Yesterday, 15 members of the Athabasca University Faculty Association (AUFA) picketed a dinner event of the Athabasca University (AU) Board of Governors (BoG) in Edmonton. Board members were handed leaflets as they entered the dinner. To our knowledge, this was the first picketing ever at Athabasca University.
The purpose of the picket was to demonstrate that foot dragging at the bargaining table by BoG’s bargaining team is unacceptable, given the very reasonable settlement proposed by AUFA:
- two years of a wage freeze,
- a clear process by which long-serving term employees become permanent, and
- two further years of waged to be negotiated (and resolved by arbitration).
The BoG bargaining team has stalled bargaining since last May. It delayed the exchange of proposals, it advanced unreasonable proposals (that it has since abandoned), and it has been unavailable to bargain since mid-February. It has also stalled the negotiation of an essential services agreement (which is a pre-cursor to formal mediation).
AUFA’s next information picket will be Monday, April 15 at noon in Athabasca. This picket coincides with the next (and only) bargaining date between AUFA and the BoG team.
-- Bob Barnetson