Harris gives private U's thumbs up
Galleria welcomes 2,400 new jobs
UWOFA, admin wrap up a deal
Knife proposal seeks mandatory jail-time
Feds give prof $50,000 for stripper hunt
Ontario pollution hits all time high
U of T Bookstore hits the picket lines
Where have all the Christians gone?
UWOFA, admin wrap up a deal
By Aaron Wherry
Western faculty and administration may finally be seeing eye to eye, having concluded their last period of contract talks towards a first ever contract settlement.
This past Wednesday and yesterday, faculty members voted on whether to accept the proposed contract from Western's administration, said University of Western Ontario Faculty Association president Eddie Ebanks.
If, as expected, faculty members give the contract their approval, UWOFA and Western administration will finally put an end to three years of negotiations, Ebanks said.
After an initial period of conciliation, which ran from May 15th to 16th, UWOFA and administration agreed to meet again May 23 with a government conciliator, in order to put the finishing touches on the faculty association's first contract with the university.
Ebanks said this last day of negotiation was successful and a tentative agreement was reached.
He explained information meetings have been held with members to inform them of the contract particulars and the results of the voting will be announced sometime today.
Ebanks said the faculty association has recommended its members approve the current agreement, but added the proposed contract does give the group one thing they were originally looking for equal pay compared to faculty associations at other schools.
"We have not achieved [salary parity] in terms of salary for current members," he said. "But for those faculty members coming in the future [salaries] will be closer to parity."
David Estok, Western's director of communications and public affairs, who spoke on behalf of administration, said the university was eagerly awaiting the vote results.
"At this point we think we've put together a fair contract and we're pleased the faculty association has recommended it to its members," he said. "We're anxious to see how the membership feels."
Western associate professor of sociology Douglas Baer, said the current contract proposal was the best that could be achieved without the threat of labour action on campus.
"The question faculty had to face was whether or not they wanted to disrupt campus over the issues of money," he said, adding he believed reaction towards the contract would be mixed among faculty members.
Assistant professor of political science Ian Brodie, said the core issues of salary still needed to be addressed. "This contract doesn't do anything in terms of competitiveness with other universities," he said.
Despite the shortcomings, Brodie said it was encouraging negotiations had finally ended. "I'm personally relieved the negotiations are over."
Dave Braun, University Students' Council president, said the USC is happy faculty members are getting the necessary support they deserve.