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Contract Faculty Negotiations Update: Conciliation, Day One

(Originally sent as an email on December 16, 2017.)

Set up at an off-campus location on Wednesday, we were ready to continue negotiating remaining items of dignity, social justice, job security, and fair employment conditions. Key items included: Contract Faculty as a title, access to health and dental benefits, improvements to Standing Appointments, and compensation.

Both teams met the Conciliator, Greg Long, separately to share their perspectives on the status of negotiations. These perspectives were not copacetic.

The Administration demanded a comprehensive response to a compensation package they provided that morning (which includes issues like increasing PhD student and postdoctoral fellow hiring exemptions) as well as to their original proposal on discipline. They stated that if we were not ready to move from any of our previous positions, then they were not interested in continuing.

We subsequently brought to the Conciliation table a serious and thoughtful response, with reasonable revisions to prior positions—including their number one priority, PhD student and post-doctoral fellow hiring exemptions. But we held firm on Contract Faculty as a title. We rejected their discipline proposal, which would have seriously weakened our Seniority provisions, deeming the measures as unnecessary given the provisions in the existing Collective Agreement. The Administration’s (incorrect) interpretation is that we did not move on most items.

Seemingly at an impasse, the denouement of Day One of Conciliation: both Teams sent messages to the other via the Conciliator that we all need to walk away and think long and hard about the outstanding issues, with an agreement to resume Conciliation on January 5, 2017.


In Solidarity,

Your Negotiating Team

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