Labour talks move to conciliation
The university is beginning conciliation discussions with several employee groups as part of ongoing collective bargaining.
Queen’s applied for conciliation this week in its negotiations with the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA). In conciliation, the parties are assisted by a provincially appointed Conciliation Officer as they work through outstanding issues. QUFA and the university have been meeting since January and dates are scheduled for continued talks throughout the month of June.
“Bringing in a neutral third party can assist the parties in reaching a negotiated settlement,” says Dan Bradshaw, Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations). “The university is committed to working with QUFA to secure an agreement that balances our need to preserve quality while respecting the limitations dictated by our current financial realities.”
Conciliation is also scheduled to begin later this month with the three campus units of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Conciliation talks are also scheduled for June with the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), which represents the 10 registered nurses in the Queen’s Family Health Team.
Arbitration/mediation discussions between Queen’s and the United Steelworkers of Canada (USW) will be continuing over the summer. These talks are focused on the membership of the new staff bargaining unit – some positions identified by the university need to be determined to be either in or out of the union.
The university met recently with the Queen’s University Staff Association (QUSA), which represents those staff who would not be part of the USW unit, to discuss compensation and pension issues.
On May 31, the university met with representatives of all employee groups to talk about proposed changes to the Queen’s Pension Plan (QPP). The changes are needed to achieve stage-two solvency relief from the province and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the QPP.
“We need immediate and appropriate action to make the most of the solvency relief options that are available to us to help us manage the impact on the university’s operating budget, while ensuring the plan’s future financial health,” says Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “We hope that the multilateral approach will result in a timely consensus agreement, but for now, we need to discuss the pension issue individually with each of our various employee groups.”
Last month, Queen’s and the Public Service Alliance of Canada Queen’s University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) concluded a first, three-year deal for the university’s 1,500 graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Teaching Fellows (TFs).