April 19, 2024

NAIT rejects NASA compromise on scheduling

Good morning NASA members,

Your bargaining committee met again on the evening of April 4.

In addition to discussing proposals, the committee voted to propose a compromise position to NAIT on scheduling negotiations. This was to address NAIT’s unchanging position that bargaining should happen only during the day time despite the issues this poses to NASA members, including:

  • Disruption to the learning environment and increased workload caused by substitution,
  • No guarantee that time off can be arranged for committee members,
  • Barriers to observers attending during the regular workday, and
  • Potential costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars to NASA for scheduling arrangements.

NAIT had already communicated their intention to go to the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) if NASA did not give in to their demands. The committee’s compromise proposal aimed to strike a balance by:

  • Allowing daytime bargaining for May-August when classroom disruption is minimal,
  • Agreeing to pay for the time off, but not for Instructors who did not require substitution. (those Instructors would effectively volunteer their time, and complete their workload duties in a flexible manner as Instructors often do),
  • Bargain during the evening and weekends from September-April, when most instructors are teaching during the day. (Evening and weekend bargaining would be used to minimize the representational, logistical, and cost barriers for NASA during the day.)

The proposal was provided to NAIT, but they did not show a willingness to compromise, maintaining their impractical and costly position.

As you know NAIT filed an application to the labour board. I encourage you all to think about why that may be and who stands to benefit if NAIT is actually successful at the ALRB. There are employers who would use this as an opportunity to pit us against our co-workers, but from what I’ve heard that’s not what you all are doing. Staying united is how we take on these challenges and come out on top.

As we navigate this complex terrain, our goal as a committee remains the same, which is to get to the bargaining table as soon as possible to begin negotiations and reach an agreement that upholds the rights and interests of our fellow faculty members, but in a way that doesn’t prove disruptive, impractical, and costly for the committee and NASA members.

It’s unfortunate that this has left all of us in limbo and put the process at a standstill, but this will be only a temporary setback. NASA will be requesting NAIT’s complaint be heard in an expedited fashion. Wages, workload, and job security need to be addressed and we are very much looking forward to sitting across from NAIT and talking about how we can make improvements.

NASA’s Bargaining Committee

p.s. Another reminder to please provide your personal contact information at this link.