Students at the University of Western Ontario could awake tomorrow morning to cancelled classes, if faculty and the administration don’t reach a negotiated deal today. University of Western Ontario Faculty Association offices have already been relocated to a strike headquarters in the London Mall. The union is an all day negotiation meeting with the university and a provincially appointed mediator.
Following the 17 day cooling off period, after the filing of a no-board report in October, professors are legally pertmitted to strike by 12:01am tomorrow, though negotiations may go beyond that. Faculty could be picketing as early as 6:00am.
At the beginning of October, faculty voted 87 per cent to give the union a strike mandate. On the 14th, the union requested a no-board report be filed with the Ontario Labour Minister, meaning a negotiated settlement could not be reached. A strike deadline was subsequently set for Nov 3.
The dispute centres around a proposal from the university to centralize assessment of professors, that UWOFA says interferes with deparmental autonomy and threatens academic freedom.
We will be updating this story as information comes in.
UPATE 7:30pm: The last update came from the university administration at 4:15 pm that indicated that negotiations are ongoing. As of 7:30pm, there has been no further word on the progress of negotiations.
UPATE 12:15am: The faculty association is now officially in a legal strike position but negotiations continue.
UPATE 4:00am: A tentative agreement has been reached, no strike for now.