Labour Negotiation FAQs

Labour Negotiation FAQs

What are the university’s goals?

NSCAD’s goal is to set the standard for a 21st century university of the visual arts— to be globally competitive, regarded as “best in class” for academic and creative excellence, and student experience. In order to achieve these goals, the budget must be affordable and sustainable over time. NSCAD is committed to reaching a collective agreement that is fair to employees, affordable under current enrollment levels and budget restrictions, and ensures the University’s future sustainability.

What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining is the process by which the University and the labour union negotiate their collective agreement.

What is a collective agreement?

A collective agreement is a written contract between the University and the labour union. The collective agreement applies to all members of the bargaining unit and contains the terms and conditions of employment. Collective agreements last for a pre-determined period of time. When a collective agreement expires, the University and the union must enter into collective bargaining to re-negotiate the agreement.

What happens if the employer and the union are unable to conclude a collective agreement through the collective bargaining process?

If the two parties reach an impasse, like in the case of Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and the Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (FUNSCAD) Unit 1, conciliation services will be requested to help both parties work through their outstanding issues.

Conciliation between NSCAD and FUNSCAD began on January 28, 2019. If the parties reach another impasse following conciliation, the conciliator will then file a confidential report with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. This would trigger a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period during which no job action, such as a strike or lockout, can take place.

What is the role of the conciliator?

The conciliator is a neutral third party who is considered an expert in negotiation procedures. Their role is to assist employers and unions in reaching mutually agreeable solutions to outstanding issues. Following an impasse in negotiations in December 2018, FUNSCAD requested that a conciliator be appointed by the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

What happens if the conciliation process is unsuccessful?

The steps in the process are as follows:

  • The union or employer files for conciliation through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

  • Within two weeks of applying for conciliation, a provincial conciliator will be appointed. The conciliator will then be in touch with both parties to arrange meeting times.

  • Multiple conciliation sessions usually take place. These continue until either an agreement has been reached or the conciliator declares an impasse.

  • If an impasse is declared, the conciliator will then file a confidential report with the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education which triggers a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period during which no job action, such as a strike or lockout, can take place.

How will we be notified of impending strike action?

NSCAD is committed to providing timely updates on negotiations through community notifications as well as updates on our website https://navigator.nscad.ca/labour/