Impasse in Negotiations on First Collective Agreement for Clinicians

(September 26, 2016) LUFA and the administration have reached an impasse at the bargaining table for a first Collective Agreement for its Clinician members. LUFA has requested the assistance of a Ministry of Labour conciliator.

The Clinicians are responsible for teaching the Nursing students in a clinical setting, working with patients, which is a mandatory component of several courses in the Nursing program. They had certified with LUFA earlier this year. Recently, the bargaining team of Linda St-Pierre and Sylvie Larocque (Nursing) met with the employer to discuss wage increases and benefits.

The wages of Laurentian Clinicians are significantly behind those of other Clinicians working in the academic sector. They are also significantly lower than the wages provided to unionized Clinicians teaching at Cambrian in the same program and courses. For this reason LUFA proposed a significant salary increase in order to provide some equity in pay.

However, the administration is only prepared to offer a 2% salary increase despite the fact that Laurentian Clinicians are between 11% and 58% below the rates paid at Cambrian.

The administration is also refusing to recognize Clinicians as sessionals who deserve the same working conditions as our other sessional members at Laurentian. These rights and benefits include gym membership and tuition exemption for members and their families, access to a library card, a shared office space on campus, sick leave, and seniority rights.

The administration has offered to recognize very few of the benefits and will not extend them to dependents. Its proposal on working conditions would instead make Clinicians a second class of contract academic staff at Laurentian, even though their unique work and special expertise are valuable to the University.

LUFA will be calling a meeting with Clinician members in the near future to discuss the next steps. Should conciliation fail, LUFA will discuss other means of persuading the administration to agree to a fair deal.

LUFA Supports Canadian Academic Detained in Iran

(June 26, 2016) LUFA has contributed $1,000 to the defence fund of the Concordia University Faculty Association in support of Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian academic who is under detention in Iran. Letters of concern have also been written to prime minister Justin Trudeau, foreign affairs’ minister Stéphane Dion, and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

Dr. Hoodfar, who recently retired from Concordia University, has apparently been charged by Iranian authorities with sedition. She has been subjected to lengthy and repeated interrogations, her passport has been seized, and her personal belongings confiscated. Since June 14, she has been held incommunicado at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Dr. Hoodfar is a respected member of the academic community. Her research investigates issues ranging from household and family relations to the challenges facing women in Middle Eastern societies, including in Iran. No evidence has been presented that Dr. Hoodfar’s research on the recent Iranian election, where 17 women were elected, has been subversive.

LUFA strongly supports the stands taken by Amnesty International, which considers Dr. Hoodfar to be a prisoner of conscience, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.