01.28.2016

Unit 2 Collective Agreement Ratified

 

UGFA Unit 2, University Ratify First Collective Agreement

 

Members of the University of Guelph Faculty Association Unit 2 (UGFA-2), which represents about 40 College Research Professors, College Professors, and College Lecturers located at the Ridgetown and Clinton campuses, have now ratified the tentative agreement that was reached January 16. This represents the first Collective Agreement between the University and the UGFA Unit 2 Members.

 

Negotiating teams representing UGFA Unit 2 and the University worked diligently to reach this agreement, and we want to express our appreciation to members of both bargaining teams for their hard work and dedication.

 

Kelly Meckling (President, UGFA)  


Charlotte Yates (Provost and Vice-President Academic)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

10.08.2014

Collective Agreement Ratified

 

Members of the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA), which represents about 800 faculty members, librarians and veterinarians, and the University today ratified the tentative agreement that was reached, with the assistance of a mediator, on September 26.

 

In a joint statement, Kelly Meckling, UGFA president, and Serge Desmarais, acting provost and vice-president (academic), said: “Negotiating teams representing UGFA and the University worked diligently to reach this agreement, and we want to express our appreciation to members of both bargaining teams for their hard work and dedication.”


10.01.2014

Ratification Vote

 

Dear Member:

 

On October 2, 2014 there is a general meeting from 10:30 - 12:00 Noon in Peter Clarke Hall (UC) to answer any questions which you may have on the proposed settlement. We have attached the actual language which has been agreed to prefaced by a brief overview of the proposed changes.

 

A separate email wast sent to all members with a link to the vote on acceptance of the proposed agreement. The deadline for voting is Monday October 6 at 12:00 Noon. If you have any questions please feel free to contact either of us or the Association Office (ext. 52126).

 

 

Sincerely,

Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator
Kelly Meckling, President


09.26.2014

Tentative Agreement Reached

 

 Dear Member;

 

After long and intense negotiations the Association is pleased to announce that we have reached tentative agreement with the administration on all outstanding Collective Agreement issues. Additional details will be released early next week along with details on the ratification vote. 

 

There is a general meeting on October 2 at 10:30 in PCH to review the proposed agreement and to answer any questions.

 

Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator
Kelly Meckling, President


09.18.2014
Negotiation Update

 

Dear UGFA Members;

 

As you are aware, the UGFA negotiation team sent the conciliator away on Friday September 12, 2014 and requested a no-board report. We have been notified that the no-board has been issued and we will be in a potential strike/lockout position as of Friday October 3, 2014.  While management has the right to commence a lockout on October 3, we have further notified management that, in respect of religious holidays, the Association will in no case begin strike action before October 8th.

 

We have agreed to one day of mediation on Friday September 26th, in the hopes of reaching an agreement without need for labour disruption.

 

In preparation for a potential strike/lockout, our Strike Preparation Committee is meeting with Picket Captains at 5:00 p.m. on Monday September 22 at the UGFA House (5 University Ave E). The UGFA Executive strongly encourages Members who are willing to act as Picket Captains to attend this meeting.  Please notify Ann Nelson (ext. 52126) if you are able to participate in this meeting or if you would simply like to identify yourself for other important duties.

 


Scott Gillies,                Kelly Meckling,
Chief Negotiator         President


09.12.2014

Negotiation Update

 

Dear Members;

 

After long and committed negotiations in conciliation over the last three days, the negotiation team is saddened to report that we were not successful in reaching a tentative agreement.

 

As a result the conciliator has been asked to return to the Ministry of Labour and provide a 'No-Board' report. The UGFA will be in a strike or lock-out position 17 days after the issuance of a 'No-Board' report.

 

The UGFA negotiation team remains committed to continuing efforts to try to reach a fair agreement.

 

Further information will be communicated as it becomes available.

 

We once again thank you for your strong and continued support during this challenging period.


