Update for February 7: University Administration file and then withdraw complaint at ALRB, cite progress and lack of progress at the bargaining table, and file for lockout.
In an eventful day, the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors yesterday first filed and then withdrew an application to the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) for an urgent hearing and interim order to prevent the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) from acting on its strike notice.
The Board of Governors also filed an application to lockout faculty from their classrooms while accusing ULFA of threatening to disrupt the student experience, met with ULFA negotiators and, after accusing the ULFA team of making unreasonable demands, cited progress at the table as the reason why they were withdrawing their request for the urgent ALRB hearing and interim order.
With the withdrawal of the application, the urgent hearing, scheduled by the ALRB for Wednesday and Thursday, has now been cancelled as has the request for an interim order preventing ULFA from going on strike should a settlement not be reached by Thursday at 11am.
In accepting the Board of Governor’s application to withdraw the request, the ALRB noted positively that the Board had “elected to have its committee devote its time in securing a settlement.”
Employers applying to lock employees out are required to give a minimum of 72 hours notice to the union. The Administration has since told us that they plan to begin their lockout at 11am on Friday February 11, a day after ULFA has indicated its strike will begin should no settlement be reached before Thursday morning. The employer had already threatened to lockout ULFA members in the event of a strike. No application is required for a countervailing strike or lockout.
ULFA continues to believe that the two sides can better devote their collective energy to reaching a settlement at the table.. We are glad that the Board took Monday afternoon to consider its position and look forward to further productive negotiations.