Alberta Labour Relations Board rules in ULFA’s favour

The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) ruled in favour of the core position taken by the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) yesterday in its dispute with the University of Lethbridge.

The case concerned the number of bargaining units and collective agreements to be negotiated between the University and ULFA under the changes to the Post Secondary Learning Act (PSLA) and Labour Relations Code introduced by Bill 7 (You can read more about the history of this case working backwards from this post).

The specific issue before the ALRB was the legal question:

Does the Code allow for or preclude the possibility of more than one bargaining unit for the academic staff and/or more than one collective agreement for the academic staff? (¶ 2)

In its submission, the University administration argued that

  • The PSLA left the number of agreements up to the parties to determine;
  • The University and ULFA historically had negotiated two distinct agreements (i.e. the Sessional Lecturers’ Handbook and the Faculty Handbook);
  • The Labour Relations Code required the continuation of these two agreements as distinct collective agreements. (see ¶ 3)

ULFA, for its part, disagreed with the University’s characterisation of the historical situation, particularly the degree to which the two Handbooks represented completely distinct agreements. With regard to the legal question at issue, it argued

  • That the Code established the Faculty Association as the exclusive bargaining agent for a single Bargaining Unit (i.e. the “Academic Staff”) consisting of both Sessional Lecturers and Faculty;
  • That the Code precluded the possibility of more than one bargaining unit for the Academic Staff under the current legislative arrangements;
  • That the Code precludes the possibility of there being more than one collective agreement to cover this single bargaining unit under the current legislative arrangements. (see ¶ 4)

In its decision, the ALRB upheld the core elements of ULFA’s position, concluding that there was both one bargaining unit under the Code and that the Code precludes the negotiation of more than one collective agreement for that unit:

[T]he PSLA and the Code create a single designated bargaining unit (all academic staff); however, parties may negotiate two or more collective agreements which may contain scope clauses that individually do not comprise all of the designated bargaining unit. The Code precludes more than one collective agreement being negotiated where one of the parties maintains the position that a single collective agreement shall be negotiated for all employees in the designated bargaining unit. Appropriate notice of this position must occur at the commencement of collective bargaining. (¶ 6)

The main place in which the ALRB diverged from the position taken by ULFA and the intervenors concerned the idea that the parties could negotiate more than one collective agreement for a given Bargaining Unit, provided they both agree explicitly to do so. This has potentially profound implications for labour relations in the province. Since ULFA has already indicated that it “maintains the position that a single collective agreement shall be negotiated for all employees in the designated bargaining unit,” however, the question is moot for the purposes of our current negotiations: the ALRB’s decision means that the Sessional and Faculty Handbooks represent a single collective agreement under the Code.

ULFA’s STP Workshop for Applicants

Getting Ready for Salary, Tenure & Promotion (STP) Applications

ULFA cordially invites you to our STP Workshops where you will be provided with a variety of tips and information on the STP process. The presentation will cover the STP process as well as provide advice on putting together a teaching dossier, research materials, and the service component of your application. The presenters are Jon Doan, VP/President Nominate & Annabree Fairweather, Executive Director, ULFA

Choose one of the following workshops that works best for your schedule:

  • Calgary Workshop – Wednesday, March 21, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.; Room: S6025 (Calgary Campus)
  • Workshop #1 – Tuesday, March 27, 2018; 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.; Room: TH241
  • Workshop #2 – Wednesday, March 28, 2018;1:00 – 2:50 p.m.; Room: TH241

To RSVP your attendance to Derrick (ext. 2578;

Men are Naturally Better Leaders? Canadians and Political Sexism – Dr. Melanee Thomas

ULFA’s Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee is proud to present Dr. Melanee Thomas, Assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary (and former U of L student) on Friday, March 16 from 2-4 p.m. (AH176). Dr. Thomas will be presenting a talk entitled Men are Naturally Better Leaders: Canadians and Political Sexism.

Dr. Thomas was here in the fall where she discussed her book Mothers and Others: Understanding the Impact of Family Life on Politics. Her talk in March will focus on some of the new research she has been doing.

Dr. Thomas has also graciously agreed to come to any classes you may have on the Friday morning – see the attached poster for her bio and range of research interests. And please, let your students and anyone else you know who might be interested in coming to this talk – we’d like to have a good crowd for her. If you can post a copy of the attached poster in your areas, it would be much appreciated. The bookstore has also graciously agreed to sell her books at the talk.

ULFA Nominating Committee Call for Nominations


FROM: ULFA Nominating Committee

DATE: February 1, 2018

The ULFA Nominating Committee is now actively seeking interested individuals willing to fill vacancies on the Executive, standing and other committees for 2018-2019. Nominations are being sought for the following:

  • Executive:
    • President
    • Vice-President/President Nominate (2 nominees) Chair, Handbooks
    • Chair, Economic Benefits
    • Chair, Gender, Equity and Diversity
  • Handbooks Committee
  • Economic Benefits Committee
  • Grievance Committee
  • Gender, Equity and Diversity Committee
  • GFC Travel Committee
  • GFC Academic Quality Assurance Committee
  • Joint Work Site Health & Safety Committee

Additional information can be found on the ULFA website or by following this link: 2015.pdf

The Nominating Committee will present its list of nominees at the Annual General Meeting on April 16 from 12-3pm. In addition, nominations will be open from the floor. In the event that there is more than one nominee for a single position, an election will take place by electronic ballot as soon after the AGM as is possible. In the event that there is more than one candidate seeking election to the Executive Committee, an All Candidates Forum will be organized prior to the election.

If you are interested in serving the Association in some way, or know of someone who might be willing or well-suited to fill one of these vacancies, please contact one of the Nominating Committee members listed below or contact Derrick Antson in the ULFA office at ext. 2578 or at

Nominating Committee Members:

  • Jason Laurendeau (A&S), Chair
  • Andrea Amelinckx (Prof. Faculty)
  • Jon Doan (A&S)
  • Kent Peacock (A&S)
  • Paula Cardozo (Library)
  • Carla Carnaghan (Prof. Faculty)
  • Beth Gerwin (A&S)
  • Artur Luczak (A&S)

Bargaining Meet & Greet

Extra Sessions Added

February 28 for Members with Laboratories in University Hall (B883) from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

March 19 for Sessional Lecturers in the ULFA Office (D620) from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Fall General Meeting Notice: December 7, 2017

Hello Faculty Association Members,

You are cordially invited to the ULFA Fall General Meeting on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 12pm in room PE275. The final agenda for our meeting can be found on the website here. Lunch and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be provided.

For those of you who are unable to attend the meeting in person, WebEx videoconferencing will be available, but please make arrangements with Derrick Antson ( or 403-329-2578) before December 4, 2017 to ensure you receive the meeting invite. 

We look forward to seeing you there.