Bargaining teams for ULFA and the Board of Governors met on Thursday March 21 to continue negotiations. This meeting was part of a series of weekly dates supplied by ULFA in response to a request from the Board of Governors on February 21.
During the meeting, ULFA presented its response to the Board’s most recent proposals on Articles 15 (Instructors/Academic Assistants), 35 (Sessional Lecturers), and Schedule A (Salary), while the Board of Governors responded to ULFA’s latest versions of Articles 4 (Applications and exclusions), 5 (Recognition), and 6 (Communication). As always, you can follow the progress of negotiations for individual articles here.
|ULFA||Board of Governors|
|15 Academic Assistants/Instructors|
35 Sessional Lecturers
|4 Applications and exclusions|
Negotiations during this session were conducted in keeping with a proposal from the February 21 meeting that the two sides would focus in the short term on core “mandate” issues in the hopes of reaching an expedited settlement. As part of this agreement, the two sides agreed to work on the basis of the “provincial template,” in which public sector unions in the province have considered lower-than-otherwise-expected economic proposals from management in exchange for advances in job security language and terms and conditions.
The resulting discussions have been largely positive, with considerable movement on both sides; if current progress continues, we may be close to reaching agreement in principle on Articles 4, 5, 15, and 35. At the same time, the two sides appear to be finding less room to manoeuvre in the case of Article 6 (Communication). Here the particular sticking points involve transparency in the event of a breach of member data and the provision of letters of appointment (which constitute part of the contract between members and the university) to ULFA as Members’ exclusive bargaining agent.
The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday March 27, with weekly meeting continuing through to the end of April, if necessary.