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Wednesday September 7th, 2011

Posted at 9:10am

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photo from 2008's WUFA strike

Originally Published Tuesday September 6th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

More than 1000 University of Windsor faculty members including professors, sessional instructors and academic staff will be headed back to the classroom this week while the union that represents them, WUFA, is conducting a strike vote for members Wednesday and Thursday.

The Windsor University Faculty Association (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 on WUFA’s website, a negotiations update reads:

“From our perspective, an agreement on these issues was within reach if we kept at it. We indicated our willingness to work overtime to resolve our outstanding concerns but [The University’s Negotiating Committee] were firm that they had gone as far they were willing to go.”

University Bargaining Committee chair Bruce Tucker said in a statement:

“Although we were unaware at the last bargaining session that WUFA intended to file for conciliation, we are confident this new development will prove to be another step towards reaching a successful agreement that is fiscally responsible for the university.”

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‚Äôs 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 and the University have future negotiation dates scheduled for September 12th, 14th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd.

The results of Wednesday and Thursday’s strike vote are expected to be known by late Thursday.

The earliest that WUFA could be in a position for job action — assuming a positive strike vote — would be 17 days after conciliation is called off.

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