Western University reaches tentative agreement with faculty ahead of strike deadline

Snow covers the Western University campus.
Snow covers the Western University campus. Jake Jeffrey / 980 CFPL

It’ll be business as usual at Western University Friday.

In a statement released overnight Thursday, the post-secondary institution said it reached an agreement on a tentative contract with its faculty association.

READ MORE: Hours remain before possible faculty strike at Western University

About 1,650 full- and part-time faculty members were ready to hit the picket lines as of 12:01 a.m. Friday if they hadn’t hammered something out. They’d been without a contract since June 30 of this year.

Details of the agreement won’t be released until both University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) membership and Western’s board of governors have a chance to hold ratification votes.

A date for those votes have yet to be set.

“We are feeling elated, we are excited and really content that the negotiating team was able to attain the goals we were seeking to,” UWOFA President Dan Belliveau told 980 CFPL Friday morning.

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He noted had they not been able to make a deal, there would have been job action.

“There’s no doubt that a strike or labour action of any sort has ramifications across an organization. In this case here, the students would have found themselves without instructors in the classroom,” said Belliveau.

“In the end we were very pleased to be able to find a way to a deal that reached the goals we were looking for.”

READ MORE: Western University faculty vote 94 per cent in favour of strike action

Major issues in the dispute were pay, as well as job security for contract and part-time faculty.

As for what happens next, Belliveau said both sides will present the proposed agreements to UWOFA membership and to Western’s Board of Governors for it to be voted on.

According to officials, since they’ve reached a tentative deal, all services, classes, labs, tutorials and research will continue as normal.

“It is a relief for us as faculty,” Belliveau said of working out the tentative contract. “It’s a good step forward for faculty at Western and we hope this is a model for support across other institutions who are currently experiencing similar scenarios.”