Williston: Alumnus disappointed in negotiations

It is disheartening as a Western alumnus to see Provost Janice Deakin’s seemingly heartfelt entreaty (“Message from the provost on negotiations,” Sept. 7) for the librarians/archivists to return to the negotiating table.

Their union has been negotiating with Western since April, despite an unwarranted level of disrespect from the university negotiating team and puzzling maneuvers such as the university refusing to recognize a salary study published by the Association of Research Libraries, of which Western is a member. 

The current manipulation of the media is more than a bit reprehensible to imply it is the librarians/archivists who have not been negotiating in good faith, and holding up the pay-equity study as evidence of their earnest involvement, when it was The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association that proposed the study, and Western as the employer was an unwilling, but legally bound participant.

Another goal has been to provide and promote “best practices in recruitment, admissions, progression and retention,” so I assume Western administrative and academic staff are at least remunerated fairly. Contrast this with the support faculty who are key in serving those scholars needing a 20 per cent increase just to be considered ‘average,’ and then having even this small drop denied them.

This seems to conflict with another stated goal of the provost to “provide a professional and comprehensive administrative home that will effectively promote and serve the community of postdoctoral scholars.” If Western truly wants to be recognized as being on the leading edge of research and innovation, we need all staff to be motivated and involved, so I expect my alma mater to cease being disingenuous and uncooperative.


Rick Williston