Agreement between faculty union & University is ratified

A four-year collective agreement between Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) and the University was ratified today by the Board of Trustees. The approval concludes negotiations that have been ongoing since January.

“All’s well that ends well," Principal Daniel Woolf said. "We can all get on with the academic year."

QUFA represents more than 1,300 faculty, librarians and archivists.

The latest round of talks ended on Aug. 15 when Queen's administration offered the union a tentative agreement.

Along with annual wage increases for QUFA members, the agreement details changes to pension plans. With each year under the new contract, members will gradually pay more into their plans.

Woolf said Queen’s will undergo a pension plan valuation on Aug. 31, a regular provincial requirement for universities.

“Obviously with the changes that this agreement contains … we will be in a stronger position for [valuation],” he said.

Queen’s is currently seeking temporary solvency relief for the pension plan deficit because the University doesn’t have enough money to support the pensions of retiring employees. Solvency relief extends the University's payment deadline.

“We believe that the changes we have negotiated will successfully meet the bar established by the provincial government to grant us … solvency relief,” Woolf said.

QUFA President Paul Young said as a whole, the ratified agreement didn’t achieve everything QUFA wanted.

“We didn’t achieve any great advance in working conditions or in student [to] faculty ratios,” he said.

QUFA members ratified the agreement on Saturday, and although a strike or lockout was avoided, Young said quality of education has been compromised.

“There’s nothing in it which will generate new faculty … nothing which will reduce the taking on of more students,” he said. “The general environment will continue to deteriorate at a slow pace on those sorts of things.”

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