Librarians and Archivists support strike mandate

The University of Western Ontario’s Librarians and Archivists have voted unanimously in favour of a strike mandate as negotiations continue towards renewing the group’s second contract, which ends June 30.

The 47 members of the bargaining unit are represented by the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association.  The university has been in negotiations with UWOFA-LA since early May and talks are scheduled to continue throughout the remainder of June.

A strike vote was held June 17 and 20, with a voter turnout of 80 per cent of eligible members.

“Holding a strike vote is a normal part of the negotiations process, and we are not surprised by the results of the vote,” says Helen Connell, Western’s associate vice-president (communications and public affairs). “Talks are continuing, and both sides are working hard to reach an agreement.”

At UWOFA-LA’s request, the Ministry of Labour has appointed a conciliator, whose role it is to work with both parties to try to reach a collective agreement. The first meeting with the conciliator took place May 30.

“Our librarians and archivists play an important role at Western, and we are hopeful an agreement can be reached,” says Connell.

UWOFA-LA will not be in a legal strike position until a no-board report has been requested and 17 days have passed after the authorization by the Ontario Minister of Labour.

For updates, please visit Contract Negotiations @ http://communications.uwo.ca/contract_negotiations/index.htm