Kelly Meckling,                       Scott Gillies,
President                                Chief Negotiator


09.09.2014

Strike Vote Results

 

Dear Members;

We are writing to inform you of the results of the strike vote. We had a strong turn out with 532 Members voting and 89% giving authorization to the UGFA to call a strike if it becomes necessary.

 

Further information, as it becomes available, will be provided.

 

We thank you for your support as we head into conciliation with the hope of reaching an agreement.

 

Your Negotiating Team,

Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator

Scott Colwell

Mary DeCoste

David Josephy

Herb Kunze

Sue Hubers


09.05.2014 - 5:00pm

Update

 

We would like to inform members that Management has provided the UGFA with the clarification that ATB/COLA, ACI and Merit apply to Veterinarians according to their last proposal.


09.05.2014

Message from the Bargaining Team

 

Dear Members,

 

| would like to thank you for the strong turnout and show of support | for the UGFA bargaining team at Wednesday’s General Meeting.Attached to this email (click here), you will find the presentation slides in PDF format. These slides include the detailed analysis of the most | current proposals forwarded by the UGFA and the Administration.  Please remember that no new proposals have been tabled by or received from either side since July 22nd.

 

By now you have received the Administration’s email (dated September 4) titled “University’s Update on Bargaining with UGFA.” It is truly unfortunate that the Administration has chosen to communicate directly with our Members rather than to negotiate at the table. In our opinion, the Administration’s email represents a blatant attempt to influence the Membership with misleading information just prior to the strike vote. The timing of their email suggests that the Administration is well aware that a strong strike vote strengthens the bargaining team’s position as we head into conciliation.

 

Let’s be clear. The Administration’s compensation proposals include:

 

Further, it is both misleading and inaccurate to claim that there is any requirement (legislative or otherwise) to bargain further changes to Members’ pension contributions to maintain solvency payment relief.  As a reminder, on top of these drastic cuts to compensation, the Administration has reaffirmed its intent to carry out PPP-related budget cuts regardless of the outcome of these or other negotiations.

 

We continue to remain hopeful that the upcoming conciliation sessions will result in a successful conclusion to this round of bargaining.  Recent bargaining outcomes from across the province have shown that entering conciliation with a strong strike vote results in achieving a fair and reasonable settlement.

 

Monday and Tuesday are your opportunity to send your team into conciliation with the tools we need to achieve the settlement Faculty, Librarians and Veterinarians at Guelph deserve.

 

Monday September 8th

 

University of Guelph: Peter Clark Hall, 9:00 - 4:00

 

Guelph/Humber: GH 326, 10:30 - 2:30

 

Kemptville, Parish Hall 110, 10:00 - 12:00

 

Alfred: Salle 201, 2:00 - 2:30

 

Ridgetown, Agronomy Boardroom, 11:00 - 12:00

 

Tuesday September 9th

 

University of Guelph: Peter Clark Hall, 9:00 - 4:00

 

Please remember to bring your identification so that you may vote.  Should you have any further questions about the Administration’s email, please feel free to contact the UGFA office or any member of the collective bargaining team.

 

Once again, we thank you for your strong and continued support.

 

Sincerely,

Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator
Scott Colwell
Mary DeCoste
David Josephy
Susan Hubers
Herb Kunze


08.29.2014
Message from the Negotiation Team

 

Dear Member,

 

An important aspect of our efforts in negotiating a new Collective Agreement is that we monitor the progress being made at other institutions in the province. These agreements can serve as approximate benchmarks for our own - not precise precedents, but useful indicators.

 

CUASA, the union representing faculty at Carleton University in Ottawa, reached a settlement of its 2014-17 Collective Agreement, in conciliation, on July 27, and the agreement has now been ratified. In the new Agreement, the Career Development Increment (roughly equivalent in structure to the Annual Career Increment (ACI) at Guelph) has been maintained at $3,300; scale increases have been agreed at 2.1%, 1.7%, and 1.6% in the three years of the contract. Chairs’ stipends are to be increased by $500 and salary provisions while on leave have been improved.

