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Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) Collective Agreement

This on-line version of the Collective Agreement between the Ryerson Faculty Association and the Board of Governors of Ryerson University is provided for the convenient reference of RFA members and other interested parties. If any conflict is found between this version and the official documents, the terms of the official documents will prevail.

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023

January 2021

On January 16, 17 and 23, the Ryerson University and Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) bargaining teams met to continue negotiations.

Following productive talks last spring, the parties engaged in conciliation, external link and are now in mediation prior to interest arbitration, external link. Interest arbitration is the final stage of the bargaining process at Ryerson and is governed by Article 2.3 of the collective agreement. In interest arbitration outstanding issues are referred to a jointly agreed upon arbitrator who will make a legally binding award. The arbitrator is currently assisting the parties with mediation.

The University, in keeping with our values in collective bargaining, is committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue with the RFA. We are also committed to reaching a fair settlement that meets the needs of both the University and the Association.

Progress to Date

The parties have made progress on a number of key issues including a number of proposals that build on our joint commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. However, there are a significant number of proposals still outstanding. To date, the parties have not had the opportunity to engage with the proposals that the University has identified as its main priorities.

Bill 124

In late 2019 the Ontario government passed the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (Bill 124) which restricts the University’s ability to negotiate compensation increases. Over a three-year period, wage increases will be limited to 1% per year. Total compensation increases will similarly be capped at 1% per year.

We have recently received the RFA’s financial proposals. The University’s response, in keeping with the historical practice, will be tabled after the RFA’s proposal. These proposals will comply with Bill 124 and will take into account the fiscal realities of the institution.

What’s next?

The parties are currently scheduled to continue with mediation on February 27 and 28, 2021.

September 14, 2020

On September 11, 2020, after two days of conciliation, the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) requested the conciliator from the Ministry of Labour issue a “no board report”. Under the RFA Collective Agreement this is one of the necessary steps on the path towards mediation/arbitration.

Normally, “conciliation” or a “no board report” leads to the possibility of a strike or lockout; however, the RFA Collective Agreement has a provision that there will be no strike or lockout. Therefore, at Ryerson, the appointment and withdrawal (“no board”) of a conciliator actually moves the parties into mediation/interest arbitration.

The move to mediation/arbitration will allow the parties to engage with a mediator who is experienced in the university sector and who is agreed upon by both the university administration and the RFA. Historically, this process has worked better than conciliation in assisting the parties in reaching a settlement.

We remain committed to continuing to work with the RFA towards achieving a negotiated collective agreement with the assistance of a mediator.

We will continue to post updates on this page to keep you informed as changes occur.

June 30, 2020

Since April 22, Ryerson University and the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) have held regular bargaining sessions with the goal of achieving a negotiated settlement. The University has been encouraged by the positive and collaborative approach that has taken place thus far, especially given the unique constraints and challenges posed by bargaining virtually over Zoom.

On June 25th, 2020, the RFA advised Ryerson University that it filed a request with the Ontario Ministry of Labour for the appointment of a Conciliation Officer under the Ontario Labour Relations Act. The RFA confirmed prior to filing for conciliation that they have not presented all their intended proposals, including their request regarding compensation. We expect to receive these proposals at the next stage of bargaining.

Both parties have been committed to problem-solving and thorough discussion. While productive, this has also meant that negotiations did not conclude within the time frame available.

As the RFA’s collective agreement includes language that prohibits both lockouts and strikes, the university understands the RFA’s decision to move to conciliation and looks forward to continuing the process to reach a negotiated settlement.

Ryerson University will continue to fully engage and participate in good faith and looks forward to a high level of engagement on both sides during the next phase of bargaining. As the process moves forward, the University remains limited in negotiations by the Ontario Government’s Bill 124, external link and the compensation restraint limitations it imposes.

April 22, 2020

Earlier today, Ryerson University and the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) commenced collective bargaining for a new collective agreement.

