2010

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December 10, 2010. PMA agreement ratified

Earlier today, Western's Board of Governors ratified a new four-year agreement with the University's Professional and Managerial Association (PMA). The PMA represents about 1,000 full-time employees engaged in managerial and professional roles at Western. Their last contract expired October 31, 2010.

As part of the agreement, PMA members will receive scale salary increases of 1.5 per cent in each year of the four-year agreement.

On November 29, the University and the PMA reached a tentative agreement after just one day of negotiations. The agreement was ratified by PMA members on December 9.

November 30, 2010. PMA reaches tentative agreement

After just one day of negotiations, The University of Western Ontario and its Professional and Managerial Association (PMA) reached a new four-year tentative agreement yesterday.

The PMA represents about 1,000 full-time employees engaged in managerial and professional roles across the University. Their last contract expired October 31, 2010.

Details of the agreement won't be released until after ratification by the PMA membership and the university's Board of Governors. The PMA will hold a membership meeting on Dec. 6. Immediately following the meeting, an electronic vote will take place.

The Board of Governors will hold a ratification vote on Dec. 10.

November 17, 2010. Board ratifies new collective agreements

The University of Western Ontario's Board of Governors ratified three new collective agreements with Western employee groups at their meeting this afternoon.

"We are pleased agreements have been reached with these important employee groups, and I want to thank all the bargaining teams for the hard work that went into achieving them,” says Janice Deakin, Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

The University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA). In their new three-year agreement, UWOSA members will receive scale salary increases of 1.5 per cent each year. UWOSA represents about 1,000 Western employees engaged in administrative and technical roles.

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA). As part of their new four-year contract, UWOFA members will receive scale salary increases of 1.5 per cent each year. UWOFA represents about 1,700 full- and part-time faculty members at Western.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610) Graduate Teaching Assistants will receive a scale salary increase of 1.08 per cent in the first year and 1.25 per cent in the second year of their new two-year contract. The GTA Union represents registered graduate students who are engaged in supervised teaching-related activities across Western’s various Faculties and Schools.

November 12, 2010. UWOFA ratifies tentative agreement

Members at The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) have ratified a new collective agreement by a vote of 521-85 (86 per cent) in favour of the deal. A tentative contract agreement was reached in the early morning hours of Nov. 3, after an 18-hour bargaining session.

Details of the agreement will be released once Western’s Board of Governors approves the deal on Nov. 16.

"This was an extremely tough round of bargaining,” says James Compton, UWOFA president. “And I’m pleased to see that the membership has endorsed the deal, and the hard work of our negotiating team."

More than 1,400 full and part-time unionized faculty members have been without a contract since June 30. 

November 5, 2010 (posted 4:17 a.m.). Western reaches tentative deal with Staff Association

The University of Western Ontario has reached a tentative agreement with its Staff Association (UWOSA). UWOSA – The University of Western Ontario Staff Association represents more than 1000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the university.

The agreement was reached at about 3:00 this morning after 18 hours of negotiations with the assistance of a provincially-appointed conciliator.

UWOSA's last contract expired on June 30, 2010. The two sides have been meeting since May 28 and UWOSA was in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Details of the agreement won't be released until after the agreement has been ratified by the union and the Board of Governors.

Western President Amit Chakma says, "Members of UWOSA are essential to the University's operations, and I am delighted a tentative agreement has been reached. I want to express my deepest appreciation to members of both bargaining teams for their hard work over the last several months, and I congratulate them on their efforts."

November 4, 2010. Tentative agreement ratified by GTA members

(posted 9:13 p.m.) A tentative agreement between The University of Western Ontario and the union representing Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) at the university has now been ratified by GTA members.

The University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 610, announced a tentative agreement on October 21st and voting by GTA members took place November 1 and 2.

The union represents more than 1900 Graduate Teaching Assistants at Western. They voted 62.4 percent in favour of the two-year agreement that replaces the previous four-year contract that expired on August 31, 2010.

The agreement must also go to Western's Board of Governors for ratification on November 16. If ratified, it will then be implemented before the end of November.

November 4, 2010. UWOSA talks ongoing

(posted 4:30 p.m.) At this hour, Western is continuing talks with the University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) and a provincially-appointed conciliator. UWOSA represents about 1,000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. Although in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. today, the union has not set a strike deadline. Their last contract expired June 30, 2010.

