February 9th, 2022 Coverage Report.

Initially Posted at 6:45pm

Contents + TL:DR

  • ULFA provides commentary on this decision of the Board. The majority of these positions are held by students, who will be “effectively” laid off later this month in the event of a strike.

  • CKXU has interviewed the Vice-President of AUPE Darren Graham and President of the GSA Priyanka Dutt.

  • The ULSU has updated their Job Action Questions Page. As well, the Council of Alberta University Students’ has released a letter on job action.

  • ULFA has sent emails to its members regarding picketing; ceasing all teaching, assignment-writing, And test-writing during job action, and to-dos before the strike which could occur tomorrow.

  • The SAS will be hosting a townhall for students tomorrow (Thursday, February 9th).

  • Bow Valley College has sent an email to their students regarding information should picketing occur at BVC (which houses the uLethbridge Calgary Campus).

  • The Campus Collective Centre and Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group provide solidarity statements with ULFA.

University Administration to Reject Timesheets from Hourly-Paid Research Employees.

ULFA Press Release.

Earlier today ULFA sent out a press release regarding the University of Lethbridge Administration’s decision to reject timesheets from hourly-paid research employees. The press release starts out as copied below:

University Board threatens layoffs for student employees. Faculty Association establishes fund to support students and others harmed by the Board’s actions

The University of Lethbridge Administration, on behalf of the Board of Governors of the University of Lethbridge, announced yesterday that it would refuse to accept time sheets from hourly-paid research employees in the event of a strike and would cease all payments to hourly paid employees as on February 21.

“Held Almost Exclusively by Students.”

The press release continues to outline that students make up the majority of these workers who will be affected. A continuation of the press release is copied below:

Hourly-paid research positions at the University are held almost exclusively by students. Most funding for these positions comes from grants brought to the university by researchers from external funding agencies. By laying students off in this way, the Board of Governors is undermining an important source of external support for its own students.

You can read the full press release (with screenreader transcription) on the CKXU via this link.

“…all hourly-paid research employees will be, in effect, laid off by the Board.”

In response to this update from the University Administration, ULFA sent an email, imaged below, to its members. The email states that ULFA members need submit hours for these hourly-paid research employees ahead of time.

Clipped sentence states: We will donate a portion of money received from other unions to this fund and will solicit donations from the local, provincial, and national communities. We are currently researching platforms and designing policies for access. We hope to make a further announcement in the next few days, should strike/lockout become inevitable.

This internal email was also published on the ULFA News Blog. Click here to be taken to the ULFA post.

There is additional commentary on this matter from ULFA President Daniel O’Donnell on his personal Twitter account. You can click here to be taken to the Twitter thread.

CKXU Interviews with AUPE and the GSA.

AUPE Interview With Darren Graham.

Darren Graham is the Vice-President of AUPE. Below is an excerpt of his interview:

DG: We actually had a meeting of all the local chairs, which basically represent the 95,000 workers that AUPE represents. They actually passed a motion the other day to stand in solidarity with the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association in their struggles to obtain a fair agreement through collective bargaining. Furthermore, they called upon the Government to properly fund all post-secondary education within the province of Alberta and to allow Boards of Governors to independently bargaining with all their employees in a fair and respectful manner.

Click here to be taken to the AUPE interview in full. There is a transcription provided.

GSA Interview with Priyanka Dutt.

Priyanka is the President of The Graduate Students’ Association. Below is an excerpt of her interview:

PD: Sadly, there’s not enough funding for post-secondary education, and it’s kind of unfortunate. I’m sure as everyone knows, to ensure that we have a bright future you need to invest in your future and that includes investing in post-secondary. It’s unfortunate to see that we don’t have that funding. Sadly, I don’t know how things are going to go in the future. But in terms of students supporting post-secondary education and what they can do – you can contact our Chair of the Graduate Students’ Labour Relations Board, Jackson Hamm, at [email protected] and I’m sure that he has signs and whatnot that you can absolutely grab and keep at your homes. Also, students are more than welcome to join ULFA at the picket lines. While this is a Faculty strike, this also speaks to the condition of post-secondary learning and the environments that we are both teaching and learning in, so that support is definitely welcome.

Click here to be taken to the GSA interview in full. There is a transcription provided.

Undergraduate Student Updates.

ULSU Updates Their Job Action Response and Collective Bargaining Page.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) Job Action page has undergone heavy changes. Below is an excerpt from the page:

In response to this, the FAQ webpage page is changing to represent the ULSU’s whole advocacy effort about collective bargaining and job action. The first part of this webpage is a recent video from the ULSU Executive Council titled US to U: Job Action. The second half is a glossary of relevant labour terms. The last portion of this page is the FAQ that we’ve been updating since October. The EC answered questions submitted directly by students about this situation. We want to thank these students for submitting their questions as it has given us an understanding of what concerns need to be addressed by students. We hope you find that it is a useful and reassuring resource.

ULSU Official Position Statement.

