Full-Time Academic Staff Bargaining Unit

Bargaining

  • Bargaining is a broad term used to indicate negotiations between a union (NUFA) and the Employer (the University) to establish the terms and conditions by which Members do their jobs. These terms and conditions of employment are compiled into a Collective Agreement approved by the Members of NUFA and the Board of Governors and ultimately signed into force by representatives of NUFA and the Board.
  • For NUFA’s part, bargaining is conducted by Members of the Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) who are appointed by and answerable to your elected representatives on the NUFA Executive.
  • For the Employer’s part, bargaining is conducted by selected members of the university administration who act on behalf of and are answerable to the Board of Governors.
  • Bargaining is conducted under the rules established by the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
  • The CBC of NUFA has been preparing for bargaining since at least the spring of 2014. The result of that preparation was the proposed package emailed to you on March 9, 2015 and approved at a NUFA meeting on March 11, 2015
  • NUFA and the Employer began meeting to negotiate/bargain a new Collective Agreement March 19, 2015
  • The Collective Agreement in force from 2012-2015 expired on April 30, 2015. We have been without a contract since that date.
  • NUFA has scheduled 12:01am Monday, November 2nd, as a strike deadline. As always, we are hoping to reach a settlement before that time.
  • Ultimately, it is the purview of the NUFA Executive to act on any call to strike. Await further information on your off-site email closer to this date.
  • NUFA and the Employer are scheduled to negotiate on the afternoon of Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st.
  • Should there be the possibility of a break through, NUFA is willing to continue negotiations of Sunday, November 1st if needed.
  • If the Employer is willing to meet and negotiate, the NUFA’s Collective Bargaining team will make itself available.
  • Ultimately, we have to get an agreement in order to return to work.

Conciliation

  • Conciliation is a term for a process whereby the Ministry of Labour sends trained mediators into bargaining situations where movement toward resolution has stopped or talks have broken down.
  • Conciliators are “neutral” parties interested in obtaining bargaining settlements. Their interests are not the advantage/disadvantage of one party or the other.
  • Conciliators cannot impose entire settlements or even portions thereof but they can offer creative solutions to outstanding problems.
  • A Ministry of Labour conciliator is scheduled to be present for scheduled bargaining/negotiation days on Oct 30th and 31st.
  • There is always the option to have a conciliator present moving forward.

Outstanding Issues

  • We’re fighting for better job security for Members including tenure-track jobs and terms and conditions for Limited Term Appointments (LTAs).
  • We’re fighting to protect our right to decide what programs are going to look like.  In other words, we want a fair say in governing the university.
  • We’re fighting for fairer pay. Nipissing faculty are the lowest paid faculty in the province.

Basic Strike Information/Strike Preparedness

A strike is a work stoppage or mass refusal of employees to work. It is typically in response to a breakdown in the bargaining process and an attempt to place pressure on the parties to reach agreement.

No one has to strike. But withdrawal of service is an important and highly effective option that serves to bring negotiating parties closer to agreement.

As always, the Executive of NUFA is in charge. They are your elected representatives and are responsible for all decisions made. The President of NUFA is the Member of the Executive who leads the entire team. Currently, the President is Dr. Susan Srigley.

Yes. As of Thursday, October 29, 2015, the Employer informed FASBU Members that in the event of a strike they consider all sabbaticants to be on strike with their FASBU colleagues. Accordingly, the Employer will discontinue their pay.

This was a unilateral decision on the Employer’s part and blasts a new path in the Academic sector whereby sabbaticant leaves have been respected during labour action.

No. The Employer has indicated the following:

FASBU employees on short-term or long-term disability leave as well as those on maternity and/or parental leave prior to the commencement of a strike will be deemed not to be on strike and will continue receiving benefits as identified in the current Collective Agreement, provided that they are not engaged in activities or conduct that are inconsistent with their leaves and subject to the provisions of the relevant benefit plans or policies.

A strike is a withdrawal of all service to the Employer. Members respecting the strike action cannot teach their courses at the university, online, or at any off-site location. To do so is to cross the picket line and break with your fellow Members and their efforts to achieve a fair and equitable settlement (Collective Agreement).

During a labour action it is expected that all teaching, research, and service is withdrawn.