While classes will continue in the event of a labour disruption by UWOSA, some services could be affected. Specific details will be announced if a labour disruption appears imminent. The campus community is encouraged to visit the Contract Negotiations @ Western website for updates, where FAQs are being updated as planning unfolds. Individuals may also wish to join Western's official Facebook and Twitter pages to receive alerts as new information becomes available.

November 4, 2010. Talks continue with UWOSA

Following a tentative agreement with the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) early yesterday morning, the University continues talks today with its Staff Association (UWOSA) and a provincially-appointed conciliator.

UWOSA represents about 1,000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. Although in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. today, the union has not set a strike deadline. Their last contract expired June 30, 2010.

"Day in and day out, members of UWOSA play important roles in helping Western achieve its academic and research mission," says Helen Connell, Western's Associate Vice-President, Communications & Public Affairs. "The bargaining teams are working hard to get an agreement, and we are hopeful one can be reached. However, the needs of our undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars are our priority, and to that end, University-wide and faculty-based contingency planning continues."

While classes will continue in the event of a labour disruption by UWOSA, some services could be affected. Specific details will be announced if a labour disruption appears imminent. The campus community is encouraged to visit the Contract Negotiations @ Western website for updates, where FAQs are being updated as planning unfolds. Individuals may also wish to join Western's official Facebook and Twitter pages to receive alerts as new information becomes available.

November 3, 2010. Tentative Agreement Reached with Faculty Union

(posted 4:00 a.m.) The University of Western Ontario has reached a tentative agreement with its Faculty Association (UWOFA). UWOFA represents about 1,700 full- and part-time faculty members at Western.

In a message sent to the Western community today, University President Amit Chakma said:

"Negotiation is never a simple matter, and I sincerely thank UWOFA and the University bargaining team for their dedication and professionalism throughout this process. I also want to thank all members of the Western community for their patience, understanding and support during this time.

We look forward to completion of this agreement as a key element in enabling the University to continue to attract and retain the best faculty that will further advance Western's commitment to academic excellence."

UWOFA and the University have been negotiating a new agreement since May to replace the previous four-year contract that expired on June 30, 2010. Details of the agreement won't be released until after the agreement has been ratified by the union and the Board of Governors.

UWOFA was in a legal strike position as of Wednesday, November 3 at 12:01 a.m.

Western is also currently negotiating with The University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA), which represents about 1,000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. A meeting with a conciliator is set for November 4. UWOSA's last contract expired on June 30, 2010.

Talks with UWOFA continue
(posted 12:05 a.m.) - The University of Western Ontario and its Faculty Association (UWOFA) are continuing negotiations to secure a new collective agreement. UWOFA is now in a legal strike position, however talks continue.

As new information becomes available, it will be posted here.

UWOFA and the University have been negotiating a new agreement since May to replace the previous four-year contract that expired on June 30, 2010.

Update - November 2, 2010

UWOFA negotiations continue

(posted 4:15 p.m.) Negotiations are continuing this hour to head off a strike by members of The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA). The two groups have been meeting all day to come to an agreement as the possibility of a faculty strike looms large for students and others at Western.

In the event of a strike, which could begin at midnight tonight, all classes, with only a few exceptions, will be cancelled. Continuing Studies programming and some clinical classes in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry would continue. Labs, tutorials, tests and mid-term exams will also be cancelled.

"Our goal is to try to give our community as much information as we can about what they can expect in the event of a labour disruption,” said Helen Connell, Associate Vice-President of Communications & Public Affairs. “As soon as we have any new information we can share we will post it on Western’s homepage. Our negotiations website will have more detailed information as well as answers to dozens of frequently asked questions, specifically aimed at different groups on campus."

Students can be alerted to any updates posted to the negotiations website by joining Western’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

If there is a strike, a labour relations phone line for students and parents will be also be available. A special email address specifically for labour-related questions is also being established. It is labour-questions@uwo.ca.

"Some questions may be difficult to answer," says Connell, who explains that contingency plans, exam and test rescheduling and timetables will all depend on the length of a strik." 

"We will do our very best to provide answers where we can, and reassure people that as we are able to provide more detailed information, we will do so."

