West­ern talks down to the wire

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LOCAL NEWS -

As the clocks ticks closer to a strike dead­line, talks be­tween West­ern Univer­sity and the union rep­re­sent­ing its fac­ulty con­tin­ued Thurs­day.

The Univer­sity of West­ern On­tario Fac­ulty As­so­ci­a­tion (UWOFA), with more than 1,500 mem­bers, set a strike dead­line for Fri­day at 12:01 a.m.

Ne­go­ti­a­tionS be­tween the two sides were con­tin­u­ing Thurs­day af­ter­noon, but they had yet to reach an agree­ment.

“UWOFA has re­turned to the ta­ble to­day and con­tin­ues to work hard at reach­ing an agree­ment that ad­dresses our pri­mary con­cerns re­gard­ing job se­cu­rity for con­tract fac­ulty and com­pen­sa­tion for fac­ulty mem­bers that aligns with our com­pa­ra­ble re­search-in­ten­sive uni­ver­si­ties in On­tario,” Dan Bel­liveau, head of West­ern’s fac­ulty as­so­ci­a­tion, wrote in an email.

The fac­ulty voted 94 per cent in favour of strike ac­tion in Septem­ber.

Of­fi­cials from West­ern didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Thurs­day, but the univer­sity has pre­vi­ously said it has made con­tin­gency plans in the case of a labour dis­rup­tion.

The Lon­don Tran­sit Com­mis­sion says it will de­tour its buses run­ning through cam­pus to avoid cross­ing picket lines.

The union sent out an email to its mem­bers Tues­day pre­par­ing them for a pos­si­ble strike, in­form­ing them on how to sign up for picket duty and ask­ing them to clear out their of­fices by Thurs­day night.

Mem­bers were also no­ti­fied that the union is set­ting up a strike head­quar­ters in the for­mer Rex­all build­ing at 611 Won­der­land Rd.

The Univer­sity Stu­dents Coun­cil (USC) says it has been busy pro­vid­ing stu­dents with in­for­ma­tion about the on­go­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions and alert­ing them to any pos­si­ble fall­out from a strike.

“Some stu­dents are ner­vous be­cause they’ve seen what hap­pened at York Univer­sity, as well as the more re­cent Fan­shawe strike,” USC pres­i­dent Mitch Pratt said.

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