Picketing: Message from UMFA President
Below is a message from UMFA President Mark Hudson with regard to the current UMFA strike. AESES encourages our members to join UMFA this Friday, November 4th, at their information picket as a show of support and solidarity. As a reminder, members would need to ensure that they are attending on their personal time and/or have supervisory approval to use banked or vacation time to participate.
To my friends in AESES,
As you can imagine, we would all would rather be in our classrooms, labs or libraries than walking the picket lines, but some things are worth fighting for.
We are asking for your support this Friday. We are inviting students, Members and affiliates to join us for an info picket.
I would like to provide you with more details of how we got to this point. As you know, we have been negotiating for months on issues that matter to our members, like:
- Protection against arbitrary workload increases. Last year Arts Instructors had their workload increased by 30% overnight. Science instructors have been told they are the next target.
- Fair assessment. We are bargaining for protection against the mandatory use of performance indicators in processes of tenure, promotion, performance evaluation, hiring, and discipline.
- Get off the salary floor. UMFA members earn less on average than our colleagues at every equivalent Canadian university. While we are thirteenth in the U13, President Barnard’s salary ranks third.
- Job security for all UMFA members.
We entered mediation with administration last Thursday. On the first day, we were informed of the provincial government’s edict that our collective agreement should be extended for a year with zero increase in salaries.
We see this as an assault on our collective bargaining rights and an outrageous intrusion into our constitutionally protected negotiation process. We have since learned that the administration knew about this mandate three full weeks earlier. I cannot explain why an administration intent on reaching a negotiated settlement would not reveal this information for three weeks, until mediation had started.
We immediately began to explore our legal options and have since initiated legal action on an unfair bargaining complaint against the employer. However, we opted to move forward with mediation on non-salary issues.
We have entered into conciliation today, and will continue to fight.
Please see this poster for info on how to join us on Friday: We’re inviting students, Members and affiliates to join us for a info picket.