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Did NUFSA file for Conciliation and a “no board” prematurely?

No NUFSA did not. The negotiations process started with NUFSA allowing the administration an extra year to prepare for this process during the transition to university status. This extension was provided by NUFSA to the administration based on negotiations in February 2022.

In February 2022 NUFSA agreed to the postponed negotiation period of one year, until February 2023. For NUFSA it is critical to conduct negotiations during the summer in order not to impact teaching. 

Therefore, NUFSA offered 38 possible negotiation days in May, June and July 2023. The NOSM University administration only agreed to meet for 7 of those days, but later even cancelled 2 of those days.

NUFSA then offered to try and find meeting dates in August, but the NOSM University administration would only agree to 2 meeting days, stating that they would not meet at all between August 10 to Sept 5, 2023.

While the NUFSA bargaining team came prepared with heavily researched proposals comparable to other University medical schools associations, the administration tabled proposals attacking our working conditions. The Canadian Association of University Teachers have confirmed these are the worst set of Employer proposals in Canada. The NOSM University also proceeded to stonewall NUFSA proposals. No significant progress was made by the NOSM University Administration to come to a resolution.

NUFSA and NOSM University administration met with the Conciliation Officer on Sept 22, 2023. At that time, NUFSA offered 32 additional meeting days from the end of September to the end of November in order to continue to work towards a successful conclusion to the negotiations.

Initially, NOSM University administration only agreed to meet one of those days. Since that time, the NOSM University administration has only agreed to meet for a total of 3 days in November.

One main factor that has caused the current status of our negotiations is the administration’s new position that universities, specifically universities in Ontario and universities with medical schools are not appropriate comparators for NOSM University.

Throughout our NOSM history, we have always used those universities as our comparators to ensure equity in Northern Ontario medical education.

The administration does not think that our Faculty, Librarians and Professional staff should have the same working conditions provided at other universities. NOSM University’s ability to be a competitive employer has a direct impact on learning conditions and its ability to continue to attract highly competitive student applicants. NOSM University students deserve the same high quality learning conditions that are provided to students at other universities.