University of Alberta and academic staff reach contractual agreement, strike averted

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The University of Alberta Academic Staff Association (AASUA) has voted to renew a collective agreement, which means staff will not have to go on strike.

The university and AASUS began negotiations in November 2020, according to the university’s negotiations updates. As of February 18, the parties have met more than 30 times.

The new deal is for the period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024, according to a statement from the U of A.

“After several months of negotiations, we are pleased to have a clear path that protects student interests, avoids any disruption to research and academic activities, and ensures the long-term well-being of the U of A.”

Of AASUA’s 3,923 eligible voting members, 2,581 vote “yes” to the collective agreement and 210 vote “no,” according to AASUA.

The ratification of the collective agreement means that academic staff at the U of A will not have to go on strike, but the agreement was reached “reluctantly” by some members, according to the president of the AASUA.

“There are aspects of this agreement that don’t belong to our academy – the worst being the two-tier ATS (university teaching staff) pay scales for new recruits who have never worked at the University before,” said Tim Mills. in a press release. .

“(The) executive and labor action committee will immediately begin planning how we can maintain the strength and togetherness that got us to this point, and how we can prepare for the next round to eradicate these stains on our institution and build a better university for our members and for our students.

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