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President's Bulletin: May 10, 2010

This is a quick bulletin to bring UWOSA members up to date on a few issues, and to provide a brief reminder about the bargaining information workshops.

As usual, I invite comments, suggestions, or concerns about these (or any) issues. Feel free to contact me by email or phone (519.661.2111 x85041).

Union Solidarity

Five unions at Western, including UWOSA and all of the unions bargaining in 2010, have joined together to write the UWO's President and Board an open letter about the Provincial Budget. In that letter, which has been delivered and will also appear in the May 13 issue of the Western News, we reject the application of the Wage Restraint Act and affirm our intention to engage in free collective bargaining.

This unified action is an important statement of the solidarity between unions on campus. UWOSA will continue to work with these, and other, unions to support our common interests.

For the full text of the letter, see here.
For a printable poster based in the letter, clear here.
For UWOSA's complete position on the Act, see here.

Compensation Statements

As has become its practice in recent years, the Administration sent each of you a statement outlining your "total compensation" in late April. The purpose of the document is to illustrate the non-wage costs associated with your employment. There are four things I encourage you to keep in mind when reading this document.

  1. To the extent the data on these forms is accurate, it is a reflection of your willingness, in the past, to forgo wages for the benefits described. Western's Administration did not offer these benefits out of a generosity of spirit; we made decisions to accept less salary so that we could have these benefits. Your just salary is the total cost of employment described on these forms.
  2. Some of the items (EI, CPP, EHT, etc.) are legislated and common to all employers and employees. These aren't unique to Western or to your employment: They are a cost of employing workers and the proceeds are used by governments to provide important social or other benefit programs.
  3. Many of the items are based on averages for all employees and have no relationship to the actual cost of employing you (individually) anyway.
  4. At a time when the Administration is asking you to accept other documents in electronic form to save money and trees, they decided to send everyone a paper copy of this one. I would appear cost-savings and environmental responsibility only matter when the documents are important to you! We should be outraged money was spent on this propaganda at a time we are told budgets are tight.

Bargaining Information Sessions

To assist members in understanding the bargaining process, conciliation, and issues related to strikes, members of the Bargaining Team have been holding a number of sessions at different places on campus. It isn't too late to attend of these sessions. You do not need to register – please feel free to attend any session which may be convenient for you. On each date, the session will be held twice – from noon to 1pm and then again from 1pm to 2pm.

Remaining dates and locations are:

  • Monday, May 10 – SSC 2028
  • Wednesday, May 12 – MC 17
  • Thursday, May 13 – TH 3101

For those unable to attend, or for those who would like to read the presentation in advance, it is available for download.

Layoff Update

The number of members now remaining in displacement is four. We expect remaining displacements to be complete over the next few weeks. More importantly, is does not appear the Administration plans any additional new layoffs, which we would have expected to see at the outset of the fiscal year.