Legal rationale work-to-rule

Greetings faculty:

Below please find the letter from our legal team regarding the lawfulness of our work-to-rule actions.  Please note in particular: “The direction to engage in a strike, and the nature of the strike action, are matters for the union to determine. The College Employer Council (CEC) and the Colleges have no role to play in determining the nature, timing, or scope of a union’s strike activity, and are not required to agree with or approve the union’s actions. Strike activity is inherently disruptive to normal practices and necessarily puts pressure on the employer’s operations. Protected strike activity may include engaging in work activities in a way that is inconsistent with normal practices.”

To put it simply, it is up to the faculty union–not your manager, College, or the CEC–to determine or interpret what is part of our strike activity.  

Further, “The fact that Colleges may have pre-existing practices…, even if reduced to writing in the form of a policy, does not preclude the union from directing its members to engage in a strike activity by performing these duties in a manner that is disruptive to operations, in order to put pressure on the employer to engage in negotiations….Put another way, an employer cannot circumvent the rights of the union and its members to engage in a protected strike by simply directing employees to perform their work in their usual manner.”

In other words, work-to-rule supersedes college policy.  You are in a protected strike action when you stand with your colleagues in solidarity and refuse work that is not in accordance with the work-to-rule guidelines set forth by your bargaining team.  

Together, we are stronger.

In solidarity, 

JP, Jonathan, Katie, Michelle, Ravi, Rebecca, Shawn

Your CAATA Bargaining Team

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