On Friday, January 30, 2015 the parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement that itemizes the proposals on which agreement has been reached, the proposals the parties have mutually agreed to withdraw, and those “matters still in dispute” that the parties may submit to arbitration. Please note that any items agreed to at the bargaining table will not be implemented until the interest arbitration is complete. This is the sixth in a series of blog posts to discuss both the matters that have been agreed to and those that are still in dispute.
Inevitably over the period in which a Collective Agreement is in force, either the Association or the University finds minor, technical matters that need addressing. This blog outlines some of those issues.
- The Ranks and Titles section of the Agreement (Part 4, Article 5) has a strange array of ranks. The seven described ranks are: Instructor I, Instructor II, Senior Instructor, Professor of Teaching, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor. The uninformed reader might conclude that the first four ranks comprised the Educational Leadership stream and the last three comprised the Professorial stream. Not so. Instructor I does not, as you might expect, lead to Instructor II. Instructor II in fact is a rank in the Professorial stream reserved for those who might otherwise be hired as Assistant Professors, but who, at the date of hire, have not yet completed their terminal degree. This rank needed to be renamed for clarity. The parties agreed to rename Instructor I as Instructor, and to rename Instructor II as Acting Assistant Professor.
- Appendix A in Part I lists all of the academic employees who for one reason or another (normally because they hold management positions) are excluded from the bargaining unit. During their time out of the bargaining unit, these individuals no longer have the rights and protections of the Collective Agreement, so this is a list with important implications. Many will remember the dust up in the 2010 round when the University tried to take both Associate Deans and Heads out of the bargaining unit. We agreed on the proposal with respect to Associate Deans, based on the University’s assertion that Associate Deans hold management positions, but we held firm on Heads, who clearly do not.
Appendix A also included “Faculty members appointed to the University’s Negotiating Committee.” The notion that the University could pluck faculty members out of the bargaining unit, have them potentially work against the interests of their colleagues, and then dump them back into the bargaining unit is so absurd we assumed the language was left over from the days before UBCFA became a union. In the 2010 and 2012 rounds, the University refused to change this language. During the 2010 round we had some mediation, and the mediator confessed to our team that the Labour Board would not support the University’s position on this. Not that this made any difference in the outcome. In this round the University did agree to remove that line in Appendix A and we agreed that if, for example, a Dean is a member of the University bargaining team and his or her term finished during the round, he or she can remain on their bargaining team until bargaining ends.
- There were also a number of general housekeeping issues raised by each party, often the same issue raised by both parties. Those were agreed to without difficulty. Most of the issues were minor technical changes.