Students in the dark about Western faculty strike vote

Just weeks into a new school year, Western University and its roughly 1,650 faculty members are locked in a contractdispute, with faculty taking a strike vote among its members.

But if there’s potential for labour disruption, it’s news to many students still easing into their new academic routines.

“We literally had no clue,” said Melissa Trueman, a fifth year student at the university. “Students are trying to accomplish a goal but they can’t do it if their professors are on strike.

“On the other side professors work hard and they deserve what they deserve. If they told us about this, we could see their side more.”

Several students said they couldn’t comment on something about which they had no information.

“The student body doesn’t know much right now,” said student Emi Roni.

Faculty are working under the terms of their previous four-year contract, which ended on June 30.

Results of the strike vote are not expected until after the polls close next Wednesday.

According to Dan Belliveau, president of University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA), a strike vote is a way for membership to indicate their support for the negotiating team and their stand on the issues.

It is also gives the bargaining team leverage at the bargaining table.

Potentially, faculty may consider other kinds of labour action such as rotating strikes, one-day strikes or work to rule, he said.

Key issues are compensation and benefits for all faculty members, and job security for contract and part-time faculty.

Belliveau said a wage increase of an average 1.1 per cent a year is below the inflation rate.

“Effectively, it amounts to a pay cut over the life of the collective agreement,” he said.

Earlier this year, both sides filed to have a conciliator, or mediator, from the Ministry of Labour assist with negotiations.

“One hasn’t been assigned yet,” said Helen Connell, associate vice-president of communications and public affairs.

Connell said a strike vote isn’t unusual during contract talks.

“It’s a very common process for a union to hold a strike vote as part of their negotiations,” Connell said. “We remain optimistic we will reach a settlement. Everyone is working hard to get there.”

Belliveau agreed a strike vote is a tool of collective bargaining.

“It’s premature to say what the future of negotiations are,” he said.

According to their website, UWOFA has approximately $4.9 million in reserve to pay members in the event of a strike.

In addition, the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ defense fund contributes $84, tax free, each calendar day for each member after the first three days of a strike. UWOFA’s board can decide to top up this amount.
Students in the dark Western faculty strike vote
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A young man has been knifed repeatedly in a horrific broad daylight attack outside a north London station. Police and paramedics were called to the scene in Kentish Townshortly after 3pm on Monday. They found a 20-year-old man suffering from stab injuries. He was rushed to hospital. Video footage posted on social media showed a police cordon in place on Prince of Wales Road, next to Kentish Town West station. Former Camden councillor Matt Sanders said on T...
A "jealous" husband who murdered his estranged wife after she rejected the offer of spending "one last" night with him has been jailed for 16 years. Martin Cavanagh, of Chatterton Road, Bromley, was handed the jail term on Monday at the Old Bailey after being found guilty of murder by a jury - writes The court heard the 35-year-old was “controlling and possessive” towards victim Sophie Cavanagh, 31. Jurors were told he sabotaged her
A man who survived 12 years in a children's home blighted by a "paedophile ring" told a public inquiry how he cowered under his bed most nights as he called on the council who ran it to apologise to him directly. Paul Connolly, 56, spent 12 years living at St Leonard's Children's Home in Hornchurch while staff routinely attacked boys in their care. Mr Connolly this week told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse how he arrived just before his eig...
U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Farm Bill that drops a proposal to tighten food stamps restrictions backed by President Donald Trump, and are looking to vote on it this week, according to congressional staffers. Attendees wait in line to enter the 2018 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, U.S., August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jordan Gale The agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the crucial piece of legislation caps a months-long bitter deb...
Historic black and white images give a glimpse inside London's abandoned central London Tube stations which still survive to this day. Londoners are being given the chance to explore inside sealed-off stations including Aldwych and the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross this winter. Though all tickets for these stations were snapped up within hours of being released, additional tours are expected next year. Remarkable photographs show the escalators lead...
Protesters will march through central London for a pro-Brexit rally backed by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and Ukip's leader. Several thousand people are expected to descend on the streets of the capital this Sunday to demand that there is no “betrayal” over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The rally will take place just three days before parliament’s crucial vote on Theresa May's deal. Almost 4,000 people have said they are going o...
Westminster council has launched an inquiry into discrimination and “body-shaming” at nightclubs in the heart of the capital. Officials have revealed a “task group” has been created to look into the problem following recent reports of discriminatory door policies, including at exclusive clubs in areas such as Mayfair. Body image and anti-discrimination campaigners today welcomed the move after a series of cases of alleged racism and “fat-shaming” were high...
A teenager has been stabbed to death in south-east London. Police were called at about 21:40 GMT to Topham House in Prior Street, Greenwich, following reports a man was unresponsive after being stabbed. The 18-year-old died at the scene. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death and taken to a police station for questioning. More than 120 murder investigations have been launched across London this year. Image captionPolice have cordo...
Thames Water said the Beast from the East and summer heatwave had an impact on its ability to meet leakage targets as it reported interim pre-tax profits crashing to £67.7 million from £218.5 million a year ago. The water company also revealed the extreme weather sent complaints soaring as it battled supply interruptions, with written customer complaints jumping to 11,083 in the half-year to September 30 from 8,242 a year earlier. Thames Water was ordered...