Ants not Grasshoppers: Planning Ahead for Work Disruption

The MRFA Bargaining Committee is always working to arrive at fair settlement for members and there is no imminent risk of a strike or lockout.  And yet, it is not too soon to prepare for the financial consequences of a labour disruption at Mount Royal.  The best time to get started on these preparations is when the prospect of a disruption is low.

You could think about your financial preparedness for strike or lockout as being akin to paying insurance premiums.  Unlike insurance premiums, however, if no disruption ever occurs, the money is all yours!

To calculate how much a labour disruption is likely to affect you financially, there are two key considerations.  What is the difference between what you will receive in daily strike pay and your regular daily salary?  And, how long will the disruption last?

The answer to the first question is easy to calculate.  Strike pay for an MRFA member participating in job action will be $150 per day.  Subtract that amount from your average daily pay and this will be the difference in your income per working day of labour disruption.

The second question is impossible to answer with certainty in advance.  On average, post-secondary labour disruptions in Canada are resolved in about three weeks (15 working days), but some recent strikes have been considerably shorter (at Mount Allison, 6 working days) and in one case slightly longer (UNBC, 17 working days).  The MRFA has prepared an online calculator to help you envision different scenarios.

Every MRFA member’s financial situation is different.   The online calculator recognizes this reality and its purpose to help you plan ahead in a way that makes sense for you.  Planning ahead can reduce our individual anxieties and prepare us collectively for any eventuality.  In many cases, setting aside a small amount from every pay cheque over the course of a collective agreement can reduce the risk that any MRFA member will suffer undue hardship as a result of a lockout or strike.