FAQs

Bargaining

Budget

People

Students

Bargaining

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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I heard that OSSTF 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 per cent 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 strike deadline 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.

The parties are currently scheduled to meet on Aug. 9 to try to reach a negotiated collective agreement.

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Will the University be closed in the event of a strike?

The University will remain open, and all classes and activities are expected to continue as scheduled.

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Will there be picket lines at the campus?

Picket lines are normally present during a strike. Anticipate some delays while entering and leaving campus, and give yourself extra time when planning your schedule. For further information, please refer to the Picket Line Guidelines.

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Am I required to work if I am not on strike?

If you are not an employee on strike, you are expected to report for work as scheduled. Please remember to allow time for any delays that you may experience when entering the campus. For further information, please refer to the Picket Line Guidelines.

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I hold more than one position, and only one of these is covered by the striking union. Am I required to report to work for positions that are not covered by the striking union?

If one of your appointments (positions) is not covered by the striking union then you are expected to report to work in accordance with your work schedule for the position that is not covered by the striking union. Bargaining unit member employees not on strike should refer to applicable provisions of their collective agreement for further information.

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I have a part-time job at Brock. Am I required to report to work if I am not on strike?

Employees not on strike are expected to report for work as scheduled, unless your supervisor advises otherwise. Please remember to allow time for any delays that you may experience when entering the campus. For further information, please refer to the Picket Line Guidelines.

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What if I obtained approval for vacation or a leave prior to the commencement of a strike?

All requests for vacation or leaves previously approved prior to a strike will be reviewed by your supervisor subject to operational requirements. Please contact your supervisor directly.

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What if I am on a Return-to-Work (RTW) Plan or modified duties under an Accommodation Plan?

RTW and Accommodation arrangements will remain in place for those employees who are not on strike. Please contact the Manager, Health Management & Wellness at ext. 6086 with any questions.

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How should I get to campus in the event of a strike?

To minimize delays, employees should make alternate arrangements for travelling to campus. Consider car-pooling, public transit or getting dropped off near campus. For further information, please refer to the document entitled Picket Line Guidelines.

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What happens if employees encounter intimidation or threats at a picket line?

Employees should not engage in any confrontation at a picket line. If employees are not allowed through a picket line, or if they have reason to feel threatened, they should withdraw and contact Campus Security at 905-688-5550 ext. 4300 (or ext. 3200 for emergencies). In addition, the delay must be reported to the supervisor as soon as possible.

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How should I report injuries, damage or health and safety concerns related to a labour dispute?

Issues involving imminent danger need to be communicated to Campus Security at their 24-hour emergency line, ext. 3200. Any workplace injuries should be reported immediately to your supervisor, and a Brock incident/injury form  completed within 24 hours and submitted to Health, Safety and Wellness via email at besafe@brocku.ca.

Please report property damage (not posing immediate danger) to Campus Security at ext.4300.

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Do emergency procedures change because of a labour dispute?

No, the emergency procedures remain the same. See Campus Security Policies/Procedures/Guidelines.

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Budget

How big is Brock University’s budget?

The University had an approved budget of $289.3M in 2013-14.

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What are the key components of the University’s budget?

Budgeted revenues of $274.8M in 2013-14 include student fees ($135M), grants ($91.9M) and other revenues ($47.9M).

Total operating expenses of $289.3M include personnel costs ($199M) and non-salary operating costs ($90.3M).

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What is the current deficit?

The University originally forecasted an operating deficit of $14.5M in 2013-14 and a budget deficit of $20M in 2014-15.

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How did we get here?

It was not one decision or item that brought about these deficits. A number of key factors exist today that did not exist a few years ago, such as:

  • annual pension payments ($5.8M);
  • utility, operating costs and debt payments related to the Cairns research complex ($4.8M);
  • deferred maintenance needs ($2.5M);
  • new commitments to transdisciplinary institutes ($1M);
  • and changes to government funding, such as the new tuition policy, operating grant reductions, international student tax and reduced property tax funding ($2.5M).
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What is our progress?

As of April 9, the University updated its budget forecast for 2013-14 based on mitigation efforts and is now forecasting a budget deficit of $7M (vs. the previous forecast of $14.5M). The University is currently forecasting a budget deficit of $5.7M (vs. the previous forecast of $20M) for 2014-15.

There is more work to be done before a final budget is presented to the Board of Trustees in June. Updates will be provided via this website.

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People

How many people does Brock University employ?

The University employed 5,563 people in 2013 (number of T4s issued) and budgeted $199 million in personnel costs for the fiscal year 2013-14. Approximately 1,600 of these employees hold ongoing staff and faculty positions.

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Will any of these positions be eliminated?

At a town hall meeting on April 9, the University announced that a total of 86 staff positions have been identified to date for elimination from the 2014-15 operating budget.

Of those 86 positions, 40 have been vacated through attrition (voluntary resignations and retirements) or non-renewal of employment contracts, and nine staff redeployment opportunities have been identified.

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What steps have been taken to limit the impact on people who hold these positions?

The University reviewed all positions that became vacant in the past several months, and restructured administrative functions where possible. Where eliminating a vacant position was not possible, the University sought to fill them with qualified full-time staff whose own positions were to be eliminated. When a position could not be eliminated through attrition or redeployment, some staff members were subject to layoff.

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When will I know if my position has been eliminated?

The University will continue to review positions that are vacated through attrition, and where possible will redeploy qualified staff whose own positions have been affected. All employees holding an affected position will be informed as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2014.

 

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Students

Will classes be cancelled if there is a strike?

The University will remain open, and all Summer session classes and course activities are expected to continue as scheduled.

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Will picket lines cause any delays when arriving at campus?

Yes. Students should anticipate some delays while entering or leaving campus, and allow for extra time when planning schedules.

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Are students expected to cross picket lines?

In the event of a labour disruption, the University will remain open and Summer session classes are expected to continue.

The University has a legal right to conduct its operations during a strike and students have a legal right to continue to come to campus, attend classes and use all University services during a strike. Students remain responsible for meeting course requirements and are encouraged to attend class, complete work and hand in material in a timely manner.

The Senate policy “Policy on Protecting Students as a Result of a Work Stoppage that Disrupts Academic Activities” (https://brocku.ca/university-secretariat/facultyhandbook/section3#C_6) indicates that students who choose not to cross a legal picket line shall not be penalized; however they are not absolved from completing their academic responsibilities.

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Would tests or exams for Summer courses be impacted by a labour disruption?

Any in-class tests or final examinations are expected to continue as scheduled, unless you are otherwise notified by your course instructor.

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