 

We believe that the Carleton settlement shows that it is normative in the Ontario university sector for agreements to maintain existing academic salary structures; to provide scale increases roughly in line with anticipated increases in the cost of living; and to maintain - and even improve - sabbatical leave provisions. As we have explained in previous messages, the University of Guelph administration does not yet seem to have accepted these conditions; we hope that they take note of the settlements being reached at other Ontario universities, such as Carleton.

 

As always, we welcome your comments and we thank you for your continued support.


UGFA Negotiation Team
Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator

Scott Colwell
Mary DeCoste
Susan Hubers

David Josephy
Herb Kunze


08.22.2014

Message from the Negotiation Team

 

Dear Member,

 

In our last bargaining update, we regrettably had to report that our attempts to reach a final conclusion to collective bargaining with the University’s Administration have been unsuccessful. This stalemate has developed despite the fact that very significant progress has been made on all non-monetary issues, including tentative agreements on job security, workload, improvements to the T&P/CAP processes and a framework for pension reform. As your representatives, the Bargaining Team and the UGFA Executive completely understand the challenges that the threat of labour disruption would pose to the work life of many people, not just those in the UGFA.  We have made serious good faith efforts to settle the outstanding monetary issues through third party mediation and two offers for arbitration. As you will recall, we fully supported allowing an Arbitrator (a neutral third party) to decide which of the two monetary packages should be included our Collective Agreement. That process, which is called Arbitration through final offer selection, would have concluded our negotiations. Perhaps more importantly, it was in our view the responsible option for avoiding any possible threat of labour disruption. The Administration has twice now flatly refused the arbitration option. The UGFA has agreed to proceed with conciliation following the Administration’s request for joint filing. What this means is that both Parties will meet with a Ministry of Labour Conciliator in order to attempt to negotiate the remaining issues.

 

As outlined in greater detail in the following communication -  August 22 Negotiator, the Administration’s current monetary offers do not simply represent sub-par salary offers. Rather, their proposals include attacks on Study/Research Leave (15% cut to salary while on Study/Research leave after first leave), additional pension contribution increases without any changes to governance, and dramatic changes to the current hard-won salary system (no base increases in the first year and substantial reductions to the Annual Career Increment (ACI), presumably on a permanent basis). Traditionally, compensation issues have not been the major stumbling block to an agreement. However, the Administration’s proposals will have very serious short- and long-term financial consequences on all of us - especially on colleagues who are still early in their career - and will have negative impacts for individuals in utilizing their Study/Research leave. Perhaps their proposals would be comprehensible if it were financially necessary for the University, but our own analysis (completed with the help of a forensic accountant and available on our website) demonstrates that the University is in good overall financial health, with a string of year-end cash surpluses. These drastic proposals by the Administration are neither required by the current financial situation of our institution nor by provincial legislation.

 

We will be headed into conciliation with the Administration’s bargaining team on September 10th and 12th and remain hopeful that a resolution is possible with the assistance of the third party Conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour. However, given that there was a way to avoid this route, we believe that the Administration is unnecessarily dragging out negotiations in order to test our collective resolve and your support for your Bargaining Team. So, as the Chair of your UGFA Bargaining Team, I am asking you to please show your support and help us bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion.  We urge everyone to vote YES on September 9th and 10th to provide us with the necessary tools to reach an agreement! We are seeking a strong mandate for a strike, should one become necessary, and only after all other methods of reaching a resolution to the current impasse have been exhausted. 