Additionally, on the job action page, the ULSU has provided this official statement:

Voted unanimously by the ULSU General Assembly on January 21st, 2022

The Students’ Union recognizes the importance of the collective bargaining process in negotiating a collective agreement between the faculty union and the University. We further recognize our positionality in this process, being that the Students’ Union is formally unable to waver decisions to the benefit of either party. We strongly encourage both parties to actively and continuously consider how their decisions impact students and their quality of learning, especially when considering job action. We further recognize that students have already had to bear financial, mental and academic challenges this past semester, and urge both sides to consider how their decisions exacerbate student struggles.

The ULSU’s Job Action page is available by clicking this link.

ULSU Provides Their Spring 2022 Remediation Plans.

The ULSU Executive Council has also provided their planned remediations in the event a strike should occur and for how long. These remediations are what the ULSU expects of the University to lessen the impact a potential strike will have on students. For example, below is an excerpt of what remediations they would like to see should job action go on for four or more weeks:

Job action lasts 4 weeks or more: (Ending on or after March 10th)

We advocate that:
– Regular communications are given to students in an accessible, clear, and timely manner.
– A decision must be communicated regarding the modality of learning past February 28th, and if in-person learning is pursued, administration should refer to the ULSU’s Fall 2021 recommendations on academic accessibility for in-person learning.
– A 24 hour grace period is given before classes resume.
– Excused absences are given to students who are not able to attend class in-person.
– Online learning must be made available to any students who need to access their class remotely, should classes be in-person.
– There are no changes to the academic schedule.
– Dates and deadlines for graded material be extended, at the discretion of the professor and students in the classroom.
– Credit/non-credit designations are made available, with no limit on the number of courses a student is eligible to apply for, and an extension to the deadline to apply.
– Coop [Co-Operative Education], WIL [Work Intergrated Learning], practicum, intern, applied, and independent study students do not face any academic or financial repercussions for missed time or hours.
– Tuition refunds be seriously considered, and/or a tuition deferral model be officially adopted.

You can read the entire remediation plan from the ULSU here.

Council of Alberta University Students’ (CAUS) Letter and Infographics.

CAUS has released a letter regarding supporting students in the event of classroom disruptions. The ULSU is a member of CAUS, which is the provincial advocacy group for Undergraduate University Students.

Click here to be sent to CAUS’ Instagram with the full letter. Please let us know if we need to provide a transcription for this post. Additionally, here is a link to a series of infographics CAUS has posted on Instagram regarding what students need during strike action.

Internal ULFA Emails.

Important Information on Upcoming Strike Commencing 11am Thursday, February 10.

This email provides an FAQ for ULFA members on what they need to do before, on, and after February 10th should a strike occur. Below are images of the email:

Missing Sentences Due to Header:

No non-ULFA employee should be assigned ULFA duties, or any teaching and research duties beyond their existing assignment in the case of graduate student assistants. The Board has indicated that all class-related activities will cease during a strike. Also see ULFA’s Job Action Student FAQ for further details.

Missing Sentences Due to Header:

Members that need to cancel a particular picket shift should notify their assigned picket captain for that day. The Member can request to attend a different picket shift the same week, in lieu of the missed strike shift or perform alternate duties.

Missing Sentences Due to Header:  

The ULFA JAC team is made up of volunteer ULFA Members like you, and is working hard to provide you with additional instructions and details. Watch your email for additional information in the coming days.

All Teaching, Assignment-Writing, And Test-Writing Must Cease During Job Action.

This email provides clarity to ULFA members on what they can and cannot do if job action (a strike) is taken. Below are images of the email:

Missing Sentences Due to Header:

Additionally, students should not be assigned coursework (reading and similar tasks) for the duration of a job action. If a job action begins, all class-related activities should be suspended for the duration of the job action, with all due dates postponed indefinitely until it is clear when Members will return to work. On a similar note, continuing to perform service for University committees would also be considered strike breaking.

ToDos Before the Strike/Lockout at 11 AM Tomorrow.

This email provides faculty members with a task list of what they need to do before the potential strike starting tomorrow morning. Below are images of the email:

Missing Sentence Due to Header:

Other Considerations:

Missing Sentences Due to Header:

Sample Benefits Message:

Email the following from your alternative email
to [email protected] and

Student Action and Solidarity Council Townhall.

SASC To Host Townhall Thursday Night to Connect Students and Faculty.

By clicking here, you’ll be sent to the SASC’s Facebook page, which will have a zoom link posted tomorrow for the townhall.

Bow Valley College Email To Students.

The BVC Campus is Also Home to the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus.

Below is an image of the email:

Solidarity Updates.

The Campus Collective Centre (CCC) Stands in Solidarity with ULFA.

The CCC has provided strike information for students and their solidarity statement via Instagram. Click here to visit the Instagram post.

The Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group Stands in Solidarity with ULFA.

Click here to see LPIRGs newsletters email which includes the statement.

Please contact [email protected] with any omissions or errors in this report.
Additionally, if your Screenreader is having difficulties reading images on this report, let us know and we will start transcribing them.