Yesterday, we reported on http://ulfa.ca/bargaining-updates/item/a-hudson-s-bay-start, during which we began discussions about the new rules and protocols under which collective bargaining with take place in this Spring.

This was only one of a number of different events that took place last week on this topic however. Nov. 6-10 was one of the bargaining team’s busiest weeks thus far!

Understanding bargaining in a Lockout/Strike context presentation (Monday November 6).

The first event in the week was a presentation to the ULFA membership about negotiating in the context of Bill 7 (i.e. Lockout/Strike). On Monday afternoon, members of the executive and the bargaining team held a townhall with members, during which we went through

  • the changes imposed on us by the Labour Relations Code;
  • the current state of our preparations for the very unlikely possibility that we reach an impasse that results in a lockout or strike;
  • some things members can do now to ensure they are as protected as possible in the very unlikely event of a lockout or strike.

Bargaining Update Photo

This emphasis on the fact that a strike or lockout is very unlikely was found throughout the presentation as well. While it is prudent to prepare for a worst-case scenario, we have very little reason to believe that a lockout or strike is in any way likely this round:

  1. The Board and ULFA have a very long history of successful labour negotiations–over 40 contracts successfully completed in our 50 year history, without less than a handful requiring mediation or arbitration;
  2. Job action is rare in the Post Secondary sector and usually follows deteriorating relationships;
  3. Employers as a rule do not seek out job action, since it hurts their core business (universities that have strikes or lockouts tend to have lower enrolment, subsequently);
  4. ULFA (like all faculty associations in the province) is still building its job action fund, and as a result is at the weakest it will ever be.

We will be giving a version of this presentation at the AGM on Thursday, December 7, 2018 from at noon in PE275. You can also access the slides here: https://zenodo.org/record/1045544.