 

Strike votes will be held on the following days/locations:
• Monday September 8th
o Main Campus – Peter Clark Hall (Basement - B Wing); 9am – 4pm
o Alfred – Salle 201; 2:00 – 2:30pm
o Guelph Humber – GH326; 10:30am – 2:30pm
o Kemptville – Parish Hall, Room 110; 10am – 12pm
o Ridgetown – Agronomy Boardroom Building (upper level); 11am – 12:00pm
• Tuesday September 9th
o Main Campus – Peter Clark Hall (Basement - B Wing); 9am – 4pm

 

For more information on the current status of bargaining, including the positions of both the UGFA and Administration on compensation matters, please refer to the following newsletter August 22 Negotiator.

 

Sincerely,
Scott Gillies on behalf of the UGFA Bargaining Team

 


08.12.2014

Message from the Negotiation Team

 

Dear Member,

This letter is a further update regarding your negotiation team’s progress toward the renewal of our Collective Agreement, which expired on June 30.

 

Background: As we reported on Aug. 1, while negotiations over the summer yielded significant progress on most non-monetary issues, the two sides were very far apart on compensation proposals, including salary during Study/Research Leave. With a strike vote scheduled for July 9th and 10th, the management withdrew their disastrous proposals on job security. Given management’s initiative, your UGFA Executive suspended the strike vote as a show of good faith and the two parties entered into mediation with Mr. Kevin Burkett on July 22nd.  Disappointingly, little progress was made during the mediation process.

In an effort to try to eliminate the need for a strike vote altogether, at the beginning of August, your negotiation team formally requested that management agree to put the compensation issues to binding arbitration, using what is referred to as the "final-offer-selection" process. Final-offer-selection is a process whereby both parties put forth their positions to an arbitrator who then selects one of the two positions. We are sorry to report that management has rejected our request for binding arbitration. We are deeply disappointed by their decision, as this process would have imposed a solution on both parties, meaning that negotiations would now have been completed and the possibility of labour disruption completely averted.

 

So where do we go from here? Both sides have agreed to proceed to Conciliation, using an Ontario Ministry of Labour Conciliation Officer. We anticipate that conciliation meetings will take place on September 10th and 12th . Dr. Peter Simpson, Director of Dispute Resolution Services, will be acting as the Conciliator. (Dr. Simpson was the Conciliator during the recently successful conciliation process between Carleton University and its Academic Staff Association.) It is important to recognize that conciliation is a non-binding process, meaning that at any time either side has the right to walk away from the process and initiate a move towards a lockout or strike. The timing of such action could legally occur on the 17th day after the Minister of Labour mails a notice confirming that the conciliation process will not result in an agreement being reached, technically referred to as a "no-board" report. Although lockouts (where the employer prevents the employees from working and receiving pay) are uncommon, we need only look at the recent labour disruption at Guelph Transit as an example of an employer (the city) lockout.

As your negotiating team, we intend to make every reasonable effort to reach a satisfactory agreement that is consistent with the bargaining principles endorsed by the membership. This includes a compensation package that preserves the essential elements of the existing salary structure and is normative with respect to agreements that have been and are being ratified at other Ontario universities. However, recognizing that it is possible that the conciliation process may not result in an agreement and that the management refuses to enter into binding arbitration, which is by far the easiest way to solve the issues, we believe that we have no other choice but to proceed with the strike vote. As such, your UGFA executive has decided to reschedule this very important vote. No one wants a strike, but we strongly believe, and history has shown us, that the best assurance of a positive outcome in conciliation is a strong show of support by way of a strong ‘yes’ vote. With a resounding ‘yes’ vote, you can show the management that you have confidence in your negotiating team.

The vote will be held at the regional campuses and the main campus on Monday September 8th and on the main campus only on Tuesday September 9th.  Further details will follow soon.

As always, we welcome your comments and we thank you for your continued support.


UGFA Negotiation Team
Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator

Scott Colwell
Mary DeCoste
Susan Hubers

David Josephy
Herb Kunze


01.08.2014

Message from the Chief Negotiator

 

Dear Member,

 

As you know, the Collective Agreement between the University and the UGFA expired on June 30, and the parties have been negotiating throughout the summer, in an attempt to conclude a new Agreement.  Significant progress was made on most non-monetary issues. UGFA suspended the strike vote that had been scheduled for July 9-10. The two sides agreed to mediation.

