The Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association are very encouraged to learn that the Faculty Association and Laurier have reached a tentative deal for a renewal of the collective agreement for Contract Teaching Faculty. Maintaining the continuity of the term allows students to remain focussed on their academic success.
We would like to express our gratitude to the bargaining teams for their willingness to stay at the table for an extended period of negotiation. Students ask for a straightforward ratification process and look forward to learning how the details of this agreement will further enhance the Laurier academic experience. Strike Update: November 14, 2022 As the strike deadline approaches, the Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association urge the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) and Wilfrid Laurier University to take full advantage of tomorrow’s meeting with the mediator and find common ground for an agreement. We understand the tension that exists in these negotiations. Laurier is confronting an adverse budgetary climate, a competitive international student recruitment market, and the implications of future labour negotiations. In contrast, contract teaching faculty represent an invaluable component of the academic learning experience and are looking for compensation and benefits that match that contribution.
With time running out on negotiations, students hope for the best as this uncertainty breeds stress at an already pressure-filled time of the semester. We implore Laurier and WLUFA to find a path forward that does not involve an interruption to academic delivery. Strike FAQs Is there going to be a strike?
Contract Teaching Faculty and Part-time Professional Librarians will be in a legal position to strike on November 18, 2022.
Who are Contract Teaching Faculty members?
Contract faculty are those individuals who provide instruction on a contractual basis in at least one university degree credit course. Contract faculty are members of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA), but have a different collective agreement than Full-Time Faculty and Professional Librarians.
What is preventing Contract Teaching Faculty and the University from coming to an agreement?
In order to best understand the points of disagreement at play in this negotiation, we encourage you to read the updates provided by both WLUFA and Laurier:
How do I know if my instructor is a contract teaching faculty member? The easiest way to know if your instructor is a contract faculty member is to ask them. Contract faculty may also indicate their status on their syllabus, or be listed as an “Instructor” on the faculty listing rather than “Assistant Professor,” “Associate Professor,” or “Professor.”
How many contract teaching faculty currently work at Laurier?
According to the University, 500 contracts were issued for teaching courses during the fall 2022 term. It is important to note that many contract faculty hold multiple contracts for several courses during an academic term.
When did negotiations begin?
WLUFA and Wilfrid Laurier University began negotiating a new collective agreement in May 2022 ahead of the August 31, 2022 expiration of the current agreement. After several rounds of negotiations over the summer, negotiations stalled in September prompting WLUFA and the University to jointly file for conciliation on September 16, 2022.
What is conciliation?
At any point during the bargaining process the employer or union (or both) may ask the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development to appoint a conciliation officer to help facilitate an agreement. The conciliation officer attempts to help the employer and the union resolve their differences and reach a collective agreement.
Was happened during conciliation between Contract Teaching Faculty and Laurier?
The WLUFA and University negotiating teams met with the appointed Conciliator on October 25, 2022. Although there was reportedly some progress made, ultimately WLUFA on behalf of contract faculty requested a “no board” report from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development formally indicating that conciliation efforts were unsuccessful.
What is a “no board” report and what happens next?
If conciliation does not result in an agreement the union or the employer can request a “no board” report, which means that a further board of conciliation will not be appointed and a 17-day countdown to work stoppage is started. In this instance, WLUFA requested a “no board” report on October 25, 2022 after conciliation failed to bring agreement on major outstanding issues.
Did WLUFA hold a strike vote for its Contract Teaching Faculty members?
Yes, WLUFA held a strike vote for contract faculty on October 4th and 5th, and received a 95.4% vote in favour by those members who participated.
When are Contract Teaching Faculty in a legal strike position?
Contract faculty are in a legal strike position on the 17th day after the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development releases the “no board” notice to the employer and the union. In this instance, contract faculty will be in a legal strike position on November 18, 2022.
Can negotiations continue ahead of any strike action?
Yes, both the union and the employer are encouraged to continue negotiation ahead of any work stoppage. Both the Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association strongly urge WLUFA and Laurier to continue negotiating ahead of November 18, 2022 and prevent any kind of academic interruption.
Are Undergraduate Instructional Assistants (IAs) and Graduate Teaching Assistants part of this bargaining?
No, Undergraduate Instruction Assistants (IAs) are not a unionized employee group, and Graduate Teaching Assistants are represented by the Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC) Local 902 and not WLUFA.
Will the University be open if there is a strike?
Yes, Laurier has indicated that it will remain open and operational during a contract faculty strike.
If there is a strike does that mean all Contract Teaching Faculty will be on strike?
Not necessarily, contract faculty may choose to exercise their right to continue to work during the labour disruption.
Are Contract Teaching Faculty paid if they go on strike?
No, contract faculty are not paid while on strike.
Will full-time faculty and staff continue to work during a strike?
Laurier has communicated its expectation that full-time faculty, staff, and all other employee groups who are not on strike will be expected to carry out their duties as usual.
Will a strike impact course delivery?
Classes taught by striking contract faculty may be temporarily suspended during a strike. The University has indicated that it will provide information to students on which classes and instruction activities have been impacted and what operational plans are in place to support academic continuity.
What else may happen during a strike?
Contract faculty who withdraw their services may engage in strike related activity including gathering together near the university to form a picket line. In the event of a picket line additional time may be required to arrive on campus. If you would like to discuss this with us further, please email firstname.lastname@example.org