UWOFA schedules strike vote - Vol. 7 No. 7

On the recommendation of your negotiating team, UWOFA’s Board of Directors has authorized a strike vote to be held from September    20-21 and from September 24-26, prior to the conciliation process.

Why call a strike vote?

At this point in the negotiating process, a strong strike vote is a tool that will give your negotiat­ing team more leverage at the table during the conciliation process; a strike authorization demonstrates to the administration that the membership is behind their negotiating team. Quite simply: voting “yes” expresses support for the team and their efforts, 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 automatically be a strike.

Bargaining Unit meeting

There will be a Bargaining Unit meeting for all members on Thursday, September 20 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Faculty of Law Building, Room 52. Please plan to attend to hear more about the issues and what a strike vote means for faculty negotiations with the university administration. A voting poll will be set up following the discussion and will run until 7 p.m. in the Faculty of Law Building main lobby.

When, Where and How to Vote

Please bring your university ID card or another piece of photo identification with you to the poll.

• Thursday, September 20 following the information meeting until 7 p.m. in the Faculty of Law Building main lobby (as mentioned above)

• Friday, September 21 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Elborn College Room 2120 (UWOFA office)

• Monday, September 24 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Social Science Centre 2nd floor lobby

• Tuesday, September 25, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Middlesex College lobby

• Wednesday, September 26 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Labatt Health Sciences Building lobby

Electronic Voting

E-voting will also be available for those who will be away from the university and away from London during the voting period. 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 8 a.m. on Monday, September 17 with the following information:

  1. your name and faculty/department;
  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 Monday, September 17 with detailed e-vote instructions. 

What are the issues?

Western is in a very strong financial position. The university’s 2017 financial statements report a $139.9-million surplus for the past fiscal year. And yet, some contract faculty have lost their jobs and the administration’s salary proposal fails to keep up with inflation at a time when huge reserves make these choices unnecessary.

Compensation and Benefits

The administration has offered a 1.25% scale increase for all faculty, part-time and full-time, in the first year and 1% in each of the remaining three years. As of 2016, based on the latest available UCASS data, Western sat at 11th place in the province in terms of average full-time salary for its professors. Given recent settlements at other universities (1.5% at Guelph, 1.7% at McMaster, 1.75% at Queen’s, and 2.6% at Waterloo), if the administration’s offer is accepted, Western’s salaries are certain to fall even further behind our comparators’ in the years ahead.

Job security for contract academic staff

The administration has rejected all of UWOFA’s proposals to improve job security for contract academic staff – our colleagues with limited-duties (LD) and limited-term (LT) appointments – including conversions from LD to LT, and from LT to a proposed new continuing teaching appointment (CTA) category.