UWOFA strike vote: Frequently asked questions - Vol. 7 No. 9

Last week, UWOFA announced that a strike vote will be held for members of the faculty Bargaining Unit. Please see below for some frequently asked questions about the strike vote process. For more details about the process and, most importantly, the issues that remain on the table, please plan to attend a Bargaining Unit meeting on Thursday, September 20 at 9:30 a.m. in the Law Building, Room 52.

What is a strike vote?

A strike vote is a way for the membership to indicate their support for the work of the negotiating team and their stand on the issues.

What does a “yes” vote mean?

Voting “yes” expresses your support for the team and gives them more leverage at the table during conciliation because it provides the association with the ability to call a strike.

What does a “no” vote mean?

Voting “no” indicates your desire that the negotiating team accept what is already on offer from the administration.

Are we on strike after a “yes” strike vote?

No. A strong “yes” vote does not mean we automatically go on strike. Any decision to go out on strike has to be made by the UWOFA Board of Directors on the recommendation of the negotiating team, and will come only after all other options have been exhausted. The Board may also consider other kinds of labour action (rotating strikes, one-day strikes, work to rule) if/when there appears to be no other way to reach an agreement.

Can I vote online?

Only if you have already registered to vote online because you are away from campus or cannot for other reasons. Otherwise, as a show of solidarity, voting takes place in person at designated places and times around campus from September 20-21 and September 24-26.

Is there a second vote to go on strike?

No. A positive strike vote delegates authority to the Board to decide based on the recommendation of the negotiating team.

What issues remain unresolved?

Crucial issues that remain and will be addressed during conciliation are compensation and benefits for all faculty members, and job security for contract faculty. For more detail please read past Bargaining Bulletins. 

What happens if conciliation fails?

If the conciliation process fails to produce a result, both sides can continue to bargain without the presence of a conciliator, or either side can ask that the conciliator file a “no board” report stating that they are at an impasse. A strike or lockout is legally possible 17 days after the report is filed, but it is important to remember that neither is required. The two sides can keep trying to reach a deal after a “no board” report has been filed.

Is UWOFA financially prepared?

Yes. UWOFA has approximately $4.9 million in reserve to pay our members in the event of a strike. In addition, the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ (CAUT) Defense Fund contributes $84 tax free per calendar day for each member after the first three days of a strike. UWOFA’s Board can decide to top up this amount.