However, a Member respecting the strike action may continue their research efforts to the extent that it DOES NOT involve “crossing the picket line” to teach courses to students in person or online, respond to emails from the Employer or students, or engage in other university service commitments.

  • A strike is a collective withdrawal of all service to the Employer. Members respecting the strike action cannot teach their courses at the university, online, or at any off-site location. To do so is to cross the picket line and break with your fellow Members and their efforts to achieve a fair and equitable settlement (Collective Agreement).
  • As of Thursday, October 29, 2015, the Employer informed all FASBU Members that in the event of a strike they will discontinue access to Blackboard. This was a unilateral decision on the Employer’s part.
  • Members respecting the strike action SHOULD NOT respond to emails from the Employer or students whatsoever.
  • As of Thursday, October 29, 2015 the Employer informed all FASBU Members that they will discontinue access to e-mail accounts in the event of a strike. This was a unilateral decision on Employer’s part.

The technical answer is no. A strike is a withdrawal of all service to the Employer. However, like much of our work as professors, you complete your work when it is most appropriate for you. As long as you meet your strike obligations (i.e., picketing), do not enter the university, access online course platforms (e.g., Blackboard), or communicate with students or the Employer, this is a reasonably acceptable activity.

  • On Thursday, October 29th, 2015, the Employer informed all FASBU Members that in the event of a strike that any expenses incurred during a strike will not be reimbursed. This decision was made unilaterally by the Employer.

FASBU Members who are involved in highly sensitive research projects must obtain prior approval from the Provost, or designate, with respect to access to the campus.

Plan not to be at your office or engaging in your teaching and service for the duration. The following may be helpful:

  • Take all items you believe you will need home (e.g., books, notes)
  • Remove notes for future classes from online course platforms.
  • Ensure animals and other biological specimens will be taken care of by lab technicians or other assistants.
  • Change your telephone message to alert callers of your absence.
  • Close all windows.
  • Water your plants.

As the duration of any strike is unknown, it is wise to make appropriate financial arrangements which may include the following:

  • Delaying large or “unneeded” purchases
  • Ensuring access to necessary assets (e.g., transferring monies from investments to cash)
  • Contacting creditors to keep them informed and to make alternate payment arrangements
  • Purchasing or accessing warmer clothing.

The NUFA strike headquarters is located in the plaza on the corner of Airport Road and O’Brien Street. The complete address is:

  • 1867 O’Brien St. Unit 8, North Bay, ON, P1B 5Y7

As this is a plaza servicing many stores parking is reserved for customers only. However, you may park in available spots if you have business at the NUFA Strike Headquarters.

  • During a strike action you will need an off-site or non-university email account in which to send and receive email from NUFA. If you have yet to do so, please create an account immediately (e.g., Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) and share this it with Angela Fera, NUFA Executive Assistant at nufaoffice@gmail.com
  • Be sure to check your off-site email account regularly (at least once a day).
  • Yes. The address is twitter.com/nufaoffice
  • Our twitter handler is @nufaoffice
  • The following hash tags (#) are used:
    • #nufa
    • #nufastrike
    • #nipissingu
    • #cdnpse (Canadian Post-Secondary Education)
    • #canlab (Canadian Labour)
  • Please send photos and messages of support to your team. Associations all over Canada are interested and waiting to hear from us.
  • Encourage friends and others supporters to follow us and send messages of support too.
  • Yes. The address is facebook.com/nufacultyassociation
  • Please send photos and messages of support to your team. Associations all over Canada are interested and waiting to hear from us.
  • Encourage friends and others supporters to send messages of support too.
  • You will receive up-to-date information from NUFA via your off-site email account. Please check it regularly (at least once a day).
  • General information will also be conveyed via the NUFA strike webpage at: www.nufastrike.ca

Picket Lines/Picketing

A picket or picket line is a group of employees stationed by the union, or in our case NUFA, outside the place of employment in order to dissuade people from entering and to call attention to outstanding or unsettled grievances.