Although students will not be attending classes if there is a faculty labour disruption, plans are in progress for programming. Collaborative efforts are underway with Housing, the Student Success Centre, the University Students' Council and Athletics. Those activities may include information sessions on learning, wellness, leadership, off-campus housing, careers and resume writing; community service learning experiences; sports tournaments; coffee houses; films; guest speakers, etc.  

Should there be a strike tomorrow, it is expected that traffic flow entering the university will be slower than normal. Members of the community who are not travelling to Western would be advised to stay away from the university. Those coming to campus should give themselves extra time.

Negotiations with The University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) will continue on Thursday, Nov. 4, and a meeting with members is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 5 afternoon. UWOSA will be in a strike position as of 12:01 on Thursday, Nov. 4.

November 1, 2010. Alternate LTC Routes to Campus

In the event of a labour disruption at Western, London Transit buses will not enter Western property. Visit Alternative Routes to Campus for a list of alternative routes to campus that will be in effect in the event of a strike which may begin on Wednesday November 3, 2010.

Please note all regular bus stops on the roads surrounding campus (Western Road, Richmond Street, and Windermere Road) will run normally during a labour disruption, and LTC buses will travel to London Health Sciences Centre (University Hospital site). Aboutown Buses serving affiliated university colleges have notified Western they will not be will not be crossing picket lines on campus. For alternate Aboutown Shuttle Bus routes for the Affiliated University Colleges, please visit this page.

October 29, 2010. Information on Western Libraries

Students have been inquiring about access to Western Libraries in the event of a possible labour disruption. The following outlines how services would be impacted.

UWOFA (faculty) labour disruption:
In the event of a labour disruption by UWOFA, Western Libraries will continue to operate and provide services to students.

UWOSA (staff) labour disruption:
Online access to information resources will continue to be offered to students through the library website. Libraries will also continue to offer study space and in-library services although these will be limited during a UWOSA labour disruption. Revised hours of operation for each location will be posted on the library website when this information becomes available.

October 26, 2010

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA)
UWOFA has established a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on November 3. Talks are continuing however, with negotiation meetings scheduled before November 3, including meetings with a provincially-appointed mediator November 1 and 2.

The University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA)
Negotiations have been continuing and further talks are scheduled for November 1 and 4, the latter with a provincially-appointed conciliator. UWOSA will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. on November 4.

The potential for labour disruptions is of concern to the entire Western community. In order to respond to questions people have about how a strike might impact them, Western has developed several "frequently asked question" lists for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty and staff. (see right-hand side of this web page).

Members of the campus community can also receive updates via Facebook and Twitter.

We understand and regret the anxiety these negotiations are causing, and commit to continue to work with both UWOFA and UWOSA to reach agreements and limit any disruption for our students and the broader campus community.

October 24, 2010. President's message to students, faculty and staff

Labour negotiations that are underway, with impending strike deadlines for both the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) and the University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA), are of great concern to our entire campus community.

UWOFA has established a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on November 3, 2010. Contract talks continue with five negotiation meetings scheduled prior to November 3, including meetings with the provincially appointed mediator November 1 and 2.

While UWOSA has yet to announce a strike deadline, the union could be in a legal position to call a strike on 12:01 a.m. on November 4, 2010. Negotiations are continuing with UWOSA and a provincially appointed conciliator is involved in assisting the two sides to reach a settlement.

As President, I want to assure you that everything possible is being done to avoid a work disruption and to achieve negotiated settlements that are responsible and appropriate, and that will continue to enable Western to recruit and retain the highest calibre faculty and staff.

Western does not negotiate in public, respecting our collectively organized groups by holding discussions at the table where both sides can work together to resolve differences and find common ground. It is out of respect for the negotiating process that I am not going to discuss matters that properly belong at the bargaining table. On behalf of Western's faculty negotiating team, however, I want to clarify that tenure and academic freedom are at the heart of what it means to be a university and these two central values are not – and nor have they ever been – up for negotiation.

Given the current circumstances, I want to assure you that the University is placing its highest priority on ensuring undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral scholars, will all have the opportunity to successfully achieve their academic goals. While I remain confident that settlements can be achieved in our negotiations, in the interests of our students the University has developed contingency plans should they be required in the event of a work disruption involving either UWOSA or UWOFA.

We know students and other members of our campus community have many questions about how a potential labour disruption could impact them and we will be providing answers to many of these questions early this week and posting them on Western's homepage. We will be continually updating this site as answers become available.

