Librarians, archivists request ‘no-board’ report

 Unionized librarians and archivists at The University of Western Ontario have requested a ‘no-board’ report be filed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Following 17 days of negotiations with the university, unionized librarians and archivists asked the provincially appointed conciliator to file a ‘no-board’ report.

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) represents the 47 members of the bargaining unit (UWOFA-LA).

“Our librarians and archivists have worked to give Western one of the top-ranked academic research libraries. And yet they are among the lowest paid in Canada,” says Bryce Traister, UWOFA president. “It’s time they were treated with the respect they have earned.”

Traister cites issues such as staff complement, compensation and benefits, and the pay gap between Western librarian and archivists and colleagues at comparable Canadian universities as outstanding issues.

The bargaining unit is in a legal strike position 17 days after a conciliator files a ‘no-board’ report with the ministry.

“It is not surprising the union has requested a ‘no-board’ report,” says Helen Connell, Western’s Associate Vice-President (Communications and Public Affairs).

“We still continue to negotiate,” Connell says, noting the ‘no board’ report does not mean the negotiations have ended or that they have reached an impasse.

Negotiation dates are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 16 and Thursday, Aug. 18.

In June eligible UWOFA-LA members voted 100 per cent in favour of authorizing their union to call a strike (80 per cent of eligible members voted). Librarians and archivists have been without a contract since June 30.