  • Under the laws of Ontario, picketers on picket lines must keep moving with only short rest breaks.
  • While picketers or picket lines cannot prevent entering the university, they can delay and dissuade entry.
  • Ensure people entering the university see your picket signs, receive info pamphlets, and are aware that we want a settlement/deal/agreement in order to get back to work/into the classroom.
  • Be understanding and respectful of Members of other bargaining units who must go to work (i.e., CASBU; OPSEU)
  • Be supportive of students choosing to attend classes.
  • Follow the directions of your strike captain.
  • The picket lines in North Bay will be in simultaneous operation at both entrances to the university.
  • The picket line in Bracebridge will be on the sidewalk by the campus entrance.
    The picket line in Brantford will be on the sidewalk in front of the Nipissing building.
  • The overall strike coordinators are Jane Barker and James Abbott.
  • The strike captains are: Stephen Connor, Nancy Maynes, James Murton, Sal Renshaw, Jeff Scott, Dan Walters, Anne Wagner (Bracebridge), and Mike McCabe (Brantford).
  • The strike captain is a Member assigned to oversee a picket line shift. There are 2 to 3 strike captains assigned per shift. They will take attendance and provide any up-to-date information and guidance for picketing.
  • Follow the directions of your strike captain.
  • Picketing will specified weekdays dependent on location.
  • Shifts vary in length depending on the location.
  • North Bay shifts are Monday-Friday:
    • 7:30am-11am
    • 11am-2pm
    • 2pm-5:30pm
  • Bracebridge shifts are Tuesday-Thursday:
    • 10am-3pm
  • Brantford shifts are Tuesdays and Thursdays:
    • 8:30am-4:30pm
  • You will be sent information on roster scheduling via your off-site email by Friday October 30th.
  • For the first week, a bus has been arranged to pick up picketers
  • If you are driving, be prepared to show up at the picket line 10-15 mins. prior to the beginning of your shift.
  • Allow time for transportation.
  • For at least the first week, NUFA has provided for a bus to transport Members in North Bay to the university.
  • The bus will leave from the plaza parking lot on Algonquin Street (in front of the former Target store).
  • You may park in the plaza parking lot, preferably near the former Target store.
  • Please show up 10 minutes before bus departure time.
  • The bus will leave at: (7:10 am, 10:40 am, and 1:40 pm).
  • Buses will pick you up at the picket line at the end of your shift and return you to the plaza parking lot on Algonquin Street.
  • Members in Bracebridge and Brantford will drive and park as they are able. Contact Anne Wagner (Bracebridge) and Mike McCabe (Brantford) for further directions.
  • For the first week we are STRONGLY recommending that all members take the bus.
  • Should you choose to drive yourself, you may park on Cedar Heights Drive. Please be sure that you are not blocking any driveways.
  • Please carpool whenever possible to alleviate parking concerns and to lessen the number of vehicles that will be delayed as they try to enter the university.
  • Be sure to leave yourself enough time to get to the picket line on time.
  • Immediately check in with the strike captain for your shift. They will be taking attendance and the time of your arrival and departure is used in calculating your pay.
  • Obtain a sign and/or information pamphlet as directed.
  • Follow any instructions provided by your strike captain.
  • Start picketing!
  • Port-o-Potties (aka Honey Buckets) will be provided. Locations are being negotiated with the Employer.
  • For Bracebridge and Brantford, please see your strike captain for further information.
  • While NUFA and generous supporters will occasionally provide food, coffee, tea, water, etc., you should prepare to sustain yourself during the picket shift.
  • Consider bringing a recyclable water container, thermos, and snacks to the line in a small case. This may be invaluable in maintaining your energy and warmth levels.
  • Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted on the picket line.
  • Consult weather bulletins prior to each shift.
  • Be prepared for outdoor weather that may change over the course of a shift.
  • Consider rain gear, and lined garments that can also serve as windbreakers.
  • Consider appropriate undergarments to keep out the wind and cold.
  • Consider gloves, hats, and scarves that can be used or removed as necessary.
  • If you have a case for storage of clothing, make it manageable enough to carry should that be necessary.

NUFA will not be responsible for your purse or bag. Consider leaving it at home and taking only what you absolutely need to the picket line. Conversely, should you bring a purse/bag to the picket line, be prepared to wear it.

  • The first order is always prevention. Dress warmly.
  • NUFA has provided for a warming truck. Please follow the instructions of your shift strike captain for appropriate use.
  • If you become ill on the picket line, inform the shift strike captain immediately.
  • If your illness will prevent you from meeting your picketing obligations more generally, inform the strike coordinators (Jane Barker or James Abbott) immediately and follow their directions accordingly.

