CUE disagrees with Faculty Association decision to hold strike vote.Posted on: Nov 23, 2021
Recently, CUE received notice from our Faculty Association that they will be taking a strike vote on December 1, 2021. If this strike vote were to receive the requisite support of the Faculty Association’s members, it would enable the Faculty Association to call a strike with only 72 hours of notice at any time in the subsequent 120 days. One scenario this presents is that in the middle of next semester our faculty could decide to strike, causing disruption and putting the education of our students at risk.
This came as a significant surprise to CUE. As you can see from the information on our website, which includes a detailed statement and table that summarize progress to date, the Faculty Association and CUE bargaining teams have only begun bargaining a fraction of the 41 total Articles in the Collective Agreement. In short, the parties are still relatively early in their progress through collective bargaining, have made some significant progress and reached agreement on several items, and are nowhere near any overall impasse. Some important Articles remain under discussion, but even there CUE has not perceived any impasse and has remained active and constructive in the discussions.
Of course, unions have the right to strike. However, for the reasons above, CUE views the Faculty Association’s approach and threat at this stage to be improper, heavy-handed, premature, and completely unnecessary. CUE believes that bargaining throughout has been and can remain constructive. However, continuing to negotiate under the active threat of a strike would, in our view, not be beneficial to either side.
CUE has made many concessions to date, and we have tried to be both collegial and reasonable in our negotiations. We want a new Collective Agreement that is fair and benefits our faculty and our university overall. Collective bargaining is adversarial by nature and can often produce bad feelings and misunderstandings. However, CUE’s bargaining team has not perceived either of those to have arisen thus far. In these situations, university administration can be unfairly cast in a negative light, but I want our faculty to know that CUE cares deeply about them. We value them and their work, and we want to arrive at a reasonable agreement.
Our community needs to know that whatever happens over the coming months, CUE will always make decisions in the best interests of our students. The pandemic has been disruptive enough, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent further disruption. It is important that we do not lose sight of those we serve in the midst of all of this, and that, just as CUE cares about our faculty, we continue to demonstrate to our students that we truly care about them.
Please continue to visit our collective bargaining website for more information and regular ongoing updates.