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Labour Relations Update

October 5, 2017

The negotiating teams will continue to meet on Thursday and will be joined by a third-party mediator. We are committed to remaining at the table until we reach an agreement.

 

October 4, 2017

Please be advised that as negotiations continue between Laurentian University and LUFA, the Senate approved reading week will take place as planned. The University has committed to giving students 48-hour notice to return to class.

For programs that do not have a reading week, the University will give students a 48-hour notice to return to class. We are committed to remaining at the table until we reach an agreement. For questions regarding the labour disruption visit laurentian.ca/labourupdate or call 705-675-4890.

 

October 3, 2017

Update: The University and LUFA negotiating teams met this afternoon and had respectful discussions towards a renewed collective agreement. Discussions will continue Wednesday.

Laurentian University is pleased to be back at the table with LUFA this afternoon after presenting the Association with two proposals Sunday evening.

We are committed to remain at the table until we can reach an agreement, and are hopeful that a swift resolution will be met in order to get back to providing our students with a world-class education and providing our faculty with the supports they need to do so.

Laurentian is proud of the student experience we deliver and our faculty is a big part of that. Last year, the university invested nearly 60% of our budget on instruction which is the highest among similar universities in Ontario. 

 

October 2, 2017

The University team has been working through the weekend to try to bring a conclusion to negotiations.  We reached out to LUFA on Saturday, and last night we tabled two proposals that take alternative approaches to meeting the needs of both sides.

We hope that these can be the basis for a quick return to the table to reach a deal and end the strike for the benefit of our students and faculty.

 

September 28, 2017

Four days of mediation between Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) has reached an impasse without an agreement. LUFA is in a legal strike position as of Thursday, September 28th at 12:01AM. LUFA has indicated it plans to take its members on strike at that time.

The University remains open to further conversations in the hopes of avoiding a strike that would have a direct and negative impact on our students.

Laurentian has offered LUFA salary increases consistent with those negotiated by faculty at other universities in Ontario in recent months.

Laurentian faculty members have workload responsibilities comparable to faculty members at other universities and the lowest student/faculty ratio in the province at 18:1.

The University is also seeking a pension contribution increase of 1% while offsetting that increase with an equivalent hike in salaries. In essence, Laurentian is offering to cover the cost of the increased contributions which would cost faculty members nothing. This would ensure both the university and faculty members would make equal contributions to the pension fund which is already the case for all other staff members, many of whom earn less money.

The university wants to make a good pension plan even stronger and more fair to all members at no cost to faculty members.

The identical clause was agreed to by LUFA in 2014. Less than a month ago members of the Laurentian Staff Union (LUSU) approved the same clause with 93% support of the membership.

While talks have been ongoing, the University has been developing contingency plans in the event of a strike. These plans will help the Laurentian community do their work and maintain services in a peaceful and secure environment. Laurentian is committed to prevent disruptions to the academic year if at all possible and student services will be maintained in the case of a strike.

Details are available at laurentian.ca/labourupdate. Questions and concerns can be sent to labourinfo@laurentian.ca.

 

September 26, 2017

Laurentian Administration and LUFA (Laurentian University Faculty Association) have been working hard to arrive at a renewed collective agreement. Mediation began on Sunday September 24th, and continued through the 26th. Parties have now agreed to another day of mediation on Wednesday, September 27th.
 
The University will continue discussions at the table and hopes to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the University and our faculty members.
 
LUFA has stated that if mediation fails it will direct members to strike on Thursday September 28th at 12:01am.
In the case of a strike, classes will be suspended temporarily. For now, it’s business as usual. We will keep you updated with the latest information as it becomes available.

 

September 11, 2017

On Thursday, September 7th, the Union notified us that they “will be initiating job action prior to October 2nd”. We have been advised by the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour that the earliest date they will be in a legal strike position is 12:01am on September 28.  Prior to initiating a strike, a strike vote must have been conducted and more than 50% of those voting must vote in favour of a strike.

 

What’s the status of discussions at the table?

Discussions remain very professional and respectful however there are still numerous issues on both sides that have yet to be discussed at the table. The parties have not reached an impasse and we continue to make progress.

The parties have agreed to multiple days of face-to-face bargaining at the end of September and continue to explore additional dates. The University has also indicated its availability on several additional dates through to mid-October.

What about mediation?

Both parties agreed to mediation, scheduled for October 5th.  

As of today, there are still a number complex, outstanding proposals, and more than 20 issues which have yet to be tabled.

The Union went ahead without the University’s agreement and booked a second and third day of mediation for September 15 and 24. 

Given the matters which still need to be addressed, the university declined mediation on the 15th but accepted the 24th in order to reduce the number of issues for mediation by creating time for face-to-face bargaining.

This is not a process we want to rush, it’s important to get it right.

What next?

Despite the Union’s notice of job action, the University will continue a collegial process of discussions at the table and will continue to strive for an agreement that meets the needs of the University and of our faculty.

What should the students know?

In the case of a strike, classes will be suspended temporarily. For now, it’s business as usual and students should concentrate on their studies.

Laurentian UniversityLUFALaurentian University Faculty AssociationMinistry of LabournegotiationsOntario Labour Relations Act