posted on Feb. 7: University filing complaint against staff association


The University is filing a complaint of bargaining in bad faith against the McMaster University Staff Association (MUSA).

The union failed to provide a monetary proposal to the University's negotiating team by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, a request made by the University in a Feb. 5 letter sent to Ron Lodewyks, chair of the MUSA negotiating team.

According to Mark Haley, assistant vice-president human resources and a member of the University's bargaining team, the MUSA bargaining team has refused to discuss a key issue in the talks — the employer's initial monetary offer, which was tabled on Dec. 14, 2000 — despite repeated requests from the University's negotiators for further discussion on the initial offer or a counter money proposal. By not providing this information, MUSA is failing to “bargain in good faith and make every reasonable effort to make a collective agreement,” states Haley.

The complaint is being filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board and MUSA has been advised of this action.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday (Feb. 6), MUSA president Barry Diacon said that MUSA has replied to the letter sent by the University. Diacon would not say whether the MUSA reply included a monetary proposal. “That would be bargaining in bad faith,” he said.

Haley has stated repeatedly that the University's negotiating team has been unable to discuss monetary issues, such as a wage demand, at the table. “If the union doesn't comply with this request for a monetary proposal this will be a significant impediment to making progress at the table.”

The University hopes that by filing a complaint with the OLRB, the issue of wages will be on the table when the parties resume negotiations.