Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strike update: Day 01 – Update 02

Interview with Bob Elliott, education librarian for information services.
Elliott has been a librarian for 38 years and recalls the last strike 26 years ago which lasted six days. He recalls that the last strike was during the winter, and the weather wasn’t nearly as comfortable as it has been today.

He said the last time the strike was really nasty.

How are things different?
“[Things are] quieter in a sense that there hasn’t been very much information coming from the other side [the university]. The last time there were all kinds of public statements and rumours; no rumours, no public statements. The only position is the WUFA position, which is really odd. We’re fighting the void. It’s just really bizarre.”

“Of course I’m biased, but I think WUFA has done a very good job at making their position public. But I’m really truly curious, being a Gemini, I guess I like both sides. I really would like to know what the other side is. There’s nothing, you look at the Windsor Star, listen to the radio, the media has a total blackout. And no one seems to know what’s going on. It’s like negotiation with a corporation, a small private company or something, that’s the impression I get. Like, ‘It’s my company, I don’t have to talk.' But it’s a public corporation.”

“I’m a librarian and I like information. I actually like to know all sides. Everything usually tends to be … shades of grey. Here there’s no shades of anything. I get my information from the WUFA meetings.”

As for the university’s position, Elliott says they haven’t heard much. “You don’t know how many people are involved. It appears to be a little cartel of invisible people that you’re dealing with. It’s a different situation from 26 years ago.”

President Wildeman speaks out on the WUFA strike

Faculty strike: a message from the president [abridged]
The Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA) is exercising its legal right to strike. This decision was made after an impasse was reached during negotiations aimed at obtaining a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expired on June 30, 2008. Clearly, this is a highly regrettable situation for our students and our community. We remain totally committed to resolving this matter in such a way that every student’s academic year will be completed.

Not unexpectedly, the strike has caused a great deal of interest, from both across the campus and across the community. We believe both parties remain committed to the need for details of the bargaining process to remain with the negotiating teams. Nevertheless, it is the University’s obligation to be very clear to students, faculty and staff why we are in the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in. It is also essential that we address rumours that persist and that detract from everyone’s goals of reaching a settlement. I would therefore make the following comments.


It is the saddest day of my academic career to see the University of Windsor’s faculty on strike. I trust that best efforts and patience will prevail on all sides, and that in a short time people will return to doing what I know they really want to do, which is teaching and research and service to the University and the community. The University will be doing everything it can to see the bargaining process continue to a successful conclusion. Most importantly, it will do absolutely all it can to ensure that no students have their academic year placed in jeopardy because of the strike.

Alan Wildeman
President and Vice-Chancellor (
Wednesday afternoon, September 17, 2008, my emphasis)

For the complete statement from the President of the University, visit:

This would, of course, reveal why the university hasn't disclosed any of the details regarding the negotiations. "[The] details of the bargaining process [need] to remain with the negotiating teams," means they aren't going to be discussing the items for negotiation with the media.

Other headlines from
This morning the University of Windsor faculty and librarians are exercising their right to strike. As a consequence, no classes are scheduled today. The only exception is the Windsor Program of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Click the headline for more information. (

President's Garden Party postponed
The annual President's Garden Party to welcome new faculty and staff, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed indefinitely.~

"I hope I will be able to give our new faculty and staff a proper welcome soon," said president Alan Wildeman in announcing the delay.
How much is strike pay, you wonder?
Q. How much is strike pay?
A. Strike pay is $539 per week based on five (5) shifts per week (Monday to Friday) of strike duty with three (3) hours and ten minutes per shift.
    Faculty, librarians, and sessional instructors all get the same pay.
    Strike pay is not taxable for purposes of income tax.
    There is no provision for “part-time” or “occasional” picketing. You must attend your scheduled picket duties to qualify for stike pay.
Officially, Canada Post will not deliver mail during the strike. They’re also not picking mail up for delivery. If you’re living on university property (all you folks in Mac, Laurier, etc.) will have to find another mailbox to send your letters out to. Your parents won’t be able to deliver you cookies until the strike is over, either.

Public reaction:
There are long, thoughtful comments being laid down at the end of this article by the Windsor Star.

University Players show to proceed despite strike
Theatre goers and students without any classes to attend, will still be able to watch the University Players' rendition of Measure for Measure.
(Windsor, ON, September 17, 2008) The University Players production of Measure for Measure will open this week as planned despite the strike announced by the University of Windsor Faculty Association.

The School of Dramatic Art and University Players are committed to our audience members, many of whom have already purchased subscriptions or tickets for this production. We are also dedicated to our students, who have rehearsed long and hard to bring this striking modern production of Measure for Measure to the stage. Therefore the production will be staged as planned.

We do not anticipate any problems for audience members arriving on campus to attend the production.

Measure for Measure is the opening production in the University Players 50th Anniversary Season. The production will run September 18-21, 24-28, 2008, in Essex Hall Theatre. Wednesday through Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17-$19. Essex Hall Theatre is located on the University of Windsor campus.

For information or tickets, call 519-253-3000, ext. 2808 or visit

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For additional information, please contact:
Chris Knack, Marketing Coordinator
519-253-3000, ext. 2818

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