FAQs

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.

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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.

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Is Brock currently in collective bargaining with any employee groups?

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

  1. OSSTF, District 35 – Expired April 30, 2015 (Represents administrative and support staff);
  2. CUPE, Local 2220 – Expired June 30, 2015 (Represents support staff at Rodman Hall Art Centre)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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

Yes, OSSTF, District 35 requested a “no-board report,” which was issued by the Ministry of Labour on July 21, 2015.

Once a “no-board report” has been issued, a legal strike or lockout may occur on or after the 17th calendar day after the date on the “no-board report”.

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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 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 the 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 with the employer will not reach a collective agreement.

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Has a strike deadline been set?

Yes, OSSTF, District 35 has set a strike deadline of August 10, 2015.

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

No. The parties to a collective agreement may continue to negotiate and reach an agreement, despite the fact that a strike deadline has been set.

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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.

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