Bargaining Continues, Slowly

Categories: Bargaining, Bargaining Updates 2016, Retroactive Payments

The University and Faculty Association Bargaining teams have continued to meet over the past two months, and we have three days of bargaining booked for the last week of June. Progress is being made, slowly. A couple of issues have been resolved and a number of important issues where the parties have some mutual interests are being worked on, and resolution on those issues seems possible.

However there are still a number of issues outstanding that require significant discussion, including all the cost issues, and a number of non-cost issues that are very important to one party or the other. On June 15th the parties exchanged documents that represented, for each party, a framework for settlement. The Association’s document was actually a complete comprehensive settlement offer. The University’s document was more aspirational. While neither party accepted the other’s framework, the exchange of frameworks was a positive development and will facilitate future discussion.

When the Parties determined bargaining dates for this round, it was with some hope that bargaining would be completed by June 30, 2017. Given the divergence in settlement frameworks the parties exchanged, and the amount of work left to be done, achieving that objective seems increasingly unlikely. While a breakthrough is still possible before the end of the month, at this time it seems most likely that we will reach neither impasse nor an agreement this month.

Whether we settle before or after June 30, or end up in Arbitration, the PTR payments (Increments, Merit, PSA) starting July 1 will not be paid for some time. According to the University it takes many months to process these payments. This is why the Association has argued at the bargaining table that UBC should pay PTR on time so that the only money owed retroactively after a settlement or an arbitration award is the difference between what was paid on time and the amount that, in retrospect, was owed.

The one percent lump-sum payment is not term-certain and should be paid on time.


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