The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) issued the employer with a “notice to bargain” yesterday, as required by section 59(2) of the Labour Relations Code.
This notice requires the parties to meet and commence bargaining within 30 days, with an exchange of proposal occurring within 14 days of this first meeting. The “Notice to Bargain” is a new requirement in the Post Secondary sector, introduced by Bill 7 and the movement of labour relations from the Post Secondary Learning Act into the Labour Relations Code.
The March 5 letter is the second notice to bargain ULFA has issued. This is because both the number of agreements the two sides are required to bargain and the end date or dates of these agreements is still a matter of dispute between the two parties. (You can read about this beginning here.) The number of agreements was the subject of a hearing before the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB), for which we are awaiting a ruling. In keeping with its position before the ALRB, ULFA’s notice covers the entire Academic Staff bargaining unit, including both Sessionals and Faculty.
At the hearing, the ALRB indicated that it would most likely not rule on the end date(s) of the agreements, leaving this to the parties to determine instead. Since March 3 is both 120 days before June 30th (ULFA’s preferred end date) and 60 days before April 30th (the University’s preferred date), this question is now largely moot. Perhaps more significant is March 22nd, the date on which the Provincial budget will be tabled.
This post is intended to update the membership of ULFA about the current state of negotiations between the Union and the University. The information it contains is provided without prejudice and is intended for a general, non-specialist audience. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information this post contains is accurate, it does not represent an official legal or negotiating position. In the event of a disagreement between this post and an official notice or document, the official document is correct.