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Update on Dalhousie Faculty Association negotiations
To: Dalhousie students, faculty and staff
From: Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting) and Jasmine Walsh, Assistant Vice-President Human Resources
Date: October 19, 2020
Re: October 19th update on Dalhousie Faculty Association negotiations
Today, the negotiating teams for the Dalhousie Board of Governors and the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) met with a government-appointed conciliator in an attempt to come to agreement on some of the outstanding issues at the bargaining table.
We are disappointed to share the news that conciliation was unsuccessful. We had brought a revised proposal that included our initial salary increase offer and necessary pension changes. We expected to receive a counter proposal from the DFA, but unfortunately, the DFA has chosen to leave the bargaining table and not engage in negotiations. We believe the issues being discussed — especially the reforms to protect the long-term sustainability of our defined-benefit pension plan — deserve more time at the table.
There are a few key points we want everyone to know:
- Though the DFA has a strike mandate from its members, there is still plenty of time to resume negotiations and avoid a strike. The conciliator has asked both Dalhousie and the DFA to return to discuss on November 3. We are also certainly open to further discussions before this date. The earliest a strike would be possible would be towards the end of the first week of November.
- Our top priority is returning to the bargaining table to reach an agreement. That said, we must also be prudent and begin to prepare in the event a strike does happen.
- In the days and weeks ahead, you can expect to hear more from the university about strike preparations, including implications for courses, access to campus, research and other areas of our operations. These strike preparations do not mean a strike is inevitable or unavoidable, as we will continue to push for more negotiations to reach an agreement.
- No matter what happens, we will do everything we can to ensure the academic term is completed. That is our commitment to our students.
We know this news will cause stress and anxiety among our students, faculty and staff and their families, and among our broader university community, during an already stressful and anxious time. Please know that no one at Dalhousie wants a strike and that includes all parties at the table — and that’s why we need to get back to the table to negotiate an agreement. We hope the DFA will join us there.
For the latest information, please continue to visit the Labour Relations website and watch for further updates in your dal.ca email and in other university communications channels.
Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)
Jasmine Walsh, Assistant Vice-President Human Resources
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