Bargainingshow all FAQs on one page

What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement is a written contract of employment covering a group of employees who are represented by a trade union. This agreement contains provisions governing the terms and conditions of employment.


What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a process in which a trade union and an employer negotiate a first collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement.


Is Brock currently in collective bargaining with any employee groups?

Yes, Brock is currently negotiating renewal collective agreements with two unions:

  • OSSTF, District 35 — Expired 30 April 2015 (Represents support staff)
  • CUPE Local 2220 — Expires 30 June 2015 (Represents support staff at Rodman Hall Art Centre)

What happens if, during collective bargaining, the employer and the union cannot agree on the terms of a collective agreement?

Either the employer or the union may apply to the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer. This officer will then try to help the parties reach an agreement.


What is conciliation?

Conciliation is a process by which a union or an employer can apply to the Ministry of Labour for help in reaching a collective agreement.


Has either party requested the appointment of a conciliation officer?

Yes, OSSTF, District 35 requested the appointment of a conciliation officer on 5 June 2015, and the University requested the appointment of a conciliation officer to assist in its negotiations with CUPE, Local 2220 on 16 June 2015.


What if the employer and the union cannot reach agreement in conciliation?

The conciliation officer informs the Ministry of Labour that a collective agreement could not be reached. The Ministry of Labour then issues a notice informing the union and the employer that the Ministry “does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board”. This notice is commonly known as the “no-board report”.


Has a “no-board report” been requested by either party?

Neither party has requested a “no board report” at this time. The University anticipates that negotiations with OSSTF District 35 and CUPE Local 2220 will continue with the assistance of a conciliation officer.


I heard that the Union has held a strike vote. What is a strike? What is a strike vote?

A strike is any cessation of work, including a work slowdown, resulting in an interruption of the employer’s operations by bargaining unit employees.

Bargaining unit members cannot lawfully strike unless a strike vote by secret ballot is taken by the Union and more than 50% of voting bargaining unit members vote in favour of a strike.  A successful strike vote authorizes the union’s representatives to set a strike deadline and call a strike if they believe that further negotiations will not reach a collective agreement.


Does a positive strike vote mean there will be a strike at the University?

No.  In addition to a positive strike vote, the following is required for a strike to lawfully occur:

  • The Collective Agreement must have expired;
  • A Conciliation Officer must have been appointed and a “no-board” issued, and;
  • 17 days must have passed since the Minister of Labour has mailed the “no board” notice.

The conciliation officer has not informed the Ministry of Labour that the parties are unable to reach a collective agreement. No strike deadlines have been set at this time. In the event that a strike deadline was set by any of the Unions that represent University employees, additional information would be provided on this website at that time.


What further help is available to the employer and union after a “no-board report” gets issued?

If the parties have not reached a settlement in conciliation and the “no-board report” has been sent to the parties, the Ministry of Labour offers the services of a mediator to confer with the parties and try to reach a collective agreement.