The purpose this picket was to show AUFA members’ growing displeasure with AU’s foot dragging at the bargaining table and demonstrate that, should a work stoppage occur, it will be most unpleasant for individual BoG members. Passersby were handed leaflets outlining AUFA’s concerns.
The most interesting part of the picket was an interaction with a worker from Manasc Issac who, while walking through our picket line, volunteered that we should go picket the workplace of AU President Neil Fassina because he is the one who is calling the shots in bargaining. This is the first independent verification we’ve of our suspicion that Fassina is the architect of AU’s bargaining strategy.
This picketed coincided with AUFA’s 20th (!) day of bargaining. AUFA’s most recent settlement proposal:
- a two-year 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).
Bargaining was halted after two hours this morning because the employer, who requested the additional session, had no meaningful proposal to make when AUFA got there.
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 for long periods of time. It has also stalled the negotiation of an essential services agreement (which is a pre-cursor to formal mediation) and has now stalled informal mediation until mid-June.
The next dates for bargaining appear to be June 17 and 18 with a mediator. AUFA will be hosting more picketing events between now and then.
AUFA appreciates representatives from CUPE 3911, the Edmonton and District Labour Council, and the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations who joined our picket line this afternoon.
-- Bob Barnetson