Union Vote Closes, Results Postponed
Wednesday, November 28 the polls for the faculty union vote closed.
The vote was open to 276 faculty members but this number excluded several groups that Administration believes should have been included. Therefore, the results of the vote will not be calculated until it can determined if Administration’s desire for the governing body be expanded to 346 members is legitimate. According to an email from President Jonathan Raymond, “As ordered by the Labour Relations Board, that vote has been sealed. The vote will only be counted if the LRB determines that the bargaining unit as proposed by the Union is appropriate. Both the University and the Union will be making written submissions on this before December 14th. A further LRB hearing may then be required.”
Recently President Raymond made public his own opinion on the union, stating, “I speak from past experience as a professor at two public universities where signing a contract meant immediately signing on with a union. I have found that a union changes the essence of what a university should be. It shifts the university from being missional to being focused on rights, and the well-being of students becomes secondary. That’s not what TWU is all about.”
More importantly he also revealed that a body of faculty “have placed an option on the table that makes a union unnecessary. That option would give Bob Wood a chance to continue the good work the Provost’s office has done in the last year.” There is still little word on what this 3rd option would require but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the process of potentially unionizing is as equally complex as is the issue itself.
The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) is an independent labour union that represents over 50, 000 workers and functions both as a union and a confederation of unions. Across Canada, there are many local CLAC offices which are all connected to the regional offices. According to their website, this allows the local offices to “negotiate and administer collective agreements for their members... and have a constitution, bylaws, and elected officers” which are all connected to the regional offices.
Their website states, “Aggression is not effective, dialogue [is what] gets results.” Their guiding principles include “respect, dignity, and fairness in the workplace rooted in [a] Christian foundation.” The CLAC maintains that they aren’t “affiliated with a church or religious group [and are not] only a union for people of a certain faith.” They have kept the word Christian in their name “because [our] guiding principles are shared in the faiths and social traditions of all sorts of people around the world.”