Special Bargaining Update: Negotiations Will Resume

Where do we now stand? All 3 faculty unions have been working closely together to insist on rules that maintain as much transparency, participation and openness in bargaining as possible. But we also want to get back to the table. So we proposed what we believe to be a fair compromise: rules that allow us to alternate between “large” (open to all union members) and “small” (roughly 20 of a core group of members) sessions. The good news? The administration responded positively to this general idea. The bad news? It insisted on capping both small and large sessions at numbers far too small to allow our members to have meaningful participation. Since management’s caps were arbitrary, we put together a counter-proposal with numbers that we believe will allow us to uphold the principle of democratic participation while also recognizing that we need to resume bargaining soon, and we’ll likely have to accede to some of management’s demands. We believe we are close to coming to an agreement, so please stay tuned for dates, times and how to sign-up to attend our large sessions!

We have been working without a contract for 4 months. Over the summer, we had several bargaining sessions, with about 40 to 50 adjunct faculty members and our allies participating. We introduced our key proposals. Then, in early August, without providing any justification, management informed the 3 faculty unions (ours, the full-time/grad union, and the bio-medical faculty union)  that they would no longer bargain with us unless we agreed to ground rules limiting participation. There was not a single incident at any of our sessions to provoke this sudden change. Management knows conducting small bargaining sessions behind closed doors, along with delaying negotiations, works to their advantage. They have used these tactics before. We’ve been going back-and-forth with the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) over bargaining ground-rules ever since. 

Breaking News: We’ve reached an agreement on ground rules allowing us to resume bargaining, and it’s a victory for the unions! We’ve increased the cap for small sessions to 18, and management agreed to 75 for large ones. We should have bargaining dates, and large/small designations soon. We hope PTLs will take the opportunity to participate and help us win a transformative contract!

Our first bargaining date will be a small session on November 11, with a large open session scheduled for November 21. Stay tuned for more information.

UPDATE: The November 11 small session was postponed by management to Friday, November 18. No reason was given.