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Librarians & Archivists: Bargaining Bulletin Vol. 6, No. 17

July 18th, 2023


Conciliation: Explainer

UWOFA has now filed a request with the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer to assist us with negotiations. The UWOFA Board of Directors and the Negotiating Team hope that this will help to ensure that a fair and equitable collective agreement can be negotiated, particularly as we have now reached an impasse with the Employer regarding any commitment to maintain or increase complement and they have signalled that they have no mandate to increase the monetary offer currently on the table.    

Conciliation is the next step in the collective bargaining process, whereby a third party can help the two sides reach an agreement. 

What is Conciliation?

Conciliation is a necessary step in the legal labour relations framework in Ontario before either party can engage in labour action.The Ontario Ministry of Labour appoints a third party who acts as a facilitator between the two parties in order to try to reach a negotiated settlement. Your Negotiating Team believes that the request for conciliation will help focus discussions and support efforts to bring about a fair contract.

What is the role of a conciliator? 

The role of the conciliator is to confer with both parties and endeavour to reach a collective agreement. The conciliator has no authority to impose a settlement.

The appointment of a conciliator does not signal an unwillingness to negotiate. In recent years, conciliation has been a normal part of collective bargaining. It is a service provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour at no cost and it is aimed at facilitating an agreement.

What’s next?

There are three paths to a collective agreement using conciliation services:

  1. The two parties could come to an agreement through conciliation.

  2. The parties could agree to continue with negotiations without third-party assistance after some conciliation sessions with the possibility of returning to conciliation at a later time.

  3. The conciliator could file a “no board” report if it’s determined that the two sides are unable to reach an agreement.

    • 17 days after the conciliator files a “no board” report with the Ministry of Labour, a lockout or strike is legally possible.

In all cases, your Negotiating Team will continue to work hard at the table to achieve a fair and equitable collective agreement and defend the university’s core mission of quality teaching and research.


While your team encourages everyone to enjoy their summer, we ask that everyone – librarians, archivists and faculty members – start voicing your concerns where the Employer can see and hear them. We need you to play your part to keep the conversation going and build momentum for the next phase of negotiations.

Get loud on social media by making your own posts or sharing ours:

  • Make sure to tag us! 

    • Twitter: @westernu @westernuProvost @uwofa1

    • Facebook: @UWOFA, @Western University

    • Instagram: @uwofaco, @westernuniversity

  • You can also find videos of Librarians & Archivists discussing bargaining goals on our YouTube channel: @uwofacultyassociation6710

Utilise resources like social media profile pics and Zoom backgrounds provided in the shared Sync folder (also available here on the website). 

Get in touch with UWOFA’s Communications Officer ( to make a short video recording expressing a message of support, which would then be posted to social media.

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

**Please Note: There will be a pause in Bargaining Bulletins until next month when negotiations resume. Look for our next update in late August.