University believes a settlement with CAS is within reach
Intends to ask Ministry to file a “No Board” report
Originally posted May 10, 2011.
Wilfrid Laurier University and the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) met with a provincially appointed conciliator on four separate days between March 30 and April 28 in an effort to reach a settlement in the current round of collective bargaining on behalf of Contract Academic Staff (CAS). Prior to that there had been 29 days of bargaining.
Both parties have invested a great deal of time and energy in the collective bargaining process to date. The University believes that real progress was being made and that a settlement was, and remains, within reach. However, WLUFA chose to end the conciliation process and has since asked the University to enter a process called “mediation-arbitration.”
After intense consideration, the University has declined this request because it could lead to an arbitrated settlement in which an outside third party imposes an agreement on the University and WLUFA. The University firmly believes that the best settlement for both parties is one that is freely negotiated between the University and WLUFA, not one that is imposed from outside.
The University wants to reach a settlement within a reasonable timeframe that is in the best interest of the institution and our students. After 29 days of bargaining and four days of conciliation, the two parties have exhaustively canvassed and discussed their respective positions and have reached agreement on many items. Normally at this stage, when one or both parties choose to end conciliation, a “No Board” report is requested and the parties continue their negotiations with the assistance of a Ministry of Labour mediator. This is the process provided for in the Labour Relations Act and is the course of action that WLUFA and the University have historically followed.
For these reasons, the University intends to ask the Ministry to file a No Board report. This process allows both sides to use mediation to build on the progress made throughout negotiations and conciliation without the possibility of an arbitrated settlement being imposed from outside. It would also set a deadline after which the parties are legally allowed to strike or lock-out. However, the University believes a settlement is within reach and is confident one can be attained with the help of a Ministry mediator.
The University confirms its commitment and willingness to continue negotiations with the assistance of a mediator and to reaching a fair and equitable settlement as quickly as possible.