(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.