three-year deal that includes a new fund for research and conference travel, new job security provisions through the creation of an additional sessional lecturer category, and a salary gain of 9.3 percent over the life of the contract.