There is sadly little to report from this very frustrating session. In our November 10th session the University listed a number of articles that we hadn’t yet provided responses to. Eight of these articles are largely boilerplate with minimal changes, and are not typically discussed in bargaining a second contract. Nevertheless, we proposed to tentatively agree on them in the session, so we could avoid spending more time on them in the future. Other articles we have not yet responded to include Health and Safety, which we are continuing to develop in relation to the issue of Bullying, which has been a subject of ongoing dispute.
We hoped the University might have brought new proposals or counters on any of the substantive issues we have raised, but instead they had prepared only a single clarifying question relating to a legal term of art we had employed in its standard sense. The University then pushed for extended bargaining meeting times. We don’t see any reason to spend more than two hours at the table with a party that brings no substantive proposals and engages in surface bargaining – the mere appearance of bargaining. If the University begins to engage in good faith and make progress towards an agreement, we are, of course, happy to meet as often and for as long as it takes to reach a contract. As the University was not available in December except for a date after the end of the semester when our members will be in the air, we’ll be meeting again in January, prepared, as always, to reach an agreement.