Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Faculty Association Ratify Three-Year Collective Agreement

(SUDBURY – October 10, 2017)

The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and Laurentian University have formally ratified a new collective agreement. On Friday, LUFA members voted 98% in favour of the 3-year extension to the collective agreement which expired on June 30. Laurentian’s Board of Governors unanimously ratified the agreement today.

“This agreement is good news for our employees and the entire Laurentian community. I want to thank both the Laurentian University and the LUFA bargaining teams for their hard work and cooperation,” said Pierre Zundel, Laurentian University Interim President and Vice Chancellor. “This agreement will provide our faculty with the stability and supports to continue providing our students with a world-class education, and will provide organizational stability as we finalize the University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.”

The 3-year contract extension will remain in effect until June 30, 2020. Under the terms of the agreement, LUFA members will receive a normative annual salary increase, and both sides agreed to begin discussions with regard to pension and workload equity.

“I want to thank both negotiation teams for their hard work in seeing this very tough round of negotiations through,” said Jim Ketchen, LUFA President. “We believe that both the Laurentian Board and the University Administration have heard the concerns of faculty and that in responding to those concerns, this agreement positions Laurentian University in a quite positive way to move forward in providing quality education and the production of very important research.”

Laurentian University and LUFA want to thank members of the bargaining teams led by Denis Hurtubise for LUFA and Geoff Tierney for Laurentian University, for their commitment and dedication to achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.

Classes will resume on Wednesday October 11th for students who do not have a scheduled reading week. All other students will resume on October 16th.

LUFA represents 373 full-time and 304 part-time Faculty members at Laurentian University in Sudbury and Barrie.

Laurentian University and Faculty Association Reach Tentative Agreement

(Sudbury – 5 October 2017)

The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and Laurentian University are pleased to announce they have reached a tentative agreement that will end the faculty strike.

“I am pleased that both bargaining teams have reached an agreement that fulfills the needs of our faculty and the university.” said Interim Laurentian President and Vice-Chancellor, Pierre Zundel. “Now we can all get back to providing a world class education to our students.”

“I am proud of our team and what we have all accomplished”, added Dr. Jim Ketchen, President of LUFA. “It hasn’t been easy but both sides should be congratulated for reaching this agreement.”

The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by LUFA members and the University’s Board of Governors.

Both parties will work to ensure ratification votes happen as quickly as possible so that faculty and students can return to the classroom.

LUFA and Laurentian University are committed to moving forward together to make sure the return to class is a smooth one.

Classes will resume on October 16th for those students with a reading week. Courses in Barrie and online will resume Tuesday pending ratification.  More details will be available at laurentian.ca.

The terms of the tentative agreement will not be disclosed at this time.

Negotiations Update – 5 October 2017

(Sudbury – 5 October 2017)

LUFA is looking forward to continuing talks today with the Administration and is hopeful that they will bring about a fair deal that is beneficial for the university community, including for students.

“Our commitment to getting a deal is the reason why we never left the negotiating table in the first place,” says LUFA president Jim Ketchen. “We’re always ready and willing to talk.”

This morning, picketers at the Main Campus and at the McEwan School of Architecture are distributing handouts detailing LUFA’s positive and inclusive vision. For Ketchen, this is an important message for students and the public: “These negotiations are important for Laurentian’s future. After years of campus modernization, we should all focus on the learning experience happening in the classroom.”

Rally to Support Striking Professors – 6 October 2017

(Sudbury – 5 October 2017)

The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) will be welcoming labour leaders and representatives from across Canada to a rally at the university’s main gate on Friday, October 6, at 11:30 am.

Professors and librarians at Laurentian will be joined on the picket line by local union leaders (including from community colleges and the Sudbury and District Labour Council), fly-in pickets from university faculty associations across Canada, and national labour leaders including James Compton (President, Canadian Association of University Teachers) and Marie Clarke-Walker (Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress).

LUFA members have been on the picket line since Sept. 28. The union’s previous contract with the university’s board of governors expired on June 30.

University administrators are seeking rollbacks such as making professors teach outside their areas of expertise and punishing individuals with heavier teaching workloads.

LUFA is on strike to:

• sustain a quality learning environment for students by optimizing faculty time spent with them and by engaging with them daily in their own knowledge acquisition and critical thinking
• create an open and transparent university experience for students and faculty, alike

“Our members teach and educate the next generation of citizens,” says LUFA President Jim Ketchen. “We provide research for mining, the environment, health and safety, and how to better plan and run our cities. We also lead community programs and play an active role in making Sudbury and Northern Ontario a better place to live.”

He added: “Pledges of support from the labour community will play a key role in persuading the administration to settle and enable our faculty to return to what they do best – teaching and research.”

We ask students to support Laurentian’s faculty members by attending the rally this Friday. And help us to protect our university by sending a letter to the university administration: bit.ly/lusolidarity

Students Rally in Support of Striking Professors and Librarians

(Sudbury – 3 October 2017)

On a beautiful fall day, students rallied yesterday in support of striking professors and librarians at the University’s main entrance. Fifty students (including several from Barrie) marched in during the noon hour carrying signs and chanting. The mood was upbeat as passing motorists tooted their horns. Also attending were Gyllian Phillips, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, and Mark Rosenfeld, its CEO. Meantime, at the downtown School of Architecture, three students showed their support by unveiling The Claw, an improvised structure of sticks and books intended to depict the university administration.

Negotiations Update – 2 October 2017

(Sudbury – 2 October 2017)

At 10:38 pm on Sunday evening, LUFA received a new employer offer. Our negotiating team is meeting early this morning to consider it.

After several days on the picket lines, LUFA/APPUL is pleased that the employer has re-opened lines of communication.

Clearly, the pressure we and our supporters are putting on the administration by standing together in solidarity is having an effect.

We are committed to resolving this strike as quickly as possible, and hope that this offer does indeed meet the needs of our members.

In solidarity,
The LUFA Executive