WLUFA and WLU continue bargaining
There have been minimal updates on the negotiations for a collective agreement between the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) and Wilfrid Laurier University.
On Nov. 7, the university announced they would file for conciliation with WLUFA, which is a process by which a union can ask the Ministry of Labour for help in resolving their differences in order to reach an agreement.
In October, WLUFA members also voted 95 per cent in favour of authorizing a strike, should it become necessary.
Michele Kramer, president of WLUFA, said if a strike should occur, there is a chance of interruption to classes.
According to Kramer, it all depends on when a conciliator is appointed and when the conciliation is scheduled. In order to authorize a strike, employees from the bargaining unit have to vote in favour of a strike and all parties must have participated in a conciliation, as said on the official university website.
Kramer also confirmed they have been assigned a conciliator.
Kevin Crowley, communications and public affairs, noted that contract talks continue between the university and the union representing Contract Academic Staff (CAS). On Nov. 15, the two bargaining teams met again, which results in a total of 23 meetings since negotiations for a collective agreement began on May 16. While progress has been made since the beginning of negotiations, Crowley said the university is now waiting to confirm meeting dates with the conciliator.
“Conciliation is a normal part of the collective-bargaining process and allows the parties to engage a neutral third party to assist them in coming to an agreement,” he said via email.
While a conciliator has been called in and meeting dates will soon be scheduled, Crowley said the university remains hopeful that a new collective agreement can be reached with CAS.
“The university values its CAS members and seeks to negotiate a fair and equitable contract that aligns with student needs, market standards and financial realities,” he said.
More information about the negotiations will be provided in the upcoming weeks.