Mar 26, 2012 10:34 AM
CUPE 4207-Unit 3, representing instructors in English as a Second Language Services at Brock University is on strike because the university refuses to ratify the tentative collective agreement that it signed in February.
At issue is language that the employer presented to the union on three occasions, which the employer now says it will not honour. The employer signed an agreement that stated that there would be no contracting out of work done by members of the local. The union ratified the agreement on February 28. Subsequently, the Brock Board of Trustees voted to “ratify subject to a change in the document”.
“This is unheard of,’ said Dan Crow, president of CUPE 4207. “Employers cannot ratify an agreement, but insist that the document that was signed by both parties be changed. How can anyone trust a system of bargaining if employers could demand changes to an agreement that the union has already ratified?”
The union and employer met with the mediator on March 25. Despite best efforts to convince the university administration to ratify the agreement, by 6:00 p.m. it was clear that the employer was intent on provoking a strike.
“Brock University must be made to uphold the agreements it signs. The union is in the process of filing a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board arguing that Brock University has bargained in bad faith,” concluded Crow.