The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) and the Board of Governors of the University of Lethbridge will meet later this Fall to negotiate an Essential Services Agreement (ESA) and discuss other protocols for negotiating under the Labour Relations Code (LRC). The dates for negotiation and discussion are in the process of being set.

Negotiation of an ESA is required by the LRC during each round of bargaining in the Post Secondary Sector. This requirement was introduced by the passage of Bill 7 this past spring, which moved negotiations and labour relations in the sector into the LRC. Previously, negotiations in the Post Secondary Sector were conducted under the Post Secondary Learning Act (PSLA).

Under the LRC, an essential service is defined as

those services

(a) the interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or health of the public, or

(b) that are necessary to the maintenance and administration of the rule of law or public security. 95 (1)

By creating an ESA, Management and Unions commit to the maintenance of such services in the event of a lockout or strike. Employees performing such services are allowed to enter the premises of an employer during a lockout and are permitted to cross picket lines without penalty in the event of a strike.

In addition to the ESA, the Board and ULFA will discuss protocols for negotiating under the LRC, which introduces timelines and other rules governing bargaining.

ULFA will be represented by negotiators Paul Hayes and Daniel O’Donnell, with support from resource persons Annabree Fairweather and Terry Sway. The Board will be represented by negotiators Ed Jurkowski and Chris Nicol (co-chairs), Elaine Carlson and Carrie Takeyasu. Scott Harling will act as a resource person for the Board, which has also indicated that it will likely appoint an additional resource person at a future date.