Getting Good Agreements

Does Third-Party Intervention Improve Faculty Union Contracts?



Collective bargaining, Alternative Dispute Resolution, sector norms, mobilization


This study examines whether third-party intervention during collective bargaining has an impact on the quality of collective agreements in the post-secondary sector in Canada. Interviews were conducted with 15 faculty union negotiators in five different provinces. These identified both benefits and drawbacks to working with third parties during difficult rounds of collective bargaining. Improvements included better communication between the disputants, expeditious conflict resolution, and achieving sectoral norms when unions had fallen behind in extended health benefits or salary. Nonetheless, the interviews highlighted many risks and costs that unions experience with third-party intervention, especially when it is mandated by legislation and involves working with provincially appointed mediators, conciliators, and arbitrators.



2021-03-19 — Updated on 2021-03-30

How to Cite

Dekker, J., & Farnum, C. (2021). Getting Good Agreements: Does Third-Party Intervention Improve Faculty Union Contracts?. CAUT Journal. Retrieved from