 

Unfortunately, the July 22 mediation session with Mr. Kevin Burkett did not result in an agreement; the two sides remain very far apart on compensation proposals, including salary during Study/Research Leave.

 

After careful consideration, the UGFA Negotiating Team and Executive have now decided to ask the University to agree to proceed to arbitration of the compensation issues. Unlike mediation orconciliation, arbitration is a binding process, in which a disinterested third-party arbitrator hears evidence presented by the union and the employer and then hands down a final and legally binding decision. Arbitration can only proceed if both sides give their consent, and we are now offering our consent.

 

Specifically, we are proposing to use "final-offer-selection" arbitration. The idea behind final-offer selection is straightforward: the two sides present their final proposals, and the arbitrator must choose one or the other, in toto. This procedure pressures both sides to make reasonable final offers that stand a good chance of being selected.

 

If the University accepts this offer, an agreement will be reached without the possibility of a strike or lockout: the prospect of labour disruption would be removed.

 

In previous discussions, the management Negotiating Team has indicated that the University does not intend to agree to arbitration. However, we want to provide an opportunity for management to reconsider their stance, in the interest of reaching a speedy resolution to the negotiations, one that will provide confidence to the entire University community that the teaching and scholarship functions of the University of Guelph can carry on without interruption.

 

We will keep you informed of the University's response to our request.

 

Again, thank you for your continued support.

Scott Gillies
Chief Negotiator


22.07.2014

Message from the UGFA Bargaining Team

 

Dear UGFA Member,

 

To date, we have made significant progress on most non-monetary issues. Given this progress, we suspended the previously scheduled strike vote and the two sides agreed to mediation.

 

Tonight, we completed an 11-hour session of mediation with Management. Unfortunately, today’s mediation has been unsuccessful. We remain very far apart on critical issues.  In particular, Management continues to propose reduced salary during Study Research Leave; no increases to benefits; further increases to member pension contributions; Across the Board (ATB) increases that are far below the rate of inflation; and slashing the value of the Annual Career Increment (ACI).

Even the progress achieved on non-monetary issues remains provisional until a complete agreement is finalized.

Executive will be meeting to discuss the next steps, which may include some or all of the following:


•        Requesting that a conciliation officer be appointed by the Ministry of Labour
•        A joint request for binding arbitration
•        A strike vote
•        Additional session(s) of mediation

 

For more information about these options under the Labour Relations Act, please refer to the following document: http://www.ugfa.ca/ugfact

We appreciate the continuing support of the membership.

 

Scott Gillies, Chief Negotiator
Scott Colwell
Mary DeCoste
Sue Hubers
David Josephy
Herb Kunze


21.07.2014
Message from the UGFA Bargaining Team

 

Dear Members:

 

After several recent meetings, the UGFA and the Administration have requested the assistance of a Third Party.


The Parties will meet for one day of mediation with Mr. Kevin Burkett, one of the most highly respected and experienced mediator-arbitrators in Canada, on Tuesday July 22. The focus of these discussions will be on the remaining outstanding issues, primarily related to compensation. We will provide Members with an update on progress after this meeting.

 

UGFA Bargaining Team


08.07.2014 - 10:00pm

Message from the UGFA President

 

Dear Members:

 

Earlier today you would have received a communication reminding you of the Strike Votes to take place at the Regional  campuses on Wednesday July 9, 2014 and at the main campus in Guelph on July 10, 2014.  Since that communication was sent, the bargaining team continued to work with Management on several key articles critical to the development of a Collective Agreement that they could recommend to Members.  In the view of the bargaining team, and the Executive of the Association, substantial progress was made this afternoon on issues that formed the platform on which the Strike Vote was mounted. As a result, the Executive has decided to suspend the Strike Vote as originally scheduled.

