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USFA e-Letter: USFA is willing to explore University openness to reconsider the Presidential veto

While the University has launched an appeal of the arbitration decision regarding a former President’s unlawful participation in the process for the award of tenure, the dispute that gave rise to the grievance and the substance of the appeal stem from provisions in the Collective Agreement between the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association (USFA) and the University of Saskatchewan.

In the view of the USFA Executive, if the Board is unhappy with provisions in the current Collective Agreement, the place to address this issue is at the bargaining table, not in Court. Doug Chivers, Chair of the USFA Executive, said “Unless, the Board reconsiders its motion to grant the President veto power or the Collective Agreement is changed, this will continue to be a point of disagreement. We are currently at the bargaining table and there is an opportunity for a negotiated solution that will stave off future costly disputes on this issue.”

In a July 16, 2014 article, Chair of the U of S Board of Governors Susan Milburn was quoted as saying: “If we need to reconsider, we’re open to that.” In response Chivers said, “While we question how this appeal of the Sims decision is openness to reconsidering, we are willing to take the Chair at her word. We will be putting forward proposals to seize the opportunity to solve the Presidential veto problem.”

The USFA will be defending the Appeal, but it will also be raising the issue of the Presidential veto at the bargaining table. If the University is truly is open to reconsider the presidential veto, the bargaining table is the place where that will be demonstrated.