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The Gazette • Western University's Student Newspaper - Breaking News • Gazette Newsletter
Tuesday, October 4th, 2022
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Faculty union votes in favour of strike

Ninety-one per cent of UWOFA members voted in support of going on strike “if necessary” in the unions contract negotiations with the university.

News

Faculty union votes in favour of strike

Andy Yang, News Editor​ ​ ​

Faculty union votes in favour of strike

Hope Mahood / GAZETTE
Image courtesy of UWOFA

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association voted in favour of going on strike “if necessary” on Monday, with 91 per cent of members voting “yes.”

“This strong show of support will certainly strengthen our Negotiating Team’s ability to bargain better provisions for reward and recognition of faculty effort, equitable workloads, health and wellness, and job security,” UWOFA’s statement read.

The union will continue to bargain with Western University later this week, with the goal of achieving an agreement without strike action.

In a statement to the Gazette, the university said both parties are “working towards settlement.”

“This is a standard part of the contract-bargaining process; it does not mean a labour disruption is imminent or inevitable,” Western wrote in their statement. “The parties have agreed to ongoing bargaining sessions through October and November and will be assisted by a conciliator as necessary in reaching a new agreement.”

UWOFA called for a strike vote on Sept. 20 after the university rejected 20 of the union’s 55 proposals for their new collective agreement. UWOFA said the decision was made “to help strengthen our bargaining position.”

Faculty union votes in favour of strike

UWOFA voting booth on second floor of social science building, Sept. 28, 2022.

Holly Pedlow / GAZETTE

UWOFA and Western began this round of negotiations on April 7 when the union gave the university official notice to bargain. Both sides have hired a conciliator to help with the process.

At the moment, previous collective agreement provisions are in place until a new collective agreement has been reached. 

Four years ago, Western faculty almost went on strike when negotiations stalled. UWOFA called for the strike to start Nov. 9, 2018 but reached a deal with the university at 2 a.m. that morning.

A series of strikes have already been seen at Canadian universities this year as rising inflation and provincial wage mandates complicate negotiations. The University of Lethbridge had a 40-day long strike in the spring and Acadia University had a one month-long strike in February. Ontario Tech University and Concordia University of Edmonton also had 10 and 12-day strikes, respectively, earlier this year.


Update (Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, 7:37 p.m.): This article has been updated with a statement from Western.

 

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