Concordia University Edmonton Faculty Association (CUEFA) members have ratified an agreement that will improve working conditions and increase salaries of CUEFA members.
A deal was reached after a two-week strike, the first job action by an academic staff association in Alberta.
“The new agreement was made possible because of the determination of the academic staff association and the solidarity of students, community supporters, allies and other unions and associations,” said David Robinson, CAUT Executive Director.
Over 1,350 individuals and organizations across Canada rallied behind CUEFA and called upon the university administration to make “long overdue improvements” to the working conditions of academic staff.
As a result of the strike, there is now a solidarity working group and new networks between academic staff across Alberta that can support other academic staff associations currently in bargaining—many of whom are also preparing for the possibility of job action.
“This is an important moment for post-secondary education in Alberta,” said Robinson. “Although academic staff in that province have been on the front lines of defending the academic mission, until recently they were denied one of the essential tools available to other academic staff associations: the right to strike. And now CUEFA has shown that right can be used to improve conditions for teaching, research, and learning.”
CUEFA’S 82 members went on strike at the start of the winter semester, on January 4.
The new agreement includes salary gains and improves working conditions for CUEFA members, including more manageable workloads for professors, laboratory instructors, librarians, and field placement coordinators. The agreement also improves job security to members and preserves their ownership of their intellectual property.