The short answer to this important question is that the QUFA Bargaining Team has reached the point, six months into this round of negotiations, where they cannot make further progress on the mandate Members gave them without the help of a Conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour. Once negotiations move to conciliation, there is the real threat of job action which includes union initiatives like work to rule or a strike, and employer initiatives like locking workers out of the workplace (physical space, virtual space, email, etc).
Without a successful strike vote, union members risk being locked out of their jobs (and not being paid) while not being able to legally strike should negotiations during conciliation fail to achieve a settlement. Further, without a solid strike mandate, the bargaining team lacks any power to sway the University on contested issues.
For more information on the strategic value of a Strike Vote, please see: “Why Does My Vote Matter?”.
- The Ministry of Labour has a good explanation of the process of collective bargaining and how conciliation and strike votes work here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/collective-bargaining
- A brief history of this round of negotiations is available here: https://www.qufa.ca/strike-vote-faq/brief-history-of-2022-collective-agreement-negotiations/
- You can find all QUFA Bargaining Alerts, starting in June 2022, on this page: https://www.qufa.ca/bargaining-2021-2022/
- QUFA President Jordan Morelli’s letter to Provost Teri Shearer about bargaining conduct: https://www.qufa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/2022-12-09-Open-Letter-to-Provost-and-Members.pdf
- QUFA President Jordan Morelli’s letter to Members announcing the Strike Vote: https://www.qufa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/2022-12-13-President-Letter-to-QUFA-Members_final.pdf