The stalemate in the negotiations ended on March 25, 2019, when the two sides reached an interim collective agreement, which was subsequently ratified. However, there is still a gap between the administration and the faculties` association. The URFA recently voted in favour of a strike mandate in which more than 85% of the votes cast coincide. CUPE is holding a rally for 21 November to protest against the possible wage savings proposed by the university. A little more than a month after a signed collective agreement, waves of discontent began to emerge among university staff at the University of Regina over the sensitive issue of compensation. Fair pay for university staff was one of the many topics that almost led members of the University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) to take action for employment in April. Tensions between the administration, academic staff and even students saw new heights when the university went on strike. “I feel like I can go to the URFA and they will tell me directly what is going on when the administration is acting like politicians. The 2014-17 collective agreement did not include faculty members. “We ask the university administration to work with us to reach an agreement as quickly as possible to ensure the negotiation of a fair and reasonable contract without having to resort to professional action that would interrupt the students and jeopardize the end of the semester. In 2017-18, operating grants in the national budget were cut by several million dollars, money that would have been used to cover wage costs and expenses.
“We hoped to be able, with the help of the mediator, to reach an agreement and avoid the possibility of trade union action,” said Sylvain Rheault, President of the URFA. After 40 hours over four days of mediaton, the University of Regina administration and the University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) failed to secure a new collective agreement for U of R Academic employees. The URFA collective agreement expired in June 2017 and CUPE`s agreement expired in 2016. The time it took the university to organize a new agreement that the organizations will sign has created tensions. The new collective agreement also raises the salary floor: the minimum amount that staff can earn. Propst Tom Chase confirms: “Academics under the new floor should increase their salaries on the new floor.” Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, was concerned about what would happen if the agreement was reached, as the university had proposed.