(This article is from the WLUFA Advocate October 2016 5.1.)
As you know, our Contract Faculty have been at the negotiating table with the Administration since June 1 of this year. They have met over a dozen times since negotiations began and have made some gains.
What you may not know is that the Administration has failed to agree to any substantial improvements in our Members’ two main priorities: Job Security and Compensation.
In fact, ALL of the proposals that Contract Faculty listed as priorities in this year’s bargaining survey have been designated as “related to compensation” by the Administration. This means that, once again, Administration feels as though ANY increase in Contract Faculty stipend amounts should offset the fact that they will not address what Contract Faculty believe to be foundational proposals.
We know what this means. This means that the issues that Contract Faculty see as tied to FAIR EMPLOYMENT – job security and access to benefits –are being seen as ONLY compensatory as far as the Administration is concerned, rather than what they really are: SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES.
We need this Administration to see these items as steps towards a fair and equitable workplace and that Contract Faculty working conditions are students’ learning conditions. We know, however, that Laurier’s current Administration is loath to make such steps. Its deplorable drawing and quartering of CUPE 926 over this last year is evidence of this. It is also evidence of WLU’s attitude toward its union groups.
Contract Faculty are the most precarious of all union groups on campus – but the fact remains that NO union group is safe from these trends. Full-time faculty negotiations are also close at hand…
There has never been a time when it has been clearer that what is needed is a strong and unified voice supporting employee negotiating teams when they are at the table. For this reason, this will be the last “regular” issue of Advocate until current negotiations come to completion. I am mobilizing as many WLUFA resources as possible to support the current negotiations. I hope you will all support us in this effort.