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NOSM U Faculty and Professional Staff enter conciliation with strong community support

THUNDER BAY AND SUDBURY, September 21, 2023 – Medical education faculty and professional staff represented by NOSM U Faculty and Staff Association (NUFSA), members of OPSEU Local 677, will enter provincially mediated conciliation with the NOSM U administration, tomorrow, September 22. 

NUFSA and the university administration remain far apart on important issues of job security; however, the union is entering conciliation with strong community support from students, alumni, staff, and community members. To make their dissatisfaction with the administration’s position clear, union members and supporters have been sending emails to the university’s senior administration, including President Verma and Board Chair, Warkentin. To date, the administration has received over 1,200 emails expressing support for a fair contract in line with other Ontario medical schools to ensure NOSM U students attain the best quality, Northern-specific education. The administration has not provided a response to emails.  

“Clearly, the community is concerned that the University administration remains at odds with supporting a vision of NOSM U as a public university in Canada with an equitable workload, learning and research conditions that are the same as other medical schools. The administration’s ongoing refusal to engage in meaningful dialogue with NUFSA has the potential to compromise the quality of medical education in northern Ontario”, said Darrel Manitowabi, President of the NOSM U Faculty and Professional Staff Union.  

NUFSA and its supporters are calling on the administration to demonstrate a willingness to use the conciliation process to negotiate a fair and equitable collective agreement that benefits faculty, staff, students, and the Northern Ontario community. 

“The working conditions of NOSM University faculty and staff are the learning conditions of students, and ultimately, the care conditions of the people of Northern Ontario.” said Alanna Makinson, a third-year student at the institution.  If NOSMU’s administration values training the next generation of doctors, they must show it through fair pay and benefits, and working conditions for the staff that do that work.” 

Founded in 2005, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University Faculty and Staff Association is one of two OPSEU bargaining units representing NOSMU’s 41 full time faculty, professional librarians, and professional staff. NUFSA is a CAUT & OCUFA Affiliate.   

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Dr. Darrel Manitowabi, NUFSA President at Tel (705) 929-0177, email: [email protected].