IUOE Local 772 Operating Engineers on strike at Western!
October 12, 2023
September 26th, 2023
It has been a tumultuous week for many in our campus community, given the announcement about Western’s impending integration with an affiliate college and its manifold implications. While we are now managing this Brescia situation, the L&A negotiations are even more of a priority – read on for critical information about this.
Mark your calendars!
Next Monday, October 2nd, there will be an information meeting for Bargaining Unit members at 10am via Zoom (link to come), followed by a Rally on UC Hill at noon.
We are dismayed that nothing about this decision has been disclosed at the bargaining table. Labour Boards consistently uphold the fact that both parties have an obligation to disclose plans and decisions that could have a material effect on union members. Surely a plan that has implications for complement (one of our key bargaining issues) would qualify as an item requiring disclosure.
If the Employer had been planning to wait until October 3rd (the next time we are at the table) to disclose this information, it would be far too late in the process, given our strike deadline of October 4th, which is only 8 days away.
We can also see from certain elements of this announcement – public commitment to mass job offers and endowment funds – that Western is in a very healthy financial position. This makes the current offers on the table for Librarians and Archivists, and other employee groups, particularly insulting.
As we wait for negotiations to resume, let’s demand respect for our L&A colleagues by calling on our Employer to do the right thing and bring a fair and equitable deal to the table before it’s too late to avert a strike.
Western needs more Librarians and Archivists, and it needs to compensate them fairly. As the events of the last week have shown, they can certainly afford it.
Please keep an eye out for an invitation to picket training – all bargaining unit members are welcome, even if you just want to come and learn about picket protocols. Training is scheduled for this Friday, September 29 @ 1:00pm.
Strike FAQs are now available for:
UWOFA members attended the PSAC 610 Respect Our Research rally on Wednesday September 20th and marched at UC Hill. I gave a speech on the importance of research and education and adequate staffing levels of Librarians and Archivists to support both.
The event was a success as there was a big turnout and we were able to secure volunteers from outside the Bargaining Unit for picketing should we go on strike.
Western’s Board of Governors met on Thursday, September 21st on campus. UWOFA Members packaged a letter along with a compensation comparison table and the Career Trajectory Fund Report to give out to each member of the Board of Governors. Members also printed and delivered 707 emails of support to Provost Florentine Strzelczyk, to remind her of the important work that Librarians and Archivists do and of the substantial community advocacy behind them. But…she forgot to take them with her when she left.
UWOFA attended this year’s homecoming. We distributed over 500 information flyers, buttons, and stickers to a very receptive audience of students, faculty, and alumni in support of Librarians and Archivists who have set a strike deadline for October 4th. Numerous attendees showed their support by sending an email to Western’s administration.
Gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our amazing Librarian and Archivist support campaign so far, but our work is not done. As our strike deadline approaches, we must all continue to fight for our Librarians and Archivists!