Bargaining update March 14

ULFA and representatives of the Board of Governors met on Thursday March 14. This was the third meeting since the two sides agreed to investigate an expedited approach to resolving negotiations by focussing on the core elements of each side’s mandate.

As agreed in our meeting on February 21, the first two meetings under this new approach involved presentations on Articles 4-6 (Applications and Exclusions; Recognition; and Communication and Information). This third meeting, on March 14, was to focus on Articles 15 (Instructors/Academic Assistants) and “35” (Sessional Lecturers). ULFA was also able to bring a response to the Board’s latest proposals on Articles 4-6. Finally, in conjunction with their proposals for 15 and 35, the Board of Governors offered new language on Schedules A and B. As always you can follow the progress of individual articles here.

Board of Governors ULFA
15 Academic Assistants/Instructors
35 Sessional Lecturers
Schedule A
Schedule B
4 Applications and exclusions
5 Recognition
6 Communication

In their proposals for these Articles, the Board of Governors addressed a number of elements in the two sides’ mandates. As is the case with Articles 4-6, the two sides appear to be narrowing the differences in a constructive and creative fashion. While there are still significant and serious areas of disagreement, the last three weeks have seen movement on both sides.

In addition to presenting language, the two sides also arranged a number of additional negotiating days, with meetings scheduled each week through the end of April.

ALRB rationale released

On Monday March 11, the ALRB released a detailed and technical rationale for its February 20th ruling in favour of the Board of Governors on Bridging. You can find the full decision here. You can follow the issues at stake in the ruling starting here and here. As noted in our February 21st blog, this decision means that the status quo continues, in which the Board of Governors withheld COLA increases after the expiration of the previous contract pending any new arrangements in this round of negotiations.

Fall General Meeting Notice: December 6, 2018 at 12pm

You are cordially invited to the ULFA Fall General Meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 12pm in room PE275. The provisional agenda for our meeting can be found on the ULFA website here. Lunch and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be provided.

For those of you who are unable to attend the meeting in person, WebEx videoconferencing will be available, but please make arrangements with me (antson@uleth.ca or 403-329-2578) before December 4, 2018 and I will ensure you receive the meeting invite.

AUPE Information Picket

AUPE will be holding an information picket at noon on November 7th by the Northern entrance to the University (i.e. at the University and Columbia/Valley Road entrance). You can read more about the issues involved in their negotiations here. ULFA is facing a similar set of arguments in its negotiations with the Board of Governors.

We encourage all members to show their support for AUPE by attending the picket.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally the post contained an incorrect date. This post has been updated to show the correct date of Wednesday, November 7th.

ALRB “Bridging”

Since last January, ULFA and the Board of Governors have been involved in a discussion regarding the application of the “Bridging” provisions of the Labour Relations Code to the payment of Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) due under the current collective agreement. (You can read more about the issues at stake and background here. The history of our discussion and the involvement of the Labour Relations Board can be followed here, here, here, here, and here).

In late September, the Alberta Labour Relations Board dismissed the Board of Governors’ argument that the issue was a matter of the interpretation of the Collective Agreement. The next steps in the process were a case management meeting (scheduled for November 28) and a two day hearing (Dec. 18 and 19).

The Board of Governors has recently hired an external law firm to represent it in this case. Due to a personal emergency affecting one of the potential participants, the December hearing has now been rescheduled for February 2019. The rescheduling does not affect Members’ rights or any back-pay for the withheld COLA should ULFA’s position prove successful.