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Volume 4 Number 1, 08 2010       
La version française de ce document suivra sous peu.
Emergency OCUFA board meeting called Sept. 1, 2010
Immediately after the government announced it would undertake consultations on the compensation restraint issue, an ad hoc committee of presidents of associations representing Ontario faculty held a meeting July 30, at which it elected eight representatives to meet with the government and Council of Ontario Universities.
This grouping of presidents included three representatives from associations who are not members of OCUFA, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and two Canadian Union of Public Employees locals.  On August 16, this ad hoc committee decided that representatives would withdraw from the consultations, bringing this phase of responding to the government to an end.
“However,” OCUFA Vice-President Constance Adams said in a message to faculty associations, “the two weeks involving the consultations are only the beginning of what faculty will face from the Ontario government. 
“How other unions will respond to the consultations and the impact this might have on faculty is not known, nor is how the government intends to implement its statement on compensation, nor is how faculty will need to respond.  OCUFA, as a provincial organization, has not had an opportunity to discuss the impact of the government's initiative on compensation and how faculty associations should respond.”
As a consequence, the OCUFA Executive has decided to call an emergency meeting of OCUFA directors and faculty association presidents to address this important issue, to be held at the Royal York Hotel, September 1, 2010.
Wage restraint consultation:  “Issues are better addressed at local level”
The ad hoc committee that was elected July 30 met with Ontario government officials starting August 9 to discuss the province’s call July 20 for public sector employees to accept zero per cent wage increases over the next two years.
Government officials proposed a “framework agreement” that would cover all university faculty in the province and would include a two-year wage freeze.
The ad hoc committeelistened to what government officials proposed and responded by explaining why a framework agreement is neither welcome nor workable in Ontario’s university system, a system characterized by diversity in institutional mission and culture, as well as individual financial situations.
The delegation emphasized that faculty bargaining occurred at the local and not at the provincial level for many good reasons, including “the diversity of Ontario’s universities and their respective financial situations.”
“We are confident that issues can be better addressed at the local level by free collective bargaining,” read a statement sent to the government after the OCUFA delegation determined that they had fulfilled their mandate and left the consultations August 13.
The delegation also questioned the assumptions behind the government’s move to interfere with free collective bargaining: “We do not accept the government’s premise that compensation is the cause of the current financial situation, nor its determination, made even before commencing its consultation process, that a two-year wage freeze singling out public sector employees is the only way to deal with the province’s fiscal situation.”  
For more analysis of Ontario’s wage demands, see “Data check” below.
Collective Bargaining Committee reports “bargaining as usual”
In 2010, ten Ontario faculty associations are in bargaining. (See table below for details.)
Faced with government interference in bargaining, a special meeting of these members of the OCUFA Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) took place last Friday, August 20, to discuss bargaining in the wake of government demands that public sector workers, including faculty, accept zero per cent compensation increases over the next two years.
Bargaining going ahead as usual for full-time faculty
Those in attendance reported progress faculty bargaining across the province, noting that employers were prepared to bargain at full-time faculty negotiating tables, despite Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s urging that all bargaining be “paused” until after the government’s consultations.
Employers try to stonewall part-time faculty negotiations
Employers in negotiations with some part-time faculty units, however, have been more aggressive in their demands that bargaining “pause,” calling it a “red light”-- or finding other excuses to avoid scheduling bargaining sessions.
Part-time faculty, who now can comprise almost half a university’s total faculty, can earn as little as $7,000 a course per term, and usually have few or no benefits and little or no job security.
“University administrators are taking advantage of the vulnerability of these faculty members,” said Ian Sakinofsky, chair of the CBC, “and denying their right to negotiate improvements in their wage and working conditions. The academic year is already underway, and these improvements are overdue.”
“We are going to do everything in our power as an organization to turn those red lights green,” he said.
Faculty Associations at the Table, 2010
University Agreement Expiry Date Status of Negotiations
Algoma (Part time Unit) June 30, 2010 In negotiations. 
CMC June 30, 2010  Federal jurisdiction – covered by wage legislation.
Carleton April 30, 2010 In negotiations. 
King’s June 30, 2010 Negotiations underway.
Nipissing (Contract faculty unit) April 30, 2010 In negotiations. 
OCAD June 30, 2010 Negotiations to begin in September. 
St. Jerome’s’ n/a Currently negotiating first contract
Toronto June 30, 2009 Arbitration with Teplitsky completed. Awaiting award. 
Waterloo April 30, 2010 Arbitration with Kaplan September 7th – final offer selection, compensation only.
Western June 30, 2010 In negotiations.
Wilfrid Laurier (part-time unit) August 31, 2010 Negotiations underway.

Reports from faculty bargaining

Ten OCUFA-member faculty associations are currently bargaining renewals of their collective agreements. All are taking the position that bargaining will proceed as usual; namely at the local, faculty association level.
Bargaining dates have been scheduled at Algoma, Carleton, King’s College, Laurier, and the University of Ontario College of Art and Design. 
At Toronto, the faculty association is awaiting arbitration awards on both workload and compensation. At Waterloo, the faculty association is preparing a brief for an arbitration hearing scheduled for Sept. 7. Bargaining sessions at Western have been scheduled.
Data check: public sector compensation and the business cycle

Ontario is contending that public sector wages are out of line with the private sector’s, so public employees should “share the pain” and help the province balance its books.
But the history of private versus public sector waged over the course of the business cycle does not support the government’s case.
While it is true that public sector workers maintain their compensation levels during a recession, private sector workers catch up quickly once the economy recovers and then actually move ahead of public employees.
The government points to data showing that public sector increases totaled 18.8 per cent from 2004 to 2009, while private sector workers saw their wages rise only 13.7 per cent in the same period.
But the government’s figures also show that over the course of two severe recessions – the first in the early ‘90s and the second starting in 2008 -- public sector workers have fallen behind their private sector counterparts, averaging a 2.2 per cent annual increase while those in the private sector averaged 2.4 per cent.
Total wage increases over the last 20 years follow the same pattern: 50.5 per cent for public employees and 57.1 per cent for private sector employees.
These figures, tracking wages over the course of two business cycles, more accurately portray the actual story of public sector wages than the government’s five-year snapshot of 2004 to 2009.

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