Bargaining Bulletin: UWOFA Board of Directors Unanimously Approves Conciliation and Strike Vote for Librarians and Archivists, Vol. 5, No. 7

On the recommendation of your Librarians and Archivists’ negotiation team, the Board of Directors of UWOFA has unanimously approved a formal application for conciliation with the Ministry of Labour.

After a full report on the status of the negotiations from our chief negotiator Johanna Weststar, UWOFA’s Board has also authorized a strike vote for the Librarians and Archivists to be held on August 21, 2019 immediately following a Bargaining Unit meeting to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Somerville House, Room 3315 (more details below).

As outlined in the last Bargaining Bulletin, very little progress has been made at the table on significant issues including, complement, workload, workspace, governance, and compensation and benefits. The Employer’s compensation and benefits proposal, which they tabled on July 18, can only be called insulting; it offers even less than the wage cap language contained in Bill 124 that has yet to pass in the Legislature. The rest of the Employer’s proposals do not give the negotiating team confidence that senior administration respects or supports the important work of our librarians and archivists.  

While negotiations with the Employer are now paused for a one-month summer break, they are scheduled to resume on August 19 with additional meetings scheduled for later in the month.

Why call a strike vote?

At this point in the negotiating process, a strong strike vote will give your negotiating team more leverage at the table during conciliation; a strike authorization demonstrates to the administration that the membership is behind their negotiating team. Put simply, voting “yes” expresses support for the team and their efforts to negotiate the best possible deal, while voting “no” effectively signals that you wish the team to accept what is currently on offer from the administration. Voting “yes” does not mean that there will be a strike. Your negotiating team is committed to reaching a fair deal with the administration at the table with the help of a conciliator.

Bargaining Unit Meeting

Your negotiating team will be providing a full update on negotiations at a Bargaining Unit meeting to be held on Wednesday, August 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Somerville House, Room 3315.

When, Where and How to Vote

A strike vote will be held immediately following the Bargaining unit meeting. Please bring your university ID card or another piece of photo identification with you to the poll.

E-voting will also be available for those who will be away from the university and away from London during the vote. Rest assured that the online voting system is secure and that your vote will remain anonymous. To participate in this electronic vote, you must contact the UWOFA office (uwofa [at] uwo [dot] ca) before noon on Tuesday, August 20 with the following information:

1. your name;
2. your employee number, 
3. the email address you are currently using; and
4. the nature of your leave and the reason(s) you are unable to vote on campus.

Those who are placed on the e-vote list will be removed from the paper voters list. They will not be able to cast their ballot in person. These members will receive an email on Wednesday, August 21 with detailed e-vote instructions.

Stay tuned for updates via additional Bargaining Bulletins in the weeks to come.