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Unionized faculty, staff at NOSM to begin mediation talks

Unionized faculty and professional staff at NOSM University represented by the NOSM U Faculty and Staff Association (NUFSA) along with members of OPSEU Local 677 have agreed to enter provincially mediated conciliation with the school’s administration starting Friday.

Last month, NUFSA members voted 100 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

NUFSA and the university administration “remain far apart on important issues of job security,” the union said in a news release Thursday – adding they are entering conciliation with strong community and student support.

In order to make “their dissatisfaction with the administration’s position clear,” the union has encouraged members and their supporters to send emails to NOSM U's senior administration through their website.

NUFSA said that the administration has already received more than 1,325 emails expressing support for a fair contract in line with other Ontario medical schools.

The union said administration has not provided a response to emails.

“Clearly, the community is concerned that the University administration remains at odds with supporting a vision of NOSM U as a public university in Canada with an equitable workload, learning and research conditions that are the same as other medical schools,” said NUFSA president Darrel Manitowabi, in the release.

“The administration’s ongoing refusal to engage in meaningful dialogue with NUFSA has the potential to compromise the quality of medical education in northern Ontario.”

NUFSA said they are calling on the administration to demonstrate a willingness to use the conciliation process to negotiate a fair collective agreement that benefits faculty, staff, students and the northern Ontario community at large.

“The working conditions of NOSM University faculty and staff are the learning conditions of students, and ultimately, the care conditions of the people of northern Ontario,” said student Alanna Makinson.

“If NOSMU’s administration values training the next generation of doctors, they must show it through fair pay and benefits, and working conditions for the staff that do that work.”

CTV News reached out the NOSM U’s administration for comment on negotiations and the upcoming mediation and is awaiting a response as of the time of this publication. Top Stories

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