 

This does not mean that we have a settlement, nor that all issues are resolved, but it does signal that we are cautiously optimistic that the outstanding issues may be resolved.  Should anything happen, during the continuing negotiations, that would change our impression of where things are headed, we reserve the right to set another date for a Strike Vote.

 

We very much appreciate the continued support and solidarity of our Members, that has helped us achieve the gains made during these protracted negotiations and will continue to provide strength to our position during the remaining discussions.

 

Kind regards,

Kelly Meckling, President
 


08.07.2014

Update on Bargaining

 

The UGFA bargaining team has been able to make some progress on important issues. Despite additional long days of bargaining, however, significant differences remain on key articles that have meaningful implications for Members’ job security, workload, and total compensation (including study research leave).

The UGFA bargaining team has been informed by Dr. Mancuso, Provost, who is currently the acting President of the University that the management bargaining team’s mandate was developed by and has the full support of the Board of Governors, Dr. Mancuso (acting president and Provost), Dr. Summerlee (outgoing President), and Dr. Vaccarino (incoming President).

 

As you are aware, the UGFA Executive, with the full support of Council and Members, has authorized the holding of a strike vote. The strike votes will be held in the following locations and at the following times:

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

 

11:30 am - 2:30 pm, Guelph Humber, GH110

10:00 am - 11:00 am, Kemptville, Admin. Bldg. Rm 110

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm, Alfred, Room 264

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Ridgetown, PSC 002
 

 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

 

9:00 am - 4:00 pm, University of Guelph, University Centre main floor

We thank you for your support to date and we urge you to vote “yes” this week in order that the extent of Members’ support for our mandate may be fully communicated to Management.

 


30.06.2014

Update on Bargaining

The UGFA Membership, at a General Meeting on June 26, voted overwhelmingly (greater than 99%) to hold a formal balloted strike vote.  For more information, and details on the vote, please follow this link to the current Negotiator


26.06.2014
Update on Bargaining

Today, a Member's Update meeting was held. If you were unable to attend the meeting you can follow this link to the adobe connect video recording.

 

http://uoguelph.adobeconnect.com/p6ynh0ggulq/

 

The slide presentation is also available:

 

/userContent/documents/UGFA Meetings/CBT Member Update June 26 2014_rev.pptx

 


20.06.2014

Update on negotiation meetings

Your Bargaining Team has met with the Administration Team for nine sessions for a total of thiry-seven hours of bargaining.  Follow this link for the current issue of  the Negotiator.

 

Negotiation by the Numbers

9 Days at the bargaining table
37 Hours at the bargaining table
21 Articles & LOUs exchanged to date
5 Clauses & Articles tentatively resolved

 


18.06.2014

Update on negotiation meetings

Today the UGFA bargaining team met with management for approximately 6 hours.   For information on the status of negotiations, follow this link to the latest issue of the Negotiator.


23.05.2014
General Member Update Meeting

A General meeting was held to update members on the status of negoiations.  Follow this link to the presentation:  Member Update Meeting May 22

 


22.05.2014
Update on negotiation meetings

Here is a quick update on the progress we have made at the bargaining table to date.

 

Negotiations by the Numbers

7 Meetings to date at the bargaining table
21 Hours to date at the bargaining table
21 Articles & Lous exchanged to date
0 Articles/clauses  tentatively resolved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


03.04.2014

Negotiations have begun

 

Our current Collective Agreement expires on June 30th, 2014. We have entered into negotiations with Management with the first official meeting occurring on April 3, 2014

 


01.04.2014
Negotiation Principles Approved

 

We are happy to announce that the UGFA Members have passed a motion to approve the negotiation principles put forth by our Negotiating Team at today's General Meeting. Mr. Scott Gillies is the UGFA Chief Negotiator for this round of collective bargaining.