Strike averted

Faculty, admin reach tentative agreement

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A faculty strike has been avoided after a tentative faculty collective agreement was reached in late December between the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association and the Western administration.

“This is good news for Western,” said Fred Longstaffe, Western’s provost and VP-academic.

The Faculty Association set Feb. 5 as a strike date if an agreement wasn’t reached between the negotiating teams. On Nov. 21 and 22, Western faculty voted 87.7 per cent in favour of giving the UWOFA the mandate to strike if necessary. Both sides must now ratify the agreement.

Longstaffe said the teams worked hard over the past few months. The agreement was made Dec. 22.

Kim Clarke, president of UWOFA, said both teams attended five days of conciliation in December. On the sixth day it was clear the two sides could come to an agreement on their own.

“I am pleased with the settlement,” Clarke said. “It’s not perfect but it deals with many of our most important concerns.”

“I would like to congratulate the [negotiating teams] on their collegial, problem-solving approach and the incredible efforts of both teams,” Longstaffe said.

The terms of the agreement won’t be released until the deal is ratified. The strike will be avoided if both parties ratify the agreement.

The UWOFA is holding its next meeting Jan. 16 and has scheduled five days of voting for the faculty members starting next Wednesday and running through the following Tuesday.

Western’s Board of Governors will review the agreement at its next meeting Jan. 25.

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