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2023 L&A Bargaining

Meet your Librarians and Archivists

Strike Frequently Asked Questions

The UWOFA negotiating team, led by Johanna Weststar, has been in negotiations with Western’s administration for a new collective agreement since May. The Parties were engaged in productive and collegial bargaining throughout the process. However, it is the Employer’s refusal to commit to appropriate Human Resource planning or to adequately compensate Librarians and Archivists for their important work, that has brought things to the point where we must now actively prepare for a potential labour disruption. When we broke for the summer it had already become clear that the Employer was immovable regarding a number of our key issues, including complement and a fair monetary package, and as result we requested to have a conciliator appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. When we returned after this two-month break, we hoped to see some movement in the Employer’s position, but none was forthcoming, leading us to conclude that bargaining was at an impasse.

A strike vote was then held from September 13-14 and 100% of ballots cast were YES votes, empowering the UWOFA Board to authorize strike action, should it become necessary. The negotiating team also asked Paul Pooler to file a “No Board” report with the Ministry of Labour – this was filed on September 17th, resulting in UWOFA’s Librarian and Archivist Bargaining Unit being in a legal strike position as of 12:01 am on October 4th. We have set this date as a strike deadline, unless a settlement is reached or seems imminent. .

While UWOFA continues to bargain in good faith with the goal of reaching a fair and equitable collective agreement for all Librarians and Archivists, we are also preparing for a strike or lockout. Strike preparedness sends a strong message to the Employer about the unity and conviction of Members in the Bargaining Unit. It also sends an unequivocal message that the membership stands behind its negotiating team.

These guidelines represent policy adopted by the UWOFA Board of Directors; they represent what your Board is expecting of all Bargaining Unit members. The decision to honour or break a strike is the individual’s own. This is something that neither the Association nor the Administration can decide for you.

This FAQ is also a working document, which is subject to changes as necessitated by the duration of a potential strike action. Please check back for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions for Librarians and Archivists can be found on sync.

Want to get involved?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Post about why Collective Bargaining matters to you on social media – tag UWOFA and the university in your posts: Twitter: @uwofa1 @westernu @westernuProvost; Facebook: @UWOFA, @Western University; Instagram: @uwofaco, @westernuniversity


  • Librarians and Archivists at @westernU fight to:

    ✔ ensure access to cutting edge information technologies

    ✔ protect the integrity of our libraries

    ✔ ensure access to quality resources

    ✔ maintain their top-ranked contribution to new scholarship

  • Librarians and Archivists @westernU are still fighting for two important bargaining goals – complement (increasing the number of L&As) and a fair monetary package. Workloads and student to Librarian and Archivist ratios are at an all time high. We need more L&As at Western!
  • Does your work as a faculty member or student include access to in-depth, subject-specific research and learning?If you answered YES, SUPPORT your Librarians and Archivists @westernU who make it all possible.
  • Between 2021 and 2022 the number of consultations related to open publishing increased by 80% while the number of librarians and archivists remained the same. We need more L&As at @westernU
  • Western wants to increase student enrolment to 50,000 by 2030, but they won’t commit to the proportionate complement of librarians and archivists required to adequately support teaching, learning and research. We need more L&As at @westernU!
  • Librarians and Archivist are paid less @westernu than at other comparable universities in the province.

Go to our Take Action page and send the letter!

UWOFA is looking for members to be featured in a short video highlighting the important work of Librarians and Archivists and their concerns as we head into collective bargaining.

Each video will be a maximum of 60 seconds and will be posted to our Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts, as well as our website.

If a member would like to participate, but prefer not to appear on video, we can take a photo instead and post it with a caption.

Please contact UWOFA Communications Officer, Maram Hijazi, to arrange a time to have your video or photo taken.

If you want to get involved in building support for our UWOFA bargaining goals, please contact our Mobilization Chair, David Heap.

Download and print posters, change your Zoom background, and find FAQ slides to share with your students on the L&A Resources page!

Bargaining Timeline