University Makes First Settlement Offer

Categories: Bargaining, Bargaining Updates 2010

We have bargained with the university weekly (usually twice a week) between March 1 and April 27. That amount of intensive bargaining time has allowed both the Faculty Association and the university to present their proposals in great detail, and also answer any questions the other side had about the objectives that were trying to be achieved through specific proposals. Because we will not be meeting with the University for further bargaining until May 26, we thought this would be a good time to catch you up with where we are.

On the sidebar at Bargaining 2010, the proposals that each side tabled for discussion on February 1 are accessible. You will note that the University tabled 16 proposals. Of those 16 proposals, 14 were substantive proposals.

On April 26, the university tabled its outline for a settlement with the Faculty Association, based on the discussions we’ve had to date. In its first settlement offer the university proposed that that the Faculty Association should accept 13 of their initial 14 substantive proposals. Interestingly enough, they withdrew their proposal to provide more adoptive leave benefits. In the university’s proposed settlement, they were not unmindful of Faculty Association proposals, and in fact offered the following in exchange for the acceptance of all of their remaining proposals: 1) watered down language on our proposal regarding personnel files (a tiny concession to our much broader proposal 4); 2) a proposal on grievance handling procedures (our proposal 14) that differs significantly from the last proposal we gave them; and 3) agreement with our proposal 16 that we should create a Joint Committee to re-number and re-organize the Collective Agreement (which is a secretarial thing, not a change in anything substantive).

So, what is the score here? The university’s initial settlement offer implies that our new collective agreement should contain in full 13 of their 14 substantive proposals, while giving minor lip service to 3 of our 15 substantive proposals. Needless to say, we will not accept such a premature closure to bargaining. We’re dedicated to staying the course and working until we reach a settlement that meets the needs of our members.

Before resuming bargaining with the university on May 26, we will use the blog to help you better understand our objectives in bargaining this year.