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Friday September 23rd, 2011

Posted at 11:40pm

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Photo from 2008's WUFA Strike

University of Windsor Professors, Librarians and academic staff represented by the Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) will be in a legal strike position in 17 days after filing for a “no board” report with the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

More than 1000 WUFA members voted 90% in favour of strike action on September 7th and 8th to back their side of the collective bargaining process and indicated today that they were filing “no board”.

WUFA has been in collective bargaining with University Administration for a number of months and after a negotiation session on August 26th, WUFA filed for Conciliation with the Ministry of Labour (Ontario).

In a statement released Friday on WUFA’s website, a negotiations update reads:

“[The] negotiating team has requested a No Board report. The 90% strike vote significantly helped to push the administration, and progress has been made in getting the administration to move away from some of its concessionary demands. Unfortunately, the administration has since hardened its positions on the most significant concessions, especially on the critical pension issue and the Windsor Salary Standard, and our efforts to support our most vulnerable members.”

WUFA lists their bargaining issues and concerns as “greater employment security for long serving sessionals”, “radical changes in our pension plan”, and “15 to 20% reduction in our take home pay” among others.

The University lists their concerns as “compensation costs, which account for the majority of the university’s operating budget”, “costs of supporting our pension plans” and that WUFA members continue to “receive base pay increases” since Provincial wage legislation was enacted in March 2010.

The University of Windsor was almost entirely shut down three years ago when WUFA went on strike on Wednesday September 17th, 2008. Students joined in to rally with their professors. Ultimately, the strike ended on October 1st of that year.

WUFA met with University Administration’s negotiators and a provincially-appointed conciliator on the 12th, 14th, 15th and 19th of September.

UWindsor professors and faculty have been without a collective agreement since the end of June.

A no board report indicates, under Ontario law, that a union may be in a legal strike or lockout position seventeen days from the filing of said report.  A strike or lockout may not necessarily occur.  Assuming a filing date of today, September 23rd, University of Windsor Professors, Librarians and academic staff will be in a legal position to strike on Monday, October 10th at the earliest.

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