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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2010

Clock Ticking towards Strike at the University of Western Ontario

Academic staff at the University of Western Ontario have voted in favour of strike action.

UWO Faculty Association members voted 87 per cent in favour of a strike. Their last contract expired June 30.

“This is a very strong mandate for our negotiating position,” said faculty association president James Compton, following the strike vote conducted Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

He said the union hopes to come to an agreement with the admin­istration without having to strike. The two sides met with a concil­iator in September, but still remain far apart on many issues and the administration has not yet tabled its compensation offer. Protecting tenure and academic freedom has been one sticking point in negotiations.

“We will continue to bargain in good faith to achieve a fair and equitable collective agreement for our members. And we will continue to resist proposals by the administration that threaten self-governance and the institution of tenure,” Compton said.

Additional meetings with the conciliation officer are scheduled for mid-October. If conciliation is not successful, the officer will advise the Ministry of Labour, who issues a “no-board” report and sends it to each party. UWOFA will be in a legal strike position 17 days after the date on the minister’s “no-board” letter.

Meanwhile, UWO’s contract with the union representing 1,200 administrative and technical staff across the campus is also in ne­gotiations. The union said those discussions “are moving at a slow pace” and has also planned a strike vote, citing disagreement over money and job security.