UWOFA Bargaining Bulletin – Vol. 8, No. 7
July 21, 2022
November 2nd, 2018
No one wants a strike at Western. Please rest assured that UWOFA, your professors’ association, is working as hard as we can to avoid one. A strike deadline of November 9, 2018 has been set, but UWOFA and Western Admin are still negotiating and will be doing so right up to the deadline or a settlement is reached. If a deal seems likely, the deadline can also be deferred or delayed.
We know talk of a strike causes students a lot of anxiety, so we’ve prepared a set of answers to frequently asked questions here.
Remember: Western administration does not ‘own’ the university. Students, librarians and archivists, staff, and faculty comprise the heart of Western.
Q: What are the issues?
We are working on two main issues this round of bargaining: job security for contract faculty members and compensation that keeps pace with the rate of inflation.
Q: How do these issues affect students?
The quality of your education is deeply connected to the working conditions of your professors. We work to protect and enhance our working conditions at Western but doing this protects and enhances your learning conditions.
Job security for contract faculty and fair compensation for all faculty members can only improve the quality of your education at Western.
Q: What is UWOFA fighting for?
UWOFA is alarmed that Western has abandoned its core mission of high-quality teaching and research and failed to reinvest in its front line people. We are fighting for job security for contract faculty and appropriate compensation for all faculty members.
Q: How will the strike affect me?
Classes will almost certainly be cancelled in the event of a strike. Your professors will not be coming on to campus for office hours and will likely not be available on email or on OWL. Although UWOFA regrets the very real disruption in your academic year that a strike may entail, all of this is done in the long-term interests of improving the quality of education at Western.
Q: What will it involve?
You will see pickets lines at university main entrances. These picket lines will not prevent access to the university grounds. Please feel free to stop and chat with professors on the picket lines. If you want, you can even join us!
Q: How long will it last?
The length of the possible strike will be determined by progress at the bargaining table. This necessarily involves both our Employer (UWO administration) and UWOFA.
Q: Who makes the decision about my exams and academic year?
All issues to do with academic accommodation for missed classes and exams will be determined by the administration. Please contact the president and provost directly.
Graduate students will most certainly have other unanswered questions.
Most likely, but please check with your union, PSAC 610, for clarification.
No. According to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS), graduate classes will be cancelled and supervision of graduate students by faculty members will be interrupted.
If thesis exams are postponed into the next term as a result of a strike, students will not be required to pay tuition for that term.
Yes. According to SGPS, graduate students will continue to receive their funding during a faculty strike.
Student accommodations have been made during strikes at other Canadian universities for such things as grant deadlines and other program milestones. However, these questions can only be answered by the senior UWO administration, including SGPS, Deans and Associate Deans. We recommend you ask them directly.
Q: Is there anything I can do?
Tell the Administration that you are concerned about the erosion of quality of education at Western, and support UWOFA by going here to send an email to President Amit Chakma, Chair of the Board of Governors Paul Jenkins, and the Provost Andy Hrymak.
You may also want to contact your student leaders.
Q: How can I stay updated on the status of contract negotiations?
Check out uwofa.ca, and our Bargaining Bulletins: www.uwofa.ca/news/bargaining-bulletins-faculty