AUFA Reaches Agreement with Athabasca University


Yesterday afternoon the AUFA bargaining team signed off on a contract agreement with the employer. Should this agreement be ratified by the AUFA members and AU Board of Governors it will complete this round of bargaining. The agreement is for all language signed to date, a 0% wage increase for two years, and language which will convert term staff to permanent status after five years of employment. If ratified the new contract will expire on June 30, 2020.

AUFA would like to thank our its tireless bargaining team Eric Strikwerda, Nick Driedger, Rachel Conroy, Bangaly Kaba, Serena Henderson, and Geoff Loken. As well, thanks to Bob Barnetson and the work stoppage committee, our sister unions for their solidarity, and most importantly the AUFA members for resisting a punitive management strategy and proving that we are strong and stand together.

Below is the bargaining update sent to our members last night from bargaining chair Eric Strikwerda.

Bargaining Update, 18 June 2019

This afternoon, following a two-day mediated bargaining session and more than a year of negotiations, the AUFA bargaining team signed off on a contract agreement with the employer. Effective dates for the agreement are 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2020. The deal, of course, remains subject to ratification by both AUFA’s membership and the Board of Governors. Ratification details will follow shortly.

The agreement includes two years of 0% wage increases (which, as you know, has been pattern across the post-secondary sector), language changes already agreed to, and additional language improvements to our Collective Agreement for our Article 5 members (term appointments). Term appointees will now automatically convert to regular employees following five years of service.

As you know from previous updates, the employer came at us hard from the outset, forcing the bargaining team to answer the employer’s opening proposals in equal measure (and then some). Successfully pushing back against these proposals represents no small gain at the table. Even still, today’s agreement remains the least favorable among recent agreements struck at other CARIs across the province, and speaks to the employer’s aggressive posture and disrespect for staff.

Certainly, the bargaining team would have liked to secure more in terms of language improvements. That said, in the bargaining team’s estimation, the deal over all was the best available without a strike, and positions AUFA well for the next round of bargaining (beginning sometime in spring of next year). Many thanks to the bargaining team for landing this deal.

Throughout this entire process, the bargaining team has drawn strength both from the members’ support, as well as the work stoppage committee’s work. Continued support from both will be crucial when the next round of bargaining begins.

Eric Strikwerda, AUFA Bargaining Chair