Bargaining Report #3

May 5, 2015
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Since our February Bargaining Report, UTFA and the Administration have met several times, including in what are known as ‘short tables’, where a smaller group from each side meets to discuss a particular issue. We’ve had short table meetings on librarian issues and on the workload policy. 

The bargaining process provides for mediation, and potentially arbitration (both involving professional and independent mediators/arbitrators) if UTFA and the Administration are not able to reach agreement on the issues being negotiated without assistance. In this round, the mediator is Mr. Kevin Burkett, a well-respected labour arbitrator and mediator with significant experience in university matters. We have mediation dates scheduled on May 5, 30, and 31. 

We hope to reach a voluntary settlement with the Administration in mediation. However, if that isn’t possible, we will proceed to arbitration with Mr. William Kaplan, on dates yet to be determined. Mr. Kaplan is an experienced labour arbitrator and former academic who also currently serves as the Chair of the University’s internal Grievance Review Panel. Both Mr. Burkett and Mr. Kaplan were instrumental in assisting UTFA and the Administration in reaching a settlement in the last round of bargaining, in June, 2012.

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work toward a fair and reasonable settlement for all UTFA members. For more information on this round of negotiations, please see my report in the AGM Newsletter and in Bargaining Reports #1 and #2. Please feel free to contact the bargaining team with comments or questions at

Paul Downes
UTFA Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions and Workload
Associate Professor, Department of English

Members of the negotiating team are:

Bobby Glushko – Scholarly Communications and Copyright Librarian

Paul Hamel – Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology; UTFA Executive Member

Linda Kohn – Professor, UTM Biology; UTFA Vice-President, University and External Affairs

Cynthia Messenger – Senior Lecturer, Director of the Writing and Rhetoric Program, Innis College; UTFA Vice-President, Grievances

George Milbrandt – Retired Professor, Faculty of Education

Scott Prudham – Professor, Department of Geography and School of the Environment; UTFA President

Katharine Rankin – Professor, Department of Geography; UTFA Council member