On September 9th and 10th, academics across Canada and the United States are planning to pause their regular teaching and other work duties in anti-racist solidarity, and will join public teach-ins on police brutality, racism, and white supremacy.1
The call to pause regular teaching does not meet Alberta’s legal definition of a strike, withholding of work (a “strike”) is clearly and unequivocally not possible under our Collective Agreement Article 21.1 and the Alberta Labour Relations Code s.71.
The Association supports the CAUT’s statement, which calls on all universities to not penalize those who may participate in the action on September 9th and 10th. Employees who do engage in certain solidarity actions (e.g. pausing work) may open themselves to progressive discipline. Should the University initiate such disciplinary action, the Association will ensure that the employee’s rights under Article 25 will be observed–including the right to have accompaniment to any meeting that is believed to be the basis of discipline. The
Association’s Labour Relations Officer is available for consultation prior to any meeting to discuss your questions or concerns, and/or attend the meeting.
Should members choose to undertake solidarity actions, please notify the Association via LabourRelations@mrfa.net so that the Association can document the type of engagement, and monitor the Employer’s reaction, if any. All information will be kept confidential and no information will be shared with the Employer.
In solidarity with the action on September 9th and 10th, the Association reiterates its commitment to the statement of June 2020, and would like to highlight other ways that members can show solidarity with the #ScholarStrike.2
The Association has committed to a process to review its bylaws, policies and procedures and operations to ensure that they do not promote systemic racism, including anti-Black racism and/or systemic discrimination. Additionally, the Association has instructed its staff to review the resources provided through the Scholar Strike Canada resource website.