University of Winnipeg Faculty Association

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BUFA Responds to Brandon University Press Release

On Wednesday October 1, 2008, Brandon University issued a press release which put what BUFA considers to be a very unique spin on what has transpired at the negotiations table.
It is true that the Faculty Association did turn down an offer which included a reduction in workload for teaching faculty. However, what the press release did not say, was that offer was contingent upon BUFA accepting their salary offer of 2 ½%, 2% and 2% with no improvements for the pension plan. It was also contingent upon BUFA making significant language concessions.
We liken it to a situation where a parent says to a child, “You can have a cookie, but only if you never watch TV or surf the internet again. Texting’s out too.”
The Administration’s press release also lumps together normal steps through the salary scales (increments) with increases in the scale itself.
The Administration asserts that it did not remove 1.3 million dollars from its proposal. BUFA believes that it did.
BUFA believes that the Employer had allocated 2 million dollars to workload reduction. The Administration asked BUFA to priorize its demands and BUFA decided that the money would be better spent on salaries and pension improvements. It is BUFA’s position that the Administration’s next offer was short by $1.3 million. To this end, BUFA is consulting with our lawyers about launching an “unfair labour practice” action against the Employer with the Manitoba Labour Board.
The Administration is now publically saying that they wish to proceed to binding arbitration. We think that’s what they wanted all along. BUFA told the Employer during negotiations, before conciliation and mediation, that the Faculty Association had no intention of entering into binding arbitration. We believe that this is a procedure which favours the Employer. The Employer is well aware of this.BUFA believes that a collective agreement should be reached at the bargaining table, and to that end, we intend to do our best to force the Employer to come back to the table with a new proposal which could at least be a starting point for meaningful talks.