AUFA, today we served notice to commence bargaining. As you know, we're now governed by the Labour Relations Code, so some of the procedures and deadlines have changed a little.
Procedures And Deadlines
I've informed HR of the composition of AUFA's bargaining team, and requested dates for an initial meeting. Within 30 days of today both teams are expected to meet, and within 15 days of that we are expected to exchange opening proposals.
The drafting of our opening proposal is close to complete. We've got a lot of suggestions for improved language this year, so we've got some more writing and editing ahead of us still. Your team has been doing a fantastic job working on language, and I'm proud and grateful to have them behind me.
For those who haven't followed previous years, here's what bargaining looks like:
We'll meet alternately in the Athabasca and Edmonton locations, across a table from the Board's team. Each team will present their proposals, and discuss any details. We'll have breakaway rooms booked for both teams to talk in private, and will have opportunities to communicate with the AUFA office and officers between sessions.
As you all know, we're not bound exclusively by arbitration now, and we've combined our language and economic benefit tables. Over the last few rounds we made very little progress on language, and our salary gains have all been exclusively through arbitration. I'm optimistic about this new bargaining environment, and I think that with AU's new executive leadership we can expect things will be more constructive and positive than they've been previously.
Your bargaining team is: Geoff Loken (chair), Rachel Conroy, Serena Henderson, Eric Strikwerda, Tilly Jensen (alternate), and Terry Sway (representing the AUFA office).
Terry Sway came highly recommended, and the executive asked if we'd be willing to invite him in to represent the office, rather than bringing our own Nick Driedger in. Terry has extensive experience with bargaining for post secondaries in Alberta, and it was the feeling of the executive that he'd provide context and knowledge that would help us in the new climate, and help us to navigate the new rules. This is a bit of a departure for us from practice, but it's an unusual year. I'm excited to have him there.
Thanks everyone, I'll be sending further updates as events warrant. It’s an exciting year, with a lot of changes, and a lot of opportunities, so I’ll try to be in close communication throughout this.