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BARGAINING BULLETIN #3

May 4, 2020 “Excellence and Equity for Our Faculty”

The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee have now held five meetings with the employer’s “Negotiating Panel,” for the purpose of renewing our contract since our last bulletin update on March 12. The contract -­­ the “Conditions of Appointment for Faculty” ­­  expired on April 30,  2020.*

Our recent meetings with the employer’s Negotiating Panel have not been productive. While we were very happy to conclude a LOU on the COVID-19 situation with the employer, it was an unnecessarily long and arduous process. The last counter we received came with very short notice via email prior to the meeting.  But it gets worse.  The ‘counter’ was actually not a ‘counter,’ because it did not address our previous positions.  Therefore, we spent the first hour of the meeting in caucus trying to align the two documents. About a third of the employer’s points we could only respond to by noting “see our current counter offer.” Several other points in their document included positions we had agreed to many weeks earlier, and/or their descriptions were at odds with the attached sections and even with their own proposals!  

We cannot say if this is purposeful. If it is not, we have doubts about competency; if it is, we have doubts about good faith. The employer has given us a massive set of proposals (opening more than 129 clauses of the contract). We have been able to agree to about 1/3 of their many proposals and have engaged in a substantive response to all the others. They have responded substantively to only two of our non-monetary proposals. We will likely have more to say about these in the coming week. Instead, they typically conduct this sort of game: they propose two changes that are both problematic for academic success with a caveat, if we accept one, they will withdraw the other.  For example, they propose that the LTA contract should be raised from 3.0 to 4.0 courses a year and offer us in return the removal of a proposal that any faculty member who is denied sabbatical leave or who refuses to take one will have their course load increased to 4.0 courses per year.  And this is not the most worrying response to our non-monetary positions. 

The employer remains very entrenched with respect to certain positions: -increasing restrictions on unpaid leaves of absences
-removing the right of disclosure and due process from the formal investigation process of the discipline clause
-reducing the ability of faculty to grieve the contract and of KUCFA to protect its members and due process           
-reducing benefits to legal minimums and less than sector norms
– removing references to human rights and labour legislation and commissions – reducing parental/adoption benefits and increasing verification processes.

We are committed to obtaining the best deal for our members. We have been working very hard to avoid weakening our contract by collaborating with the employer on many of their proposals. We have yet to see the same sort of mutuality from them, meaning that we have engaged with many of the employer’s proposals while many of ours have been rejected outright. It is important to note that the employer is entrenched in many of their proposals, linking acceptance of our suggestions of improvement to acceptance of their punitive measures. The bargaining environment is exhausting.  We have seven additional meetings scheduled for May. Thank you for taking the time to read this over and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee: Stephanie Bangarth (chief negotiator); Anisha Datta; Adian McFarlane; Pat Ryan and Lesley DePauw.

* For details of the procedures, see “Negotiation Procedures”, Appendix A, page 63 Conditions of Appointment of Faculty

BARGAINING BULLETIN #2

March 17, 2020     “Excellence and Equity for Our Faculty”

The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee held its second meeting with the employer’s “Negotiating  Panel,” including the Chair of the Employee Relations Committee on March 12 for the purpose renewing our contract. The contract -­‐ the “Conditions of Appointment for Faculty” -­‐  is due to expire on April 30,  2020.*

Our recent meeting with the employer’s Negotiating Panel was a constructive one. We agreed to some minor issues and worked on areas where we are finding some convergence. Our negotiations have been proceeding constructively and collegially.

The Covid-19 outbreak, however, has disrupted our bargaining process. Due to the ever-changing situation regarding Covid-19 we approached the employer to request a pause in negotiations with the proviso that  all timelines as they apply to our collective bargaining as noted in our Terms and Conditions (2017-2020) during this period of pause be held in abeyance. The employer agreed to our gesture of support and solidarity. We agreed to resume bargaining on April 6, but this date will be subject to any university and public health recommendations that may arise in the coming days and weeks ahead. In light of the announcement that King’s University College will become a remote-access campus effective March 16 at 5pm this will mean pausing bargaining for a longer period of time. Meeting via remote connection is not feasible due to the unique nature of collective bargaining. Our Chief Negotiator, Stephanie Bangarth, will continue to participate in OCUFA and CAUT bargaining meetings remotely to stay up to date on how our sector is dealing with the situation.

We hope you understand this decision. We are committed to obtaining the best deal for our members. Thank you for taking the time to read this over and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

  The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee: Stephanie Bangarth (chief negotiator); Anisha Datta; Adian McFarlane; Pat Ryan.

* For details of the procedures, see “Negotiation Procedures”, Appendix A, page 63 Conditions of Appointment of Faculty

BARGAINING BULLETIN #1

March 2, 2020  “Excellence and Equity for Our Faculty”

The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee held its first meeting with the employer’s “Negotiating Panel,” including the Chair of the Employee Relations Committee on February 27 for the purpose renewing our contract. The contract -­‐ the “Conditions of Appointment for Faculty” -­‐ is due to expire on April 30,  2020.*

At this time there are few issues to report. The Bargaining Committee discussed bargaining procedures with the employer – including future meeting dates -­‐ and outlined the contents of our proposal packages. The employer complimented us on the comprehensiveness of our proposals, and we provided initial responses to many of theirs. Some minor issues of wording and clarity in the agreement have already been agreed upon with the employer, while some other issues will require far more negotiations for our respective positions to begin to move closer.

While this first meeting represents the start of the formal bargaining process, it is in fact the culmination of many months of preparation by the KUCFA:

  • a Bargaining Committee was appointed;
  • a membership survey was conducted in the early   fall;
  • data, which was obtained from the employer and elsewhere, was reviewed and analyzed;
  • other Faculty Associations were consulted, as well as meetings and support with OCUFA & CAUT;
  • a Membership meeting was held to solicit membership feedback and concerns, and to outline and debate the subjects for negotiations.

In order to keep you informed and involved, the Bargaining Committee will be taking the following steps:

  • A CBC Information Folder under Resources in our Confidential Faculty Association Only OWL site: We will provide regular bulletins and updates on negotiations and provide information regarding specific items that might require general membership meetings for discussion.
  • Bargaining Bulletins: this is the first “Bulletin” which the Committee will regularly produce and post for the membership electronically through the confidential OWL site and on our KUCFA website.
  • Membership Meetings: future meetings will be held as required to provide information, answer questions and concerns, and to solicit feedback. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday March 25 at 3:30pm.

Thank you for taking the time to read this over and we look forward to your feedback at the next KUCFA meeting.

The KUCFA Collective Bargaining Committee: Stephanie Bangarth (chief negotiator); Anisha Datta; Adian McFarlane; Pat Ryan.

* For details of the procedures, see “Negotiation Procedures”, Appendix A, page 63 Conditions of Appointment of Faculty