Labour Relations Updates

Faculty Bargaining Update - January 13, 2014

I am pleased to confirm that the University and OCADFA Bargaining Committees reached voluntary agreement this past weekend in mediation with William Kaplan for a renewal agreement. The details of this tentative settlement are confidential until ratified by the OCADFA bargaining unit and by the OCAD University Board of Governors, with both Bargaining Committees recommending its ratification. The University is scheduled to take this forward to the February 24, 2014 Board meeting, and members will be hearing in due course from OCADFA with respect to its plans for ratification.

Faculty Bargaining Update -  November 13, 2013

I am writing to update you on collective bargaining between the University and the OCAD Faculty Association. As previously communicated, the respective negotiation committees spent this past weekend in mediation with William Kaplan. I am pleased to confirm that during that session it was mutually agreed that a further mediation date be scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2014. Further update will be provided after that time. In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, binding arbitration will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2014.  

Faculty Bargaining Update - November 4, 2013

As you know, the University and OCADFA have been bargaining since January 2013 in light of the expiry of the current Memorandum of Agreement on July 1, 2013. As per its right under the MoA, OCADFA chose to invoke mediation and binding interest arbitration this past April.

While negotiations are continuing with a meeting this week, there has been no settlement reached to date. The University and OCADFA mutually agreed on William Kaplan as mediator/arbitrator, with a mediation session scheduled for this weekend, November 9th and 10th. If no voluntary settlement results from this session, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled. The arbitrator’s decision will be legally binding and will not require ratification by the OCADFA bargaining unit or by the University’s Board of Governors.

The context for faculty bargaining provincially, nationally and internationally is growing increasingly difficult, with mounting financial pressures and greater uncertainty in government direction. As discussed at the recent Town Hall, it is not yet clear how OCAD University will be impacted by the provincial government’s recently announced differentiation agenda. As per OCAD U’s experience, increasingly bargaining across the province is being settled at arbitration rather than through voluntary agreements. In other words, binding arbitration is simply becoming part of the standard toolbox for achieving issue resolution between parties rather than being viewed as an unusual measure of last resort.  

In this round of bargaining, both the University and OCADFA have come to the table with a clear set of priorities, and there exist some synergies between them. These will offer a useful starting point for mediation. While we are not in a position to discuss specific bargaining issues, we are confident that through this process, there is an opportunity for us collectively to reach an outcome that balances the institution’s fiscal realities with the needs of faculty and academic staff.

We will provide further update as the process unfolds.