Strike preparedness sends a strong message to the employer about the unity and conviction of LUFA members. It also sends an unequivocal message that the membership stands behind its Negotiating Team.
Yes. Both sides continue to negotiate in an effort to achieve a collective agreement.
At this point, you can help by attending general meetings, reading negotiation bulletins, and talking about issues with your department representatives, LUFA Executive, member of the Action Team, and other members. You can also volunteer with the Action Team to do as little or as much support work for your team as you are able. In summary, LUFA is asking you to do the following:
1. Provide LUFA, with your private contact information including: Name, address, phone number and alternate email address using LUFA’s alternate email address: [email protected]
2. Encourage at least three of your colleagues to do the same.
3. Discuss the bargaining issues with your colleagues and express your concerns to others in the University community.
4. Follow developments at the Negotiating Table and with the Action Team.
5. Volunteer to assist the Action Team.
In most cases, it does not. Often a strong strike mandate alone is sufficient to get the Employer to take the union seriously in negotiations. There is an extensive process that must occur before LUFA would take a strike position:
1. The LUFA, the Employer, or both apply for conciliation
2. A conciliator is appointed and conciliation dates agreed to;
3. There is at least one conciliation meeting in the attempt to reach an agreement
4. Conciliation reaches impasse
5. The Ministry issues a “no-board” report. There is seventeen days waiting period. After all of these steps, the LUFA Executive would call a strike if and when there seemed to be no other way to reach an agreement. After seventeen days, the Employer could lockout LUFA members.
A strike or lockout does not happen overnight; there is plenty of advance warning and significant planning involved. [Reference: Ontario – Bargaining]
At this stage, you do not. However, you should be aware that a strike or lockout is possible, and you should become familiar with the vocabulary and practice of legal strike action. It is important to learn about the issues at stake. While a strike is unlikely, it is always important to be financially prudent and to plan ahead. In university bargaining, strikes are much less frequent than strike mandates, and lockout is a rare event at Canadian universities.
Striking LUFA members receive financial support in the form of strike pay. LUFA is a member of the CAUT Defence Fund. If the LUFA is on strike, this fund disperses to the union strike pay from its ~ $32 millions reserves an amount equal to $88 per member of the bargaining unit for each of seven days of the week. These non-taxable funds are distributed by the union only to those members who perform strike duty (such as picket duty or other equivalent work for the strike headquarters).
Most employers allow benefit plans to continue through a strike if the union covers the cost. If the employer is being punitive and resists the continuation of benefit plans, alternative arrangements are in place through the CAUT Defence Fund and CAUT. Regardless of coverage, it is to your advantage to purchase eyewear, visit the dentist, stock up on medications, and schedule other routine medical procedures covered by our benefits prior to a strike or lockout deadline.
You must participate in strike duty assigned by the Action Committee. You must sign in for strike duty each day to receive strike pay.
No, except under limited circumstances where the Action Committee has issued a picket line pass (e.g., to feed lab animals, etc.). Even those members who receive passes must participate in all other strike activities, such as picket line duty. It is useful to begin thinking now about what you might need to remove from your office or lab prior to a strike deadline.
At some universities, the union and administration have signed protocols that permit for the continued use of university email; some other universities do not. Because our employer may prove to be punitive and restrict email access, we ask every member to retain an outside email account and to notify LUFA of their alternative email address and phone number.
It is LUFA’s position that members on sabbatical, disability, and parental/maternity leave should be considered as not participating in the strike action and should continue to receive pay and benefits from the employer. At this point, we do not know what the employer’s position would be with regard to sabbaticants. If the employer decides to act punitively, the union will provide strike pay to sabbaticants at the same rate as those members who can participate in strike duty.
Yes, all LUFA members have to go on strike.
It is never too early to begin thinking about prudent financial preparations for a potential strike or lockout. If a strike or lockout appears to be imminent, you should consider contacting your bank managers, mortgage officials, or other financial advisors and inform them of potential strike or lockout. You should be aware that some credit card companies and banks offer insurance in case of strike or lockout and can also make alternative payment schedules. You will need to check with your own financial institutions. LUFA can provide a letter explaining the situation for your financial situation if you wish. If you have expenditures that need to be reimbursed by the university, it is to your advantage to submit receipts in a timely manner.
Continue checking your LU e-mail, and also send your alternate email to LUFA’s alternate email: [email protected]
If you have additional questions, please contact any member of the LUFA executive or your department liaison member. You can contact the LUFA: [email protected]
The collective bargaining process requires careful and extensive preparation, and part of this preparation includes the formation of an Action Committee. While the LUFA continues to bargain in good faith with the LU BoGs with the goal of reaching a fair and equitable collective agreement, our members need to begin preparing for the possibility of a “no-board” report, which would put us in a legal strike or lockout position seventeen days later. No union enters negotiations with the intention of facing a strike (or lockout), but the LUFA would be remiss in its duty to represent its members and further their goals to the maximum extent provided by labour law if we did not plan for the possibility of a strike. If you would like to be part of this committee, please contact LUFA: [email protected]
No experience is necessary and training and support is received from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, as well as other faculty associations. Service on the committee is considered service to the university as it is service to the FA.
Strike preparedness sends a strong message to the employer about the unity and conviction of members of the bargaining unit. It also sends an unequivocal message that the membership stands behind its Bargaining Team so it can negotiate the best possible deal for you.