St. Mike’s faculty, administration reach tentative agreement ahead of strike deadline

Agreement requires ratification from faculty association in order to go into effect
Brennan Hall at St. Michael's College. Yassine ElBaradie/The Varsity
Brennan Hall at St. Michael's College. Yassine ElBaradie/The Varsity

The St. Michael’s Faculty Association and the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) administration have announced a tentative collective agreement, which, if ratified by the members of the faculty association, will be in place until June 30, 2020. The deal comes after faculty filed for a no-board with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, threatening to set up picket lines on February 12.

The two sides had been in negotiations since August 8, 2017. After the second negotiation meeting on August 9, the administration filed for conciliation. Meetings were held in September, October, December, January, and most recently on February 9.

Michael O’Connor, the faculty’s Chief Negotiator, said there was little detail he could provide regarding the agreement. The tentative agreement must first be sent to the University of Toronto Faculty Association executive for approval, after which it will be sent to unit membership for a ratification vote. The timing for both of those steps is “yet to be determined,” according to O’Connor.

“It was a long day and both sides worked hard to get things done,” said O’Connor. “All I can say for now is that we are pleased with the outcome and that the bargaining team will be recommending the agreement unanimously to our membership.”

USMC President David Mulroney issued a statement expressing that he was “delighted” to report that the two sides had come to an agreement, and he reiterated that there would not be any disruption of classes or services at St. Mike’s.

Faculty filed for a no-board after they were unsatisfied with negotiations during a meeting on January 19, triggering a 17-day timer for an agreement, after which either side could legally take job action, such as striking. The move was made to put pressure on the administration to negotiate a deal, O’Connor told The Varsity.

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