Your pay is directly correlated to fulfillment of your picket obligations. Failure to show up to picket may mean the forfeiture of your strike pay for that day. However, you may be able to make up the time by taking a subsequent shift if it is available. Contact the strike coordinators: Jane Barker and James Abbott immediately. Follow their directions accordingly.

Inform the shift strike captain of your departure. Your pay will be pro-rated accordingly unless you were able to show up and sign in earlier for your shift (to make up the missed time), or stay later/start earlier for your next shift (to make up the missed time).

  • All Members who are physically able are expected to picket. However, Members who are physically unable to picket should declare themselves as “non-combatants” the strike coordinators:  Jane Barker and James Abbott immediately. Follow their directions accordingly.
  • Non-combatants should expect to fulfill other duties on or away from the picket line, as they may be able.
  • Members on sabbatical are not expected to picket.
  • However, if they wish they may demonstrate their support by joining their colleagues on the picket line where possible.

Members on pre-approved leaves are exempted from picket duty.

While you can cross the picket line and enter the university, it is highly discouraged. To do so is to demonstrably break with your fellow Members in NUFA. Members who choose to cross the picket line without the pre-approval of NUFA should have no expectation of anonymity for their actions.

Wherever and whenever possible, prepare for your absence ahead of time.
NUFA is negotiating with the Employer to permit access in exceptional circumstances. This point is not yet finalized. Please check back in the near future for further information.

Wherever and whenever possible, prepare for your absence ahead of time.
Use lab technicians and other assistants in your absence where possible.
NUFA is negotiating with the Employer to permit access in exceptional circumstances. This point is not yet finalized. Please check back in the near future for further information.

Please complete a Request for Authorized Absence. This application is available on the NUFA website.

You can show your support in a number of ways:

  • Answer queries about what the issues are and why it is important to stand firm. We’re negotiating for today and for the future
  • Offer to carpool with a friend or two
  • Bring a coffee or snack to a weary picketer on another shift
  • Tweet or Facebook supportive messages to your friends and colleagues
  • Stay positive. Nobody wants to be on strike. Nobody wants to picket. By staying positive and lifting the spirits of others you help make a difficult situation more manageable

Joining the team for further shifts or parts thereof is a great ways of demonstrating your support.

  • Anyone is permitted to picket with us, CASBU, OPSEU, students, Members of other Associations, friends and family. The more support, the better!
  • Always follow the instructions of the shift strike captain.

Strike Pay/Benefits

  • Members will be paid by NUFA via cheque.
  • You can pick up your cheque at/from NUFA Strike Headquarters (1867 O’Brian St, Unit 7)
  • Members who work in Bracebridge and Brantford will have their cheques couriered to the strike captain for distribution.
  • Members who meet their picketing obligations (save those with pre-approved exemptions) will receive $84 per day including weekends for days 1-7.
  • Beginning on day 8, Members who meet their picketing obligations (save those with pre-approved exemptions) will receive $100 per day including weekends.

Members will be paid each Monday for the previous week.

Given that the Employer has unilaterally decided not to respect sabbatical leaves as is customary in our sector, in the event of a strike, FASBU sabbaticants will receive strike pay like their FASBU colleagues. However, given their research may have taken them far and wide, sabbaticants are exempted from picketing obligations (though always welcome to join us when they can!).

Sabbaticants in the North Bay region can pick up their strike pay on the first Monday following the beginning of any strike (and each Monday thereafter as may be necessary) from the NUFA Strike Headquarters at 1867 O’Brien Street, Unit 7.

Sabbaticants not in the North Bay region should contact Angela Fera, NUFA Executive Assistant at nufaoffice@gmail.com to make alternate arrangements.

  • NUFA is currently negotiating with the Employer uninterrupted continuation of all benefits. Please check back in the near future for further information.
  • Wherever possible, stock up on items you may need for the duration.

As you will not be receiving your university salary during a strike, the Employer will not be submitting pension contributions on your behalf. This question will be a priority for NUFA in a Back-to-Work Protocol to be negotiated with the Employer.

If you have substantial or unexpected expenses leading to financial hardship during a strike, please complete an Application for Financial Assistance.