Frequently asked questions

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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.

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.

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

  1. CUPE 1295 - Expired April 30, 2019 (representing employees in trades, maintenance and custodial positions);
  2. CUPE 4207 Local 1 - Expired September 6, 2019 (representing contract Instructors, Teaching Assistants, Course Coordinators, Lab Demonstrators and Marker/Graders)

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.

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.

Yes, CUPE 4207 Local 1 and CUPE 1295 have requested the appointment of a conciliation officer.

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”.

Yes, CUPE 4207-1 requested a "no-board report" which was issued by the Ministry of Labour on March 2, 2020.

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 of the "no-board report".

CUPE 1295 has not requested a "no-board report" at this time. The University anticipates that negotiations will continue with the assistance of the conciliation officer.

 

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 to try to reach a collective agreement.

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.

Representatives from CUPE 4207-1 have advised the University that the strike deadline which had been set for 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, is postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. A new deadline has not yet been set.

Collective bargaining sessions that were scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 have also been postponed, at the request of the union.

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.