I sincerely believe that all the parties involved are fully committed to bargaining in good faith and are making every effort to reach a settlement. You can keep up-to-date on the progress of negotiations through our contract negotiations website at http://communications.uwo.ca/contract_negotiations/index.htm, join Western's official Facebook page www.facebook.com/theuniversityofwesternontario or by following @westernu on Twitter.

Sincerely,
Amit Chakma
President & Vice-Chancellor

October 22, 2010. UWOFA sets strike deadline - negotiations continue

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) has established a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on November 3, 2010. Contract talks continue with five negotiation meetings scheduled prior to November 3, including meetings with the provincially-appointed mediator November 1 and 2.


Western remains cautiously optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be achieved, avoiding a labour disruption.  However, the University has contingency plans in place to ensure undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars have the opportunity to successfully complete their academic goals.


Significant headway has been made thus far in the negotiations with agreement reached on a number of non-monetary items.  Among the items to be resolved are mechanisms for addressing cases where peer review has established deficiencies in performance, conflict of interest, and compensation. Western administration continues to seek a settlement that recognizes the importance of tenure and the academic freedom to teach and pursue research and knowledge of a faculty member’s choosing.

Tentative agreement reached with graduate teaching assistants
The University of Western Ontario and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 610 are pleased to announce that tentative agreement has been reached on a new 2 year contract for over 1,900 Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs).

PSAC Local 610 and Western representatives have been negotiating a new collective agreement since last summer to replace the previous four-year contract that expired on August 31, 2010.

"Our Graduate Teaching Assistants play an important role at Western, and this agreement recognizes the value of the responsibilities they carry," said Linda Miller, Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

"I am very pleased that through the diligence of the negotiating team we were able to bring back an agreement to the membership worth their consideration," said Alison Braley, President GTA Union.

The agreement will go to the union membership for ratification on November 1 & 2. Further details regarding location and time for ratification meetings will be forth coming from the union.

October 14, 2010. Faculty union requests "no board" report

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) and University administration are continuing negotiations and have several meetings set in the coming weeks. On October 13, UWOFA informed administration that they have requested a "no board" report from the Minister of Labour, putting the union in a legal strike position during the first week of November.

Western administration remains fully committed to reaching an appropriate and responsible negotiated settlement with UWOFA and will continue to bargain in good faith in order to reach an agreement. However, contingency plans have been developed which would be implemented in the event a labour disruption appears imminent.

UWOFA represents about 1,700 full- and part-time faculty members at Western. Their last contract expired June 30, 2010.

Update - October 13, 2010

UWOSA moves to set time for possible labour action

The University of Western Ontario has been in negotiations with the University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) since the end of May working to achieve a new collective agreement.

UWOSA represents about 1,000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. Their last contract expired on June 30, 2010.

Currently, the University and UWOSA are continuing negotiations and will be meeting with the conciliator October 14 and November 4. At the same time, UWOSA has requested a "no board" report from the Ministry of Labour, which will establish a firm date for a legal strike.

While the University remains committed to the negotiation process and a negotiated settlement remains possible, the University is also putting a number of plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to students and the Western community should a labour disruption occur.

All University employees who are not members of UWOSA will be required to report to work as usual in the event of a labour disruption by UWOSA and students will be required to attend all classes and exams as usual.

UWOSA members play an important role in achieving the academic and research mission of the University, and Western's administration is hopeful an agreement will be reached.

Update - October 7, 2010

UWOSA members vote in favour of strike mandate

Members of the University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) have voted in favour of authorizing their union to call a strike. Voting took place Oct 5 and 6 with 95 per cent of UWOSA members in favour of strike action. Voter turnout was about 72 per cent of eligible staff.

UWOSA represents about 1,000 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. Their last contract expired on June 30, 2010.

Holding a strike vote is normal in the process of collective bargaining and does not necessarily mean there will be a strike.

Western's administration remains committed to working with UWOSA to reach a negotiated settlement, and both sides are set to meet with a provincially-appointed conciliator on October 8 and 14.

UWOSA members play an important role in achieving the academic and research mission of the University, and Western's administration is hopeful an agreement will be reached.

