Strike at Western University averted, classes go on | CBC News


A tentative agreement has been reached between the union representing faculty members at Western University and the school, averting a strike that was scheduled to begin Tuesday if a deal couldn’t be struck.

Both sides announced the tentative agreement late Monday night in advance of an 11:59 p.m. strike deadline set by the UWO Faculty Association.

Western University says the deal means it’s classes as usual Tuesday.

“UWOFA members and Western’s Board of Governors will soon vote on whether to ratify the agreement,” Western said in a tweet on Monday night.

Details of the tentative agreement have not been released.

In a tweet to its members, the union said “your support of UWOFA’s negotiating team, along with strong strike preparedness, has paid off in allowing us to reach a tentative deal with the employer, and avert the need for strike action.”

The union said on Monday that picketing would begin Tuesday morning if a deal had not been reached for its 1,800 full-time and part-time faculty members.

More than 32,000 full-time students would have been impacted by a strike.

More than 90 per cent of UWOFA members voted in favour of strike action “if necessary” in September. The union’s previous collective agreement expired on June 30.

Bill 124, passed by the provincial government in 2019, limits wage increases to one per cent per year for Ontario public service employees, as well as broader public sector workers. Because of the compensation limit, negotiation demands shifted to other areas, including strengthened benefit plans, reimbursement of expenses, equitable and manageable workloads, and job security for part-time and contract faculty. 

Faculty at Western’s affiliated universities are represented by different unions, which include King’s University Faculty Association, Brescia Faculty Association and Huron University College Faculty Association.

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