Collective Bargaining

There will be a meeting of librarians on June 3rd at 11:30 a.m. in Room MRT 248 to discuss grievances and collective bargaining.


May 18, 2013 update:

As someone who is committed to seeing positive changes in the working conditions of librarians it never fails to disappoint me that the employer has no desire or intention to listen to the needs of employees. And so it goes at the bargaining table yet again.

Even though the employer claims to be “frustrated” with the lack of collegiality of our working conditions, not a single one of its proposals addresses this frustration. And furthermore, responses to APUO’s proposals regarding creating a more open appointments process and a peer review of annual evaluations are met with claims that we are just too hierarchical for that to happen.

In other words, the employer has no intention of bargaining with librarians, only sticking to the status quo “we have the power and you don’t” argument.

On the upside, it was acknowledged that librarian’s vacation entitlement of 22 days annual leave is never pro-rated. Again, librarians’ vacation leave is never pro-rated; even if you don’t work full time, you get full time vacation allotment. Even if you are transitioning to retirement, you get your full annual vacation leave entitlement. There have been many cases in the past and some in the present where the employer tries to pull a fast one by telling employees that vacation days are pro-rated but even they admitted this week, that librarians’ vacation days are never pro-rated.

If an HR person should call you up or email you to say that you are not entitled to your full vacation, just ask what article he is referring to. You will very quickly understand that there is no article stating that.

Your APUO Board of Directors Reps, Karine Fournier and Ann Hemingway are setting up a meeting soon to update you on the negotiations.

More to come!


For updates on the 2013 negotiations, see the APUO bargaining updates.


December 10, 2012

We took notes of potential collective bargaining issues at the December 5th, 2012 meeting of APUO librarians.


November 21 2012

Send your collective bargaining suggestions and issues to Ann Hemingway! She is collecting responses until November 30th 2012.


Update October 12, 2012

Yesterday, at the meeting of APUO’s Board of Directors, two motions regarding the composition of the Collective Bargaining Committee and Negotiations Team were passed. The members for the next round of collective bargaining will be:

Collective Bargaining Committee:

Susan Spronk, Jean-Daniel Jacob, Victor Leblanc, Ann Hemingway, Peter Bischoff, Paul Saurette (Chair).

Negotiations Team:

Tracy Vaillancourt, Amir Attaran, Rick Blute, Jennifer Dekker, Michel Desjardins (Chief Negotiator).


Update October 2, 2012

Since the APUO ratified the 2010-2011 agreement on September 25, 2012, Collective Bargaining has concluded.


Just when you thought it was all said and done …

After a rather difficult negotiations update #11 where APUO had invited members to a special assembly for the purpose of a strike mandate vote, update #12 was quite a bit more positive. Headlines such as:


With bullet points such as:

Since the last update, our negotiating team met with the employer’s team for a marathon 14-hour negotiating session in an attempt to resolve the remaining non-monetary issues.

• The employer essentially withdrew all of their remaining items and indicated that the one remaining issue (parking) could be addressed in another manner.

• A lockout/strike now seems unlikely.

• As such, the Special General Assembly scheduled for August 7 has been cancelled.

Made us all feel that progress was made and resolution imminent. But NOT SO! Parking has once again become a bee in the university’s bonnet and there is no progress on this issue. Stay tuned for information from APUO as the situation unfolds.


May 1st, 2012. Still at the table. Librarians’ issues still unresolved.

We started with librarians’ issues. It was the first item submitted by APUO. We’ve all but resolved nearly every other normative (non-monetary) issue. But guess what. We’re still talkin’ about the librarians.

APUO submitted at proposal on December 2, 2011. The employer responded on March 27, 2012. And that’s why we are still at the table.

The major issue left is promotion. Most items submitted by APUO or Employer have been withdrawn and some have been settled though the agreement has not been signed yet.

Updates will be available as they become available. Librarians’ issues won’t be discussed again until the end of May.


On March 1st, we had a bargaining update in person by Ron Melchers, Chief Negotiator for the APUO in the current collective bargaining. While the overall preliminary results of bargaining this session are less than we may have hoped for, we took away some positive points:

– Never consider another side table format for bargaining librarians’ issues. APUO is one union and should bargain as one cohesive unit. Its leadership is committed to having librarians’ voices heard loudly at the bargaining table and in fact, librarians’ issues were one of two priorities for the APUO in this round of negotiation (workload being the other). Ron also remarked that since 1995, when he was last Chief Negotiator, that librarians’ articles in the Collective Agreement still are in need of improvement and re-wording. He suggested that librarians go through all the articles pertaining to them and develop stronger language for the next round of collective bargaining.

– Ron also drew attention to the fact that, while the collective bargaining negotiations did not make the substantial gains that were hoped for, the APUO negotiating team was better organized, prepared and more cohesive than the employer’s side. The employer routinely added to the amount that they wanted to negotiate, despite the window for introduction of new issues having been officially closed. The APUO, in an attempt to be flexible, allowed this, but these new discussion were a definite impediment to achieving resolution on key issues.

– The employer’s side now has one full month to prepare and present one last time at the end of March. Librarians’ issues should be wrapped up shortly thereafter, and we will have another meeting to update our members at that point.

The second item on the agenda was a quick presentation by Cameron Metcalf, representing the APUO’s Executive Committee. Cameron iterated that librarians’ were a lot more active and involved in this round of negotiating with having three members actively working on collective bargaining in various capacities. He mentioned the improvement in communication regarding negotiations to librarian members, and also made the important point that for the first time in recent memory, the librarian members who are working on negotiations will actually continue to work for U of O as unionized members. In the past, negotiators have often been close to retirement, or have left the university or the APUO shortly after bargaining. Consequently, they did not have to ‘live’ with the agreement for very long after they negotiated it.

There was an open floor discussion period where many questions were asked and hopefully most were satisfactorily answered. For any further questions regarding negotiations, please contact either Jennifer Dekker of the Collective Bargaining Committee, or the APUO’s Paul Saurette (Vice-President of APUO, and whose mandate includes oversight of Collective Bargaining).

There will likely be a final bargaining update in the spring, including information on monetary issues (e.g. salaries) and benefits. The APUO library representatives will formulate a schedule for more regular meetings of the APUO librarians’ group. The suggestions were monthly meetings in the summer and bi-monthly meetings from Sept. – May. There were also suggestions for lunch time meetings (e.g. brown bag meetings) and future meetings of the Collective Agreement Reading Group. If you’d like to get more familiar with your Agreement, consider joining us. An invitation will be sent out to all APUO librarians in the spring.


Ron Melchers, chief negotiator for APUO in the current collective bargaining, will be updating librarian members at the March 1st meeting.


Update # 7, which was released on January 13, 2012, contained the following key messages:

– Employer is not under significant financial strain.

– In fact, the employer’s financial situation is very healthy, with a substantial surplus.

– Over the past 10 years, the employer has chosen not to hire full time professors and librarians at the same rate as student growth despite being financially capable of this.

– This has caused faculty to student ratios to increase which has meant reduced student contact and increased professor / librarian workload.

– Other ways of allocating funds were and are possible for the employer.

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