Negotiating teams from ULFA and the Board of Governors met on Wednesday March 27 to continue bargaining.
The session was very fluid. While some language was exchanged, considerable attention was also devoted to process. Although ULFA came prepared to sign off on the Board’s previous presentation of Article 4, for example, the Board of Governors’ side indicated they wished to treat Articles 4, 5, and 6 as a package. They also indicated they were unprepared to hear ULFA presentations on Articles 36 and 12, asking ULFA to present Article 12 in the upcoming session instead. As always, you can follow the status of individual articles here.
|15 Academic Assistants/Instructors
35 Sessional Lecturers
Schedule B (price quotes)
|4 Applications and exclusions (accepting Board proposal of March 21)
12 Criteria for Extension of Probation (etc) (to be presented April 4)
36 Equity (to be held back pending further discussion)
Negotiations for the last several weeks have been held under an informal agreement between the two sides to focus on core mandate issues. As noted in previous postings, this means exploring the degree to which the two sides may be able to settle according to a provincial template, whereby unions have been receiving smaller-than-otherwise-expected financial awards in exchange for significant improvements in job security and other terms and conditions. In addition to agreeing provisionally to exploring this template, ULFA’s negotiating team has also provisionally agreed to suspend further discussion of a significant reorganisation of the former Sessionals and Faculty Handbooks during the current round of bargaining, in exchange for concessions on terms and conditions and a Memorandum of Understanding that the proposed rearrangement will be the basis of negotiations in the next round.
This approach has resulted in considerable movement at the table on both sides on big issues. It has also made more apparent the areas where the two sides are going to have more difficulty reaching resolution. The next few sessions are very important and will likely be strong indicators of whether this approach will lead to settlement or a reopening of broader negotiations.