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UWOFA Bargaining Bulletin – Vol. 8, No. 7

July 21st, 2022

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Conciliation: Explainer

As you know, the UWOFA Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to file a request with the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer to assist us with negotiations. It is the hope of the BOD and the negotiating team that this will help to ensure that a new collective agreement can be negotiated in a timely manner, particularly as only two days of meetings were scheduled before the summer break.

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?

The Ontario Ministry of Labour appoints a facilitator who may act as a mediator between the two parties in order to try to reach a settlement. Your negotiating team believes that the request for conciliation will help focus discussions and support efforts to bring about an equitable settlement.

What is the role of a conciliator?

The role of the conciliator is to confer with both parties and endeavor 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, nor is it a declaration of an impasse. 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:

  • The two parties could come to an agreement through conciliation.
  • 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.
  • 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, a lockout or strike is legally possible. Your negotiating team continues 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.

Text: Go to uwofa.ca for more information, UWOFA Bargaining Bulletin 2022, What is Conciliation? Twitter: @uwofa1, IMAGE: 4 animated people joining hands

Take Action

While your team encourages everyone to enjoy their summer break, we ask that you continue to voice your concerns to keep the conversation going.

Get loud on social media:

  • Make sure to tag us! Twitter: @westernu @westernuProvost @uwofa1; Facebook: @UWOFA, @Western University; Instagram: @uwofaco, @westernuniversity

Send a letter or an email to the President and Provost (cc uwofa):

  • uwofa@uwo.ca
  • alan.shepard@uwo.ca
  • provostvpa@uwo.ca

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

If you want to get 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 late August when negotiations resume. Look for our next update the week of August 22nd.