After 11 days on the picket line, members of the Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association have ratified a tentative agreement, ending the first strike by university faculty members in Alberta history. 

The agreement opens the door for classes to begin at the university on Wednesday, Jan. 19, the faculty association said in a news release sent to media at 2:30 p.m. today. An official announcement on the opening day is expected soon from the administration, the news release said. 

Concordia University of Edmonton Faculty Association President Glynis Price (Photo: Twitter/ Glynis Price).

Faculty members overwhelmingly ratified the agreement – with 89 per cent of the membership, 73 of 82 members, voting in favour of ratifying the tentative agreement, the statement said.

CUEFA President Glynis Price described the ratification as “a win for faculty, students and the community because it will enable the university to recruit and retain excellent faculty and lays the foundation for a stronger learning environment.”

“Collective action is what made it possible, and CUEFA is grateful to the students, parents, other associations and allies across Canada who rallied in support of this strike,” she said. 

The association’s vision for the future of the century-old institution, which got its start as a Lutheran seminary, is of “a respectful and accountable workplace, a vibrant centre of learning,” said Price.

Salary gains for association members – who included professors, librarians, lab instructors and field placement co-ordinators – “will begin the process of bringing CUE faculty and academic service officers into line with other institutions,” Price said.

The news release did not provide details of pay increases. Ms. Price said this evening  that information will be made public after the official signing of the collective agreement by both parties.

The collective agreement also includes improved workloads for faculty members, restores job security and preserves faculty members’ ownership of their intellectual property. 

The university administration started by taking a hard-line position, offering no wage increases to faculty members, even though CUE faculty salaries ranked 68th among 70 Canadian universities. 

Unlike public institutions that have been hit hard by the Kenney Government’s brutal cuts to post-secondary education, many private post-secondary institutions like CUE saw budget increases and have cash on hand. 

Faculty associations at three public universities – Athabasca University, the University of Lethbridge, and Mount Royal University in Calgary – are in bargaining or mediation and could be in a position to strike soon.

While it is often said that no one wins a strike, this is not true, as the outcome of the short labour dispute at CUE illustrates.

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8 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if these phoney conservatives were smart enough to collect proper royalties and taxes and pay our doctors, nurses, and teachers what they deserved like Lougheed did and Norway and Alaska are doing. Norway and Alaska have both been named the best places in the world to live because they are thanks to their financies.

    1. In my trips to Alaska and Norway you couldn’t find happier people, yet look at what these damn reformers have created in Alberta and Canada for that matter. Constant problems one after another without any concern for who loses their life.

    2. ALAN K. SPILLER: Imagine what Alberta would be like if we had an extra $575 billion, plus the $260 billion that has to go to cleaning up the messes from the oil industry in Alberta, the $150 billion that was lost from having bad tax regimes, and all the billions more that was wasted on very pricey shenanigans. We’d be able to handle these turbulent times very well. There would be no issues, if what Peter Lougheed did for Alberta, was allowed to continue.

  2. I’d be interested to know who found Alaska to be one of the best places in the world to live. It’s got the highest violent crime rate of all 50 states. That is not a sign of a healthy society, notwithstanding that it may have a more sensible tax and royalty policy than Alberta.

    1. Rocky If you had ever been to Alaska you would likely understand , who these people are. Take a look at their Alaska Permanent Fund and see what each man , woman, and child has received in total annual oil dividend cheques. It has bought them a pile of drugs. Why wouldn’t it make them happy? They pay no state tax and told me their property taxes were next to nothing.

      In fact when I lived in Peace River I soon learned that a lot of people had criminal records of some sort and had come to the North to start a new life hopefully. My next door neighbor was head of the eight man RCMP drug squad. One day i asked him why they needed so many officers. He said it was to keep drugs from coming into Northern B.C. and Alberta from the States, yes Alaska he said.

  3. That’s quite a different starting point from offering a salary rollback of four percent, effective July 2020. This is the University of Lethbridge position. Here we are in 2022, with inflation at around four percent last year alone.

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