The two parties have scheduled regular negotiation sessions during the coming months with the goal of achieving a negotiated settlement.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, negotiations will take place via videoconferencing. This unprecedented situation does present some uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead, however the University remains committed to our values in bargaining:

  1. At Ryerson, we value the contributions of all employee groups. We acknowledge the crucial role of unions and their leadership and value the process of collective bargaining.
  2. The values of equity, diversity and inclusion are important to us. We are committed to the advancement of EDI initiatives through bargaining.
  3. The University comes to the table in good faith. We listen; we hear the concerns of our unions.
  4. The University is committed to meaningful dialogue that is respectful and gives due consideration to differing views.
  5. The University is committed to reaching fair settlements that achieve important priorities within the realities of our financial limits.
  6. We are accountable to all of Ryerson’s stakeholders, and so perspectives must take into account the success of the university as a whole.

The University and the RFA are limited in negotiations by the Ontario Government’s Bill 124, external link and the compensation restraint limitations it imposes. 

Updates will be provided on this page as negotiations continue.

January 29, 2019

Late last week, the University and the Ryerson Faculty Association were able to conclude the mediation/arbitration process for a new Collective Agreement.

The parties referred the matter to mediation/arbitration with Arbitrator Bill Kaplan, with one day of mediation in September 2018 and three days scheduled last week. Despite efforts for a mediated resolution, Arbitrator Kaplan determined that would not be possible and, after receiving submissions from both parties, proceeded to issue an PDF fileAward, which was received on January 28, 2019.

One of the components of the Award is a voluntary retirement incentive program. Those members who are eligible to participate will soon receive a communication from the university setting out the terms of the program and the process to opt in to it.

The University is pleased to have a renewal Collective Agreement with the Association and looks forward to working with the Association in the next round of bargaining which will likely begin in the Spring of 2020.

September 13, 2018

On September 13th, 2018, the university administration and the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) had the first mediation session with Mediator/Arbitrator Kaplan. Both parties were able to meet with the Mediator/Arbitrator separately to assist his understanding of each party’s respective positions. Further mediation dates have been scheduled. We remain committed to reaching a fair settlement with the Association. Further updates will be provided as they become available.

June 22, 2018

The Ministry of Labour appointed a conciliator and set the conciliation date for Friday, June 22, 2018. Both parties met with the conciliator, and the university administration requested a “no board report”.

As described in our previous update on June 12, 2018, a “no board report” can be requested by either party. The university administration is making this request in order to move directly to mediation to come to a settlement more quickly with a mutually agreed upon arbitrator with knowledge of the university sector. We’ve had success with this strategy in the past and believe that mediation will be more productive and effective than conciliation in reaching agreement between both parties.

We look forward to working with the RFA in the mediation phase of bargaining to achieve a renewal collective agreement.

June 12, 2018

On May 30, 2018, the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) requested the appointment of a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour. Under the RFA Collective Agreement this is one of the necessary steps on the path towards mediation/arbitration.

In order to expedite the process, the university is requesting to withdraw from conciliation (referred to as a “no board report”) in order to move directly to mediation with a mutually agreed upon arbitrator who has knowledge of the university sector.

Normally, “conciliation” or a “no board report” leads to the possibility of a strike or lockout; however, it is always important to note that the RFA Collective Agreement has a provision that there will be no strike or lockout. Therefore, at Ryerson, the appointment and withdrawal (“no board”) of a conciliator actually moves the parties into mediation/interest arbitration.

There are several reasons why the university administration has decided to take this step:

  • Mediation has worked better than conciliation in assisting both parties in reaching settlements, and so we’re drawing on our previous successful experiences in a way that is consistent with our collective agreement.
  • This moves the process forward in order to come to a settlement more quickly. It’s important to both parties to achieve a collective agreement as promptly as possible.
  • We can engage with a mediator who is experienced in the university sector and who is agreed upon by both the university administration and the RFA.

We remain committed to continuing to work with the RFA towards achieving a negotiated collective agreement with the assistance of a mediator.

We will continue to post updates on this page to keep you informed as changes occur.

  

March 29, 2018

The collective agreement between the University and the Ryerson Faculty Association expires on June 30, 2018. The University Administration and the Association commenced collective bargaining on March 28, 2018 and have scheduled regular negotiation sessions during the coming months with the hopes of achieving a negotiated settlement prior to the expiry of the current contract.

RFA Collective Agreement, 2020-2023, by Article

Memos

Arbitration Awards