UWOFA-LA Negotiations Update
Dear Fellow UWOSA Member,
The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association – Librarians and Archivists (UWOFA-LA) will be in a legal strike position on Tuesday, October 8 at 12:01 a.m.. A “no board” report was filed with the Ontario Ministry of Labor last week. This does not mean that UWOFA-LA will strike; nor does it mean that Western Administration will lock out Librarians and Archivists on Tuesday, October 8th, but it does mean that either is possible.
What is a strike? Strikes are often a last resort; if progress is not being made during negotiations. Strikes are an important tool and a recognized right for unions.
What is a lockout? A lockout occurs when, during negotiations, the Employer refuses to allow its employees to work in order to force a settlement. In this instance, Western Administration may refuse to allow striking faculty members on to Western’s campus, park in Western parking lots, or have access to their Western emails.
What This Means for UWOSA Members:
Reporting to Work: In the event that UWOFA-LA does go on strike, our Collective Agreement, Article 5: Strike or Lockout, specifically Article 5.05 states, “Where individuals in a labor dispute, other than those in the bargaining unit, engage in a strike and maintain picket lines, and where employees of the bargaining unit could suffer personal harm, the employer will endeavor to safeguard such employees.”
This means we, as UWOSA members, are required to report to work, even if this means crossing a picket line. It will be the University’s responsibility to ensure that employees are safe when crossing the picket line.
How do I know if UWOFA-LA has chosen to strike? You can either check the UWOFA website, under Bargaining Bulletin or you can check the Western University negotiations website.
Driving to Campus: In the event UWOFA-LA chooses to strike or the University’s Administration chooses to lock UWOFA-LA members out, please allow yourself extra time to get to campus, and time to cross the picket line. If you are driving a vehicle, please be respectful to those picketing at the crosswalks and at the corners of the entrances to Western University.
London Transit: Please note that city buses will not enter campus during a strike or lockout. LTC will reroute so as not to cross picket lines, and may instead stop on Richmond Street/ Western Road instead.
Crossing a picket line: When passing by or crossing picket lines, please be respectful and courteous to UWOFA-LA members. Please avoid arguments or confrontations of why you are crossing, you may simply state that in the UWOSA collective agreement, you are required to report to work.
If you are told by a supervisor to go home after reporting to work, please contact the UWOSA office at firstname.lastname@example.org before leaving campus.
How Can UWOSA support UWOFA-LA
Attend Union Rallies: UWOFA will hold a rally in support of librarians and archivists on Thursday, October 3 at 4:30 p.m. If interested in attending, meet on the concrete beach.
Walk the Picket Line: If you have time during your ten minute break or lunch break, before work or after work, you have the option to join the picket line, or walk with and talk to UWOFA-LA members to better understand the issues they are facing at the bargaining table.
Library Assistants and Archives Assistants: As per Article 5.04 in our collective agreement, you have the right to decline performing UWOFA-LA work. Article 5.04 states, “Employees have the right to decline to perform the normal duties of striking or locked out employees of the Employer during a legal strike by another bargaining unit of employees of the employer or during any lock out of another bargaining unit by the employer.”
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me one of our Executive Officers at email@example.com.
Meg Perinpanayagam, MPA