Tentative agreement reached, no strike in the near future

By Kayla Perry

A Laurentian University communications email sent out the morning of Sept. 29 confirmed that Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) have reached a tentative agreement, and that no strike or lockout will occur at this time.

Joanne Musico, of the LU Communications and Marketing department, confirmed that the tentative agreement was reached on the morning of Sept. 29, shortly before the communications email was sent.

Neither LU nor LUFA are sharing any exact details of the tentative agreement until the agreements possible ratification, which Musico said would take place as soon as possible.

The tentative agreement serves as a contract for the 372 full-time faculty and librarians, as well as the 200 part-time sessional faculty members working in both Sudbury and Barrie.

In a news release sent in the communications email, Laurentian University President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux states: “I am pleased that both bargaining teams reached an agreement without any disruption of the academic year. Should it be ratified, this agreement will allow the University and its faculty to continue to build Laurentian’s momentum with exciting plans for the coming years.”

The announcement comes after great deals of questions were raised regarding what would happen to students, if a strike or lockout were to occur.

Last week, Lambda reporter Jessica Robinson polled 50 students: out of those students, 28/50 students said they believed faculty would strike, and 34/50 people said they were worried about what would happen if faculty did strike.

At the time of the tentative agreement, LUFA was in a legal strike position, which began on Sept. 25.

Prior to that date, 90% of LUFA members voted in favor of strike on Sept. 2, and LUFA Secretary and Treasurer Jean-Charles Cachon said that the faculty was definitely willing to strike.

The faculty association had been in negotiations with Laurentian since May, and had been without contract since July 1.

Cachon had said LUFA wanted only two things from administration: an adjustment to salaries and adjustments to work loads, although without any details of the contract being released it is impossible to say whether these requests were met.

Although no strike will happen at this time, Laurentian students are eagerly awaiting the results of the ratification vote, which will be the only sure way of knowing that a strike will not occur.