Wednesday, May 22, 2019

55 picket Athabasca U’s contract stalling

On Tuesday, 35 members (including 10 first timers!) and 20 allies of the Athabasca University Faculty Association (AUFA) picketed an Athabasca University meeting at the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton. This was AUFA’s fourth information picket and we ran out of signs!

The purpose this picket was to show AUFA members’ continued displeasure with AU’s foot dragging at the bargaining table and that a work stoppage will result in both operational disruption and reputational harm. Passersby were handed leaflets outlining AUFA’s concerns.

AUFA and AU are scheduled for two days of informal mediation on June 17 and 18. AUFA’s most recent settlement proposal is:
  • 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).  

This proposal is broadly consistent with other provincial settlements as well as the settlement recently reached between AU and its support staff.

The Board of Governors bargaining team has stalled bargaining since May 2018. It delayed the exchange of proposals, it advanced unreasonable proposals (that it has since abandoned), and it has been unavailable to bargain multiple times for periods of up to two months. It has also stalled the negotiation of an essential services agreement (which is a pre-cursor to formal mediation).

AUFA appreciates the participation of members and/or representatives from the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations, the MacEwan University Faculty Association, and the NorQuest College Faculty Association who joined our picket line this afternoon.

-- Bob Barnetson

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