Dear Fellow UWOSA Member,
The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) will be in a legal strike position on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. This does not mean that UWOFA will take strike action. We understand from UWOFA that negotiations continue and some but not all progress is being made to resolve the outstanding issues at the bargaining table.
What is a strike? Strikes are often a last resort; if progress is not being made during negotiations. Strikes are an important tool and a recognized right for unions.
What is a lockout? A lockout occurs when, during negotiations, the Employer refuses to allow its employees to work in order to force a settlement. In this instance, Western Administration may refuse to allow striking faculty members on to Western's campus, park in Western parking lots, or have access to their Western emails.
What This Means for UWOSA Members:
Reporting to Work: In our Collective Agreement, Article 5: Strike or Lockout, specifically Article 5.05 states, "Where individuals in a labor dispute, other than those in the bargaining unit, engage in a strike and maintain picket lines, and where employees of the bargaining unit could suffer personal harm, the employer will endeavour to safeguard such employees.”
This means that UWOSA members are required to report to work, even if this means crossing a picket line. It will be the University's responsibility to ensure that employees are safe when crossing the picket line.
How do I know if UWOFA has chosen to strike? You can either check the UWOFA Website or you can check the Western University Negotiations website.
In the event UWOFA chooses to strike or the University's Administration chooses to lock UWOFA members out, please allow yourself extra time to get to campus on Friday, November 9th.
Please note that city buses will not enter campus during a strike or lockout. LTC will reroute so as not to cross picket lines, and may instead stop on Richmond Street/ Western Road instead.
If you are driving a vehicle, please be respectful to those picketing at the crosswalks and at the corners of the entrances to Western University.
When passing by or crossing picket lines, please be respectful and courteous to UWOFA members. Please avoid arguments or confrontations of why you are crossing, you may simply state that in the UWOSA collective agreement, you are required to report to work.
If classes are cancelled, laboratories or clinics are closed, you are still required to report to work. If you are told by a supervisor to go home after reporting to work, please contact the UWOSA office at email@example.com.
How Can UWOSA Support UWOFA
Walk the Picket Line: If you have time during your ten minute break or lunch break, before work or after work, consider joining the picket line, walking and talking with UWOFA members to better understand the issues they are facing at the bargaining table.
Letter Campaign: Email a pre-prepared letter by UWOFA to the University’s Administration in support of UWOFA
Decline Performing UWOFA Work: As per Article 5.04, “Employees have the right to decline to perform the normal duties of striking or locked out employees of the Employer during a legal strike by another bargaining unit of employees of the employer or during any lock out of another bargaining unit by the employer.”
Examples of faculty work that UWOSA members have the right to decline (only if you have never done this work in the past when a faculty member was absent):
• Care of lab animals,
• Care of live cultures or other organisms,
• Experiments that are at a critical juncture and could result in data loss
• Proctoring exams
UWOSA stands with UWOFA until their negotiations are complete and their collective agreement is achieved.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me one of our Executive Officers at firstname.lastname@example.org.