Update - October 4, 2010

UWOFA members vote in favour of strike mandate

Members of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) have voted in favour of authorizing their union to call a strike. Voting took place on Sept 29, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 with 87 per cent of UWOFA members in favour of strike action. Voter turnout was 57 per cent of eligible faculty.

UWOFA represents about 1,700 full-and part-time faculty members at Western. Their last contract expired June 30, 2010.

The University's administration were not surprised by the results of the vote and remain optimistic that a negotiated settlement can be achieved. Further meetings with UWOFA and the conciliator are scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13.

Western administration appreciates the importance of tenure and the academic freedom to teach and pursue research and knowledge of a faculty member's choosing.

September 28, 2010

UWOSA sets strike vote date

The University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) will hold a strike vote on Tuesday, October 5 and Wednesday, October 5.

UWOSA represents about 1,100 employees engaged in administrative and technical roles across the University. Their last contract expired on June 30, 2010.

Holding a strike vote is normal in the process of collective bargaining and does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. However, if the vote passes, UWOSA would be in a position to call a strike without returning to the membership for authorization.

Talks between UWOSA and Western's administration began in May. Two meetings with a conciliator have been scheduled in October.

Western's administration is committed to achieving a successful collective agreement with UWOSA that will enable the University to continue to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff, and fulfill Western's teaching and research mission while providing an outstanding academic experience for students.

September 22, 2010

UWOFA sets strike vote dates for faculty

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) is to hold a strike vote.

The strike vote will be held on September 29, 30 and October 1 at rotating polling stations on campus.

UWOFA represents about 1,700 full- and part-time faculty members at Western. Their last contract expired June 30, 2010.

What does a strike vote mean?

Holding a strike vote is normal in the process of collective bargaining and does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. However, if the vote passes, UWOFA would be in a position to call a strike without returning to the membership for authorization.

Are talks continuing?

Talks between UWOFA and Western's administration are scheduled to resume October 5, and continue in the presence of a Labour Board Conciliation Officer later in October.

Western's administration remains committed to achieving a successful collective agreement that will enable the University to continue to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff, and fulfill Western's teaching and research mission while providing an outstanding academic experience for students.

August 24, 2010

Negotiations with University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) resumed Aug. 17 after breaking for a summer recess. At UWOFA’s request, the Ministry of Labour has appointed a conciliator, whose role it is to work with both parties to try to reach a collective agreement.

A conciliator has also been appointed to assist in negotiations with University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA) and we are waiting to hear from the conciliator on meeting dates.

Negotiations with Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 610, which represents Western’s Graduate Teaching Assistants, resumed August 9.

Negotiations to achieve a first contract with PSAC Local 611, representing the Postdoctoral Associates, are scheduled to resume in September.

Discussions with the Professional and Managerial Association (PMA) to achieve a new agreement are expected to begin this fall.

At the provincial level, the Ontario government held the first of what will be a three-phase consultation process with employers and bargaining agents in the broader public sector. The first phase, which commenced Aug. 9 in Toronto, involved consultations with universities and the bargaining agents for faculty members. The next phase is scheduled to begin Aug. 30. The full schedule for the consultations can be found on the Ministry of Finance website: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ontariobudgets/2010/faq.html

As background, last March the Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan introduced the Public Sector Compensation Restraint to Protect Public Services Act that created a two-year compensation freeze for employees in the broader public sector, including universities. While employees who negotiate collectively were not included in the legislated compensation freeze, on July 20 Minister Duncan reaffirmed his government’s desire that any new collective agreements should include a two-year freeze in net compensation. The consultations are intended to assist employers and bargaining agents to create a framework for local negotiations that would see no net increase in compensation for a two-year period.

July 20, 2010

Remarks To Broader Public Sector Partners On Compensation by Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister Of Finance

July 19, 2010


The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has distributed a memorandum regarding Public Sector Compensation Restraint. The memo includes information regarding the government's position on compensation increases for both bargaining and non-bargaining employees.

Which employee groups have contracts that will expire in 2010, or are in the process of negotiating a first contract?

  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (PSAC Local 610)
  • Operating Engineers (IUOE Local 772)
  • Postdoctoral Associates (PSAC Local 661)
  • Professional & Managerial Association (PMA)
  • Select Administrative Group Employees (SAGE)
  • University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA)
  • University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA)

Details on who is represented by each of these collective bargaining units, and the terms of each of their current contracts