Open Letter From Concordia University Library Employees’ Union To President Graham Carr

President Carr,

As you know, our collective agreement expired in 2017.

University Administration and Concordia’s labour unions had agreed that this next round of negotiations would be guided by a mutually adopted framework.

The goal was a more efficient and effective bargaining process at Concordia.

Unfortunately, in our case, this has not happened.

University negotiators brought to the table in the fall of 2018 a non-monetary demand to modify Appendix A of our contract.

This demand would severely restrict advancement opportunities for CULEU members.

Our CULEU General Assembly rejected this demand in November 2018.

The university negotiating team then chose not to respect the legitimate message from our members.

The university’s team would not drop its demand, and yet throughout all of 2019 the university’s team would not make a serious proposal to advance negotiations.

Our negotiations went nowhere for all of 2019, a waste of valuable university time and university resources.

Then, after two conciliation dates in December 2019, university negotiators had an opportunity to come back on Jan. 13 with a proposal to advance negotiations.

The university’s team failed.

Their proposal still did not address our concerns; the same concerns that CULEU members had clearly expressed many months ago, in November 2018.

University Administrators, in particular Library Administrators, will say that the issue at the bargaining table has to do with qualifications.

But it is not about qualifications.

The library technician diploma is already a recognized qualification in our collective agreement.

The university can already hire candidates with these qualifications.

Nothing is stopping the university from hiring skilled and qualified library support staff as it has for 50 years.

No, this is not about qualifications.

CULEU members know that this is about restricting advancement opportunities for future CULEU members.

That is why our members rejected this at our General Assembly in November 2018.

And why our members rejected this at our General Assembly one year later, in November 2019.

And it is why our members voted for a strike mandate at the same assembly meeting in November 2019.

It is why our members walked out, on strike, on Jan. 16, 2020.

And why we’ve walked out again today.

It is why our friends from across the Concordia community are standing together with CULEU at today’s solidarity rally.

Kent Cluff
CULEU – President