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Breaking news from Sudbury

August 18, 2008
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University of Sudbury Faculty on Legal Strike:

Effective midnight Sunday 17 August, the Laurentian University Faculty Association—University of Sudbury is on a legal strike.

While issues of teaching load and salary remained unresolved in mediation, the precipitating cause was a letter sent by the university president to each association member announcing that the collective agreement was no longer in force but that they were free to make individual arrangements with the university, including presenting themselves each day between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the university registrar’s office to prove they were at work.

James L. Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers commented that “This is the first time that any university has refused to honour the provisions of an expired collective agreement until its replacement is negotiated in the absence of a strike or lockout. The consequences of that refusal are staggering: without a collective agreement, academic staff at the University of Sudbury will be forced to work without tenure, without academic freedom, without rights of collegial governance, and without any of the other protections that are the basic requirements of the academic workplace. By withholding these constitutive elements that protect the integrity of academic research and teaching, the University of Sudbury ceases to be a university in anything but name”.

In an emergency membership meeting called on Sunday evening U. of S. faculty voted nearly 100% to authorize a strike.

Mr. Turk said that “it is important to note that the strike is not about bringing pressure to negotiate but rather is a defensive move to establish the existence and basic rights of unionized faculty”.

Pickets have been set up at the entrance to the U. of S. although LUFA members in social work and native human services whose offices are in the U. of S. will be given a pass to remove essentials from the building.

[The Laurentian University Faculty Association—University of Sudbury is a local of LUFA.]

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