Which negotiations is the university attending?
progress prə-‘grεs vi (1590)
1 : to move forward : PROCEED
2 : to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage
1. The headline for the article on the University web site about the current CAS negotiations reads, “CAS negotiations progressing with assistance of conciliator.”
2. Has the definition of “progress” changed in the last few weeks? The last time WLUFA checked the dictionary, the definition remained the same. What, then, for the University, qualifies as “progress”?
3. WLUFA certainly understands the meaning of the word.
4. If progress means “to move forward”, in three days of conciliation, WLUFA has moved by clearing the negotiations agenda of all clauses not connected to its two major proposals on access to employment and compensation.
5. Some of these moves even included the withdrawal of clauses that could have had financial implications for the University. In three days of conciliation, WLUFA has also significantly narrowed the scope of its proposals involving access to employment and has worked to craft and present multiple amended proposals on a CAS Continuing Appointment, each of which addressed the University’s (purported) concerns re: quality of instruction by qualified instructors.
6. In three days of conciliation, WLUFA has come to the bargaining table prepared with proposals, research and statistics.
7. In other words, WLUFA entered into conciliation prepared to move forward, proceed and develop – to progress.
8. The University, however, is not interested in progress.
Their answer at the conciliation table is as it has been (repeatedly) through the last eight months – they wish to “maintain the status quo”.
9. You don’t need to be an English major to figure out that the language of “maintaining” and of “status quo” are completely antithetical to the idea of progress.
10. The University’s only interest in access to employment for CAS involves a serious infringement on the rights of our full-time colleagues.
11. The University’s only proposal on compensation will leave our CAS, once again, well behind their counterparts at the University of Waterloo.
12. In addition, the administration’s position fails to address our ever-increasing class sizes; it provides no increase in pay for our increased work and productivity, nor does it recognize the substantial contribution to the university community made by long-serving and experienced Members.
13. The University, in fact, has come to the bargaining table prepared with only one thing – a mandate to say “No”.
14. We have one more day of conciliation on Thursday, April 28.
15. WLUFA will come to the table that day prepared, as it has always done, to move these negotiations to a “higher, better and more advanced stage”.
16. While the WLUFA team is discouraged by the lack of progress thus far, the unanimous resolution of support and plans for action passed at the WLUFA AGM (while the team was in conciliation on Thursday, April 8) have given the bargaining team renewed energy and commitment to press for a satisfactory settlement on April 28.
8. Notwithstanding the provincial government’s directive to negotiate to net zero, the University received and responded to proposals from WLUFA throughout the process, and the University has come to the table with research and proposals that were progressive. The University only maintained the “status quo” on items that were working well and best serving the interests of the institution and its students. The University has agreed to more than 25 WLUFA proposals.
10. The University disagrees with the view that this represents an infringement; it is an accommodation from one bargaining unit within WLUFA with respect to another bargaining unit within WLUFA. The existing teaching ratio between CAS and full-time faculty resides within the full-time faculty agreement.
11. The University’s proposal on compensation is in line with negotiated and arbitrated settlements within the sector since March 2010. Our stipend is at or above the midpoint for all institutions in Ontario, and ahead of several other institutions such as McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, among others. It is important to the University to remain competitive within the sector, and the offer reflects that.
13. The University has put forward a number of progressive proposals that deal with the issues WLUFA put forth, including access to employment. More than 25 WLUFA proposals have been jointly negotiated, agreed to and signed off throughout the process.