Strike Averted – UWOFA-LA has signed Tentative Agreement
October 4, 2023
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.
✔ 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
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.
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.
UWOFA gives official Notice to Bargain.
UWOFA and the Employer have now held five housekeeping meetings. Bargaining meeting dates scheduled.
UWOFA and the Employer begin bargaining.
UWOFA has now filed a request with the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer to assist us with negotiations.
Paul Pooler has been appointed as conciliator for our negotiations by the Ministry of Labour.
Strike Averted! The Negotiating Team has now signed a tentative agreement with the Employer and recommends that the UWOFA-LA Membership ratify this deal.
The Librarians and Archivists bargaining unit ratified a new four-year collective agreement!