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U of L board of governors, faculty association ratify new collective agreement

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WATCH ABOVE: Off the picket lines and back in the classroom. The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association has voted in favour of a new collective agreement, ending their strike. Erik Bay reports. – Mar 21, 2022

Nearly six weeks after the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association began its strike, the group has reached an agreement with the school’s board of governors.

Of the 92 per cent of ULFA members to participate, 91 per cent voted in favour of ratifying a new collective agreement after the board ratified it on Saturday.

Read more: University of Lethbridge Faculty Association to review proposed collective agreement Saturday

“The financial settlement is what we were hoping to get under the circumstances,” ULFA president Dan O’Donnell said.

He said he is pleased with progress made over the past few days, including on salary increases.

“We ended up with the government of Alberta percentage, which I believe is 2.75 (per cent), plus a half per cent basically at risk,” O’Donnell said. “It’s tied to the GDP of the province.”

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“The new collective agreement protects the university’s ability to maintain equitable access to affordable, high-quality education,” a statement posted to the university’s bargaining website reads in part.

Read more: Lethbridge business sector concerned about U of L labour issues: ‘It’s troubling’

“(The university) is committed to rebuilding its relationship with faculty and making immediate adjustments to protect our students’ interests over the next few weeks.”

According to O’Donnell, faculty are allowed to return to work at midnight on Tuesday, with classes resuming at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Classes that were online before the strike will remain virtual for the rest of the semester.

The university said an amended academic schedule will be addressed through general faculties council processes, which are starting immediately. A finalized plan will be shared with the university community once the process is finished.

The school’s students’ union will comment on the new agreement on Tuesday.

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