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Labour Action in our Community

As most of you may know, there are currently two labour unions on strike in London in the postsecondary sector:


UWOFA-LA

This group representing librarians and archivists here at Western are currently on strike because of the unacceptable pay gap between the library personnel at the university and their counterparts across the province. The 50 unionized librarians and archivists — most of whom are women — have been without a contract since June 30. According to UWOFA President, Bryce Traister, gender has become an issue during negotiations: “We hope to bring attention to what has been a long-standing problem in allowing this pay gap to not only sustain itself, but increase over the years.”

UWOSA members have the right to decline to perform the normal duties of UWOFA-LA members, and are exercising this right by refusing to do so when asked. We will not make it easier for Western’s administration to keep UWOFA-LA’s members on strike by taking over any of these duties. We support UWOFA-LA's members in their efforts to reach a fair and equitable contract.

For more information and updates on the UWOFA-LA strike, visit: http://www.uwofa.ca/newsevents/


OPSEU 109

This group represents the support staff at colleges across Ontario, including Fanshawe College, and is also on strike. The union has informed the colleges twice that they are willing to move on their proposals, and the colleges responded that they are simply not interested in resuming talks. These workers are fighting for a fair wage increase, and for permanent jobs -- as the number of full time support staff has grown 4.9% but part time support staff have grown 8.91 % between 2006 and 2010. For more information, visit: http://www.opseucaatsupport.org/petition or http://www.opseu.org/caat/caat_sup/bargaining2011/PDF/ways_to_help_engli... .

Other News
Another group here at Western, PSAC 611, which represents postdoctoral associates has been trying for two years to negotiate its first collective agreement with the university.


We are all feeling the effects of our wage increases not keeping in line with the rising costs of basic goods – food, utilities, gas, etc. These groups are fighting for modest salary increases. Although the university and college claim they are cash strapped, it is interesting to see where much of the public funds and tuition supporting these institutions are directed. You may want to review Western's 2011 Sunshine List to see how many NON ACADEMIC individuals are listed: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/publications/salarydisclosure/2011/univer11b...

Remember, as union members, we’re all in this together, as a loss for one group eventually erodes benefits for all of us. Stand proud with the people who are fighting for what is fair. 2010 was the worst bargaining year for UWOSA yet, and 2013 is not that far away. We can make a difference together as a labour movement here in London in the post-secondary sector.