Volume 91, Issue 81

Wednesday, March 4, 1998



Western's faculty to vote on unionization this week

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

Western's faculty will be hitting the polls today and tomorrow to decide if they will certify and become a union.

Last week the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to become the legally recognized bargaining unit for faculty members. The OLRB will conduct the ratification vote at various locations around campus over the next two days and UWOFA could join universities such as Queen's, York and Laurier as a unionized body.

UWOFA President Andrew Osler said he is hoping his colleagues will see the benefits of certification. He said he believes it will be a good thing for professors and students, as being unionized would improve negotiating status with Western's administration.

The faculty association had to obtain 40 per cent of the expected member base to support certification and Osler said they ended up way beyond that number.

The UWOFA and administration's negotiations for a comprehensive agreement broke off in October after ongoing talks in the summer. Executive members of association believe they must take the certification avenue in order to reach a beneficial agreement.

In a letter written to faculty members, VP-academic Greg Moran and VP-administration Peter Mercer said unionization does not offer an easy solution to current problems facing the university such as decreases in funding. Administration members have maintained that certification is not the answer to negotiation problems.

Voting will take place in the main foyer of University College as well as two other locations still to be decided.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998