Members of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association (ULFA) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action after failed labour negotiations with the school. If a deal isn’t reached soon, a strike will begin on Thursday at 11 a.m.
The Membership voted 92% in favour of a labour disruption, the first strike vote by faculty in the history of the university. The vote comes after nearly two years of negotiations and two months of mediation. ULFA members have been without a contract since July 1, 2020.
“This is an extremely strong vote of confidence in our negotiating team,” said ULFA President Dan O’Donnell. “Our members are seeking equity, parity, and above all, respect from the Board. Over the last decade, our members have stepped up time and time again for our students and the university, only to see the Board give us fewer and fewer resources. Our members have already given enough, and they realize that it is time to stand up for the respect that they and our students deserve.”
Chief Bargainer Locke Spencer adds that the issues involve working conditions and money. “The key issues are improved benefits and support for our most vulnerable members, restoring collegial governance and respect, and reversing years of economic decline.”
University of Lethbridge Faculty members earn up to 17% less than faculty at comparable universities. “With this vote, we hope the university will return to the table with a new attitude and work with us to find a fair settlement,” says O’Donnell.