Bargaining teams from ULFA and the Board of Governors met for a scheduled 4 hour meeting on June 8th. During the meeting, which was extended by almost an extra hour, the two sides exchanged language on 18 articles and schedules (you can see the status of all articles here):
- Article 3: Amendments (presented by ULFA)
- Article 4: Applications and exclusions (presented by ULFA)
- Article 5: Recognition (presented by ULFA)
- Article 6: Communication and Information (presented by ULFA)
- Article 9: Personal files (presented by ULFA)
- Article 10: Courses taught in addition to assigned teaching duties (presented by ULFA)
- Article 11: Rights and responsibilities (presented by the Board)
- Article 16: Termination of appointment (presented by the Board)
- Article 22: Grievance (presented by the Board)
- Article 23: Mediation (presented by the Board)
- Article 24: Appeals of recommendations by STP Committees (presented by the Board)
- Article 26: Termination (presented by the Board)
- Article 29: Intellectual property (presented by the Board)
- Article 30: Travel fund (presented by the Board)
- Article 31: Research fund (presented by the Board)
- Schedule A: Salary schedules and stipends (presented by ULFA)
- Schedule B: Economic benefits (presented by ULFA)
- Schedule E: Copyright (presented by the Board)
Finally, the Board side gave a preliminary presentation on their proposal for a new structure to the Collective Agreement comprising a “Common Agreement” (i.e. articles that apply to all categories of Academic Staff), and four “Parts” that apply to different categories of members (i.e. the Professoriate, Librarians, Instructors/Academic Assistants, Sessional Lecturers).
The language presented ranged from new proposals (i.e. the first language presented on the Articles in question), to a fourth or fifth exchange. New articles included Articles 16, 26, 29, 30 and 31 and Schedules A and B. Articles 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 24, as well as Schedule E, involved first responses to material previously proposed by the other side. Articles 3, 10, 22, and 23 have been exchanged several times, in some cases as recently as this past Monday.
In contrast to last session, in which ULFA was able to accept in principle two responses prepared by the Board, on this day the two sides were unable to come to any provisional agreements. Several articles, however, seem quite close to provisional settlement. It seems likely that the two sides will agree to some at our next meeting.
Under the ground rules we are following, articles can be accepted in principle by the two sides during negotiations; final acceptance, however, depends on a settlement of the entire Collective Agreement. This approach allows greater flexibility in negotiations as it allows on the one hand for the two sides to build trust and agreement by gradually settling language; but on the other it means that they can also always reopen otherwise “settled” articles should additional tradeoffs become necessary to settle more contentious issues.
In addition to these “easy” articles, there are others in which there are larger differences in goals or expectations. For these it seems likely that the two sides will need a number of additional meetings and exchanges of language before agreement is reached.
As with all negotiations this spring, the meeting was cordial and included some broad and helpful discussions about the motivations behind some language proposals and about how open the presenters might be to particular concepts that could arise in counter-proposals. The next bargaining session is scheduled for June 18.