A pair of labour agreements inched closer to completion this week as the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) began its membership ratification vote, while the Professional and Managerial Association (PMA) awaited final word from Western’s Board of Governors.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Western and UWOFA reached a tentative four-year agreement after five days of negotiations with Ministry of Labour-appointed conciliator Greg Long. Details of the agreement won’t be released until it has been ratified by the association’s membership, followed by approval from the Board.
UWOFA members can vote on the deal through Monday. Voting is scheduled from 3:30-6 p.m. today (Nov. 20) outside the McKellar Room in the University Community Centre; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday in the main lobby of Middlesex College; and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday in the second-floor lobby of the Social Science Centre.
If approved, the Board will consider the deal at a later date.
“I’m so proud of our negotiating team for all their hard work and really thankful to the membership for their support of the team,” said Alison Hearn, UWOFA president.
UWOFA represents 1,627 faculty members of whom 1,032 are full-time probationary or tenured, 202 are full-time limited-term, and 393 are part-time faculty. The two parties had been negotiating a new agreement since May to replace the previous four-year contract that expired on June 30.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Western and PMA also reached a tentative four-year agreement. More than 63 per cent of membership ratified the deal Tuesday, with a vote of nearly 97 per cent in favour. That agreement now awaits Board approval.
“We’re quite happy with the outcome. The team wouldn’t come forward with something we wouldn’t be happy with the outcome of,” said Chris Thompson, PMA president. “The deal strikes a good balance between honouring the work of our members and acknowledging the difficult fiscal climate we are in.”
The Board will take up the agreement at its meeting today. Details of the agreement won’t be released until it has been ratified.
PMA represents about 1,200 full-time employees engaged in managerial and professional roles. The association’s contract expired Oct. 31.
“The university is pleased to have these tentative deals in place with two valuable organizations on this campus,” said Helen Connell, Communications and Public